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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Big second quarter powers Lancaster back to Class AA finals

Death, taxes, and Lancaster high school football in the Section VI Class AA title game. The No. 2 Legends tallied three touchdowns in a 1:02 span in the second quarter, powering them to a 27-0 victory over No. 3 Clarence in the Section VI Class AA semifinals, punching their ticket to Highmark Stadium for next week’s finals where No. 1 Bennett awaits. Lancaster will be seeking their sixth straight Class AA championship. The Red Devils and Legends were in the midst of a back-and-forth, defensive battle for the majority of the first quarter and a half, as a 58-yard touchdown pass from Lancaster quarterback Noah Kimble to Ryan Andolina was all that separated the two sides midway through the second quarter, as it stood 7-0 Legends. Then came the avalanche. “We saw some things on film after the first game that we thought would be there,” Lancaster coach Eric Rupp said. “It was a combination of things that all just went our way in that span.” After an over five-minute Lancaster drive resulted in a Kimble to Jack Harrington 13-yard touchdown with 4:36 to go, on the ensuing kickoff, a fumble by the Red Devils was jumped onto by the Legends, giving them the ball right back. They wasted all of six seconds to capitalize, as Kimble would take the first play 19 yards to the house on a quarterback keeper to make it 21-0. In an attempt to answer back on Clarence’s next drive, quarterback Garrett White got too aggressive, and his pass along the slide was intercepted by Lancaster’s Brice Beetow. Micah Harry, who finished the night with over 120 yards, would proceed to rush 55 yards shortly thereafter for a score of his own, blowing the game wide open and giving the Legends a 27-0 lead. It marked 20 unanswered Lancaster points in just over a minute. “My run, I just came off the bench, heard we got the ball back, and got into the endzone,” said Kimble of his 19-yard rushing score. “It felt great, all of our guys dominating on both ends and special teams, it was awesome.” Clarence and Lancaster met back on Oct. 15 in a game the Legends won by a score, 24-17. In it though, the Red Devils utilized their talented rushing attack to tally over 200 yards on the ground, and the Legends knew minimizing that aspect of Clarence’s offense could pay dividends – and it did, helping power their defense to a shutout. “They pushed us around a little bit when we played them in week seven,” Rupp said. “Hats off to our defensive staff and the kids, they played their hearts out. We knew if we could shutdown the double wing, things would go our way tonight and it did.” The Red Devils came close to scoring on two occasions in the second quarter, getting inside the Lancaster 30-yard line and facing fourth-and-5 with a chance to extend both drives, but failing to convert on each occasion. “It was just mistakes we haven’t made all year,” Clarence head coach Paul Burgio said. “It’s what we focused on all week, you have to play clean to beat that team, and when you don’t, that’s the result.” Next up for the Legends is a date with the Bennett Tigers, a team they lost to 48-24 on Oct. 1. Boasting one of the most electric rushing attacks in all of Section VI, the Tigers put up 547 yards rushing in that week five contest, and Rupp knows his team will have to build off their strong defensive effort against Clarence to compete. “We’re just going to treat it like every other week,” he said. “We’re going to prepare the best we can, have a great week of practice, and we’ll see what happens.” The Class AA sectional final is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 at Highmark Stadium.

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