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Legends Roll Bennett in Class AA Debut

The main event for Friday evening’s Section VI opening weekend on the gridiron turned out to be anything but. Lancaster foiled Bennett’s Class AA debut with a 49-16 thumping at Foyle-Kling Field.

From the opening kick-off until the closing minutes of the 4th Quarter, the Legends had their way with the Tigers. Aside from a recovered fumble in the early going’s, Bennett found little momentum when they desperately needed to find it.

“They’re Class A Champs for a reason but it’s their first year up,” captain Joe Andreessen said. “All the off-season workouts paid off tonight, it’s a great feeling to win.”

Andreessen scored two rushing TD’s, both in the 1st quarter from 21 and 5 yards out respectively. The senior also led the team in tackles with three, all behind the line of scrimmage.  It’s early, but it’s quite possible Andreessen is one of the best players, if not the best in the section.

The Legends controlled the line of scrimmage from start to finish. Lancaster put up 418 yards of total offense, 246 on the ground while giving up 134. Senior RB Andrew Hersey finished the day with 118 yards on 17 attempts. “All credit to the line. They are the reason I was able to have the game I did,” Hersey said. The senior also had three rushing TD’s all in the first half.

Lancaster came out running on their first possession and set the tone from there. They had one hiccup on a pass out of the backfield to Hersey, Bennett linebacker Justin Campbell popped him just as the ball arrived dislodging the football. The officials ruled the play a fumble.

The Tigers were unable to move the football and were forced to punt. Plays later Andreessen scored his first TD of the game with Max Giordano running in for the two-point conversion. That’s just how things went for Bennett Friday night.

“You know, we play with the hand we were dealt,” Tigers head coach Steve McDuffie said after the loss. “Lancaster is a great team, not a good team. Our players are young but I am very proud of them. They played until the end.” McDuffie has guided Bennett to the top of Class C, Class B and last season Class A. He’s done an admirable job in building up the program over the years. This was a very tough opponent to open up against Week 1.

Lancaster’s Ben Damiani a senior linebacker picked off Bennett’s Aaron Smith and brought the football back to the house in the 1st quarter and that’s when this game started to slip away. Smith, a junior threw three picks and went 4-12.

Bennett’s defense came up big in the 4th quarter when Campbell (Timon transfer) fell on a loose ball in the end zone following a butchered snap while the Legends were attempting to punt. After stopping Lancaster on their next possession, Bennett took over on their own 40.

On the next play Smith went deep, hitting junior WR Elliott Dayshawn picking up 46-yards. That led to Bennett’s second TD of the game. A QB keeper from three yards out.   

Lancaster led 28-0 after the first quarter and took a 42-0 lead into the 2nd half.

“Our guys did a tremendous amount of work in the off-season,” Legends 2nd year head coach Eric Rupp said following the win. “Every kid worked hard and deserved an opportunity to play today. Our guys did a great job of executing tonight.”

Junior RB Brandon Wingard picked up 52 yards on the ground and added a TD for Lancaster.

Next weekend Lancaster (1-0) will travel to Lockport to face the Lions. Bennett (0-1) take on Frontier (0-1) at All-High Stadium Friday night (Spectrum).

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