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Lewis Touchdown Sparks Resilient Bennett Past Lancaster In Class AA Showdown

Jayden Lewis thought he’d just broken the ice in Friday’s Class AA showdown when he took a reverse 75 yards for a Bennett touchdown, but alas, there was a flag on the play.

A clip on the Tigers and an additional 15-yard penalty on the Bennett bench and suddenly Lewis and the Tigers were facing a Second and 23 at their own 7.

Lewis didn’t put his head down, didn’t feel sorry for himself, didn’t look for an excuse … he just went back to work. And on the very next play he was right back in the end zone.

Antonio Davis hit a streaking Lewis for a 93-yard touchdown and Bennett was on its way to a 20-7 win over Lancaster at Foyle-Kling.

“When I had the touchdown, all I could do is focus on getting it again and scoring again,” he said. “Nothing else you can do.”

He did and Bennett was on its way to a statement win in Class AA.

“That’s what I mean by him conquering that adversity,” Bennett coach Steve McDuffie said. “He was very resilient today, the team was very resilient today and I’m going to give it up to them for that.”

The resilience continued as Bennett scored two more touchdowns on fourth-and-short runs, Davis late in the second quarter and Darrell Hamilton early in the third.

Lancaster’s offense came alive late in the third and quarterback Max Stoldt scored from three yards out to get the Legends on the board. Lancaster hasn’t been shut out since Oct. 11, 2013 (a 31-0 loss to Frontier).

The win was the third straight for the Tigers over Lancaster, which had led the rivalry series 5-1 before that. It was also Bennett’s first win at Foyle-Kling in program history.

“It feels great to be the first team to win here,” said Lewis, who added an interception and 10 tackles on defense. “We’ve been working and training in the offseason for this.”

Since Eric Rupp took over as head coach in 2016, Lancaster has lost six games to Western New York opponents. Four of those losses are to Bennett.

And if Bennett is to reach its postseason goal, the consensus in the Tigers’ postseason huddle is that they’ll have to face the Legends again.

“We have to get back to work,” McDuffie said. “It’s a great win but it’ll be short lived because tomorrow, we have to get back to work because I know that’s what they’ll be doing. It was a great game, that’s a great program and it was just a hard-fought victory.”

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