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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Macks Win Defensive Battle To Reach Stadium For The First Time

McKinley players jubilantly hopped around Charles Dingboom Field, hugging and chest bumping and a whole lot of smiling. For the first time, the Macks are going to New Era Field.

McKinley will play in the Section VI championship game for the first time in program history after posting a 7-0 win over West Seneca West in a Class A semifinal game on Friday night at Riverside High School.

“It feels great, man,” senior Patrick Mootry said. “Knowing you’re making history right now, it’s just breathtaking.”

Mootry, a basketball and track athlete at McKinley, decided to come out for football for his senior year. The Macks are sure glad he did now. He came up with quite possibly the biggest play in program history, an 82-yard interception return for the game’s lone touchdown in the second quarter.

“That was huge,” McKinley coach Brian Davis said. “Patrick Mootry, first year football player, he stepped up big-time. It was just a sigh of relieve, honestly, to get some points on the board. It was just breathtaking.”

McKinley will play South Park at 5 p.m. Saturday at New Era Field. The Sparks advanced with a 36-23 win over Grand Island in its semifinal tilt. Both teams are 9-0.

“It’s exciting,” Davis said. “We kind of felt like this was going to happen, so we were always preparing to face them down the road. It’s going to be huge for the City of Buffalo to have two city schools in the championship game. I can’t wait. I really cannot wait.”

West Seneca West reached the red zone four times but couldn’t score. The Indians final legitimate drive was ended on an interception in the red zone by Devon Cottom with 2:30 left in the fourth.

“We just couldn’t get all 11 working at once,” West coach Mike Vastola said after his Indians finished the season at 7-2. “They’re a great team. I think we had more yards than them, we outgained them, and they bent but didn’t break.”

The closest West came was the 2-yard line but a run was stopped short of the goal on fourth down by a swarm of Macks. McKinley’s drive went nowhere but punter Henry Hunter got his team out of the shadow of its end zone with a 40-yard punt.

On third down, Mootry outfought the receiver for Liam Scheuer’s pass and took it down the left sideline to the end zone.

“I was just reading the quarterback, I saw the ball, got up and I just snatched it and took it home,” said Mootry, who later had a fumble recovery in the third quarter. “I knew I was gone, that’s that track speed kicking in.”

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