Weekly Feature



2018-09-13 / Sports

Legends football moves to 2-0 with win over Hutch Tech

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter

Lancaster football used a hot start to defeat Hutch Tech 35-18 Friday night and move to 2-0 on the season. The win was the Legends’ 22nd in a row over Western New York competition.

Coach Eric Rupp was happy with the win over a team he considers to be a playoff contender in Class AA.

“I thought the effort was great,” Rupp said. “I really feel like our defense took a step forward. I felt like they were relentless and physical all night long against some very good athletes.”

The Legends got things started early as they scored less than four minutes into the game on a 9-yard run by Brandon Wingard. It was another solid game from Wingard, who ran 19 times for 98 yards and two scores and caught one pass for 4 yards. He now has more than 170 yards in the first two games of the season.

“Brandon has worked extremely hard all offseason, and you’re starting to see that pay off,” Rupp said. “He’s starting to run the ball very well for us.”

Later in the first quarter, Gianluca Fulciniti connected with Brian Martin for a 50-yard touchdown. The two would connect again on the two-point play to make it 15-0 and then again for a touchdown from 20 yards out in the second quarter to make it 22-0. The Legends had taken complete control of the game before halftime.

“Our offensive line did a great job in the first quarter establishing the line of scrimmage,” Rupp said. “Our fullback, Matt Marschner, was opening some big holes for our running backs. Then Gianluca and Brian Martin connected on two touchdown passes, and that really set the tone for the game.”

The Engineers would score just before the half to make it 22-8, and the teams would play a scoreless third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Wingard ran one in from 11 yards out to make it 29-8. Tim Gardner scored on a 3-yard touchdown run on the next drive to put the game out of reach at 35-8. Hutch Tech would get a touchdown and a safety in the final five minutes of the game, but never really threatened to come back.

Lancaster again rolled with two quarterbacks Friday night, as Jason Mansell and Fulciniti both saw action. In a reversal from week one, Fulciniti took the bulk of the snaps, going 6-8 for 93 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Mansell was 5-10 for 19 yards. Fulciniti’s skill set was a better fit against the Hutch Tech defense.

“I though they both did a great job,” Rupp said. “It’s just kind of the flow of the game as it presented itself early on, I thought Gianluca gave us the advantage running the football. We went with him a little bit more this week than we did in week one.”

The Legends have the biggest regular-season game of the year coming up Friday night when they take on Williamsville North on the road. The game is a rematch of last season’s Section VI Championship game, where Lancaster defeated North 35-6. The Spartans are 2-0 this year, having beaten Clarence in overtime in week two.

“We just have to improve our execution,” Rupp said. “Offensively, we shot our selves in the foot a few times with some bad penalties, turnovers and bad snaps. When you’re playing a team as talented as they are, you can’t give them anything. The defense just has to continue to run to the football and tackle well.”

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