ROCHESTER, N.Y.-Orchard Park ran for 407 yards and held on late to beat Christian Brothers Academy 26-14 in a Class AA semifinal from Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester.
#5 Mitch Wilson was nearly unstoppable, especially in the red-zone for the Quakers, rushing for 178 yards on 27 carries including all four of Orchard Park's touchdowns. Quarterback #2 Ben Holmes also had a huge day on the ground, rushing for 175 yards on 13 carries.
The Quakers opened the scoring with 9:40 go in the second quarter when Wilson took it in from four yards out. After an interception Wilson would punch it in again from one yard way with 4:59 left in the second quarter to increase the Quaker lead to 14-0.
The Brothers would get on the board with 1:37 to go until halftime when quarterback #5 Joe Zazzara would connect with Cody Radziewicz on an eight-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 14-7.
Orchard Park would not be done in the first half however as Wilson would once again score, this time from four yards out, with 30 seconds left and after a missed extra point the Quakers took a 20-7 lead into the half.
After going back and forth in the third quarter Christian Brothers Academy pulled off a huge play when Zazzara would hit Deshawn Salter on a 75-yard touchdown bomb to once again pull the Brothers within a possession, 20-14. Unfortunately for Christian Brothers Academy Mitch Wilson wasn't done on the day as he scored Orchard Park's final touchdown on a 14-yard run with 7:29 left in the fourth quarter. The Quakers missed the two point conversion making the score 26-14.
Christian Brothers Academy would have one last chance to tie it but would be stopped on fourth and goal when #11 Connor Eddy intercepted the pass in the end-zone. "This accomplishment might be one of the best accomplishments by any team I've ever coached," says Orchard Park Head Coach Gene Tundo. "In 30 years I've coached a lot of teams but to get back to this point is incredible. I'm amazed by what they've done."
"They're running game is solid and obviously our linebackers and front line stepped up," says senior wide receiver #8 Austin Goltz. "Our secondary did a good job of staying with our men."
Orchard Park goes to 11-1 on the season and will move on to the New York State Class AA Finals next Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Carrier Dome against New Rochelle. Christian Brothers Academy's undefeated season came to an end at an 11-1.