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Bennett falls to Carmel in the state championship Saturday

The team took on Carmel High School at the Carrier Dome and hoped to bring back their first Class AA title.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Bennett High School Tigers had high hopes to bring a state championship home to Buffalo this weekend but the team lost to Carmel High School, 42-12.

The team was the only Western New York school still playing football right now. With a season record of 11-1, the team took on Carmel High School at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse and hoped to win their first NYSPHSAA Class AA title.

Even the Bills had sent them a video with words of encouragement before they went on the field Saturday afternoon. 

"That gives those kids motivation to keep moving and that's what counts. That's what counts," said Ollie Toliver, who's son is on the team. "At least we know they see us."

Even though there is no trophy making a home at Bennett High School this time around, something irreplaceable still managed to find its way to Buffalo. 

"This is when you find out who you are. So they have to learn that guess what, life is going to be a battle. And in life, things are not going to always go your way. But you have to learn that it's how you respond to things when they don't go your way. That's what defines you as a young man," said head coach Stevenson McDuffie. 

The Tigers' overall record this year was 11-2.

And yes, they do expect to be back at the championship title next year with a different outcome.