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Byline: Mary Jo Monnin
Oct. 30--Lancaster and Depew have been rivals since 1919, but on Friday night they will share common ground.
Ralph Wilson Stadium will be the site of the next games for the Redskins and Wildcats in the finals of the Section VI Federation playoffs.
It is the first time in the 29-year history of the playoffs that Lancaster and Depew qualified in the same year. Lancaster has gone in 1985, '88, '94, '95, '99, 2000 and '01 while Depew made it in 1980, '82 and '87.
Depew will play East Aurora at 4:30 p.m. while Lancaster will meet Orchard Park at 9:30 p.m.
"Aside for one game a year, we always root for the Wildcats," said Lancaster coach Len Jankiewicz. "They have a great leg up on their league, and they've stayed away from key injuries. They have what you need coming down to this championship season. It's pretty obvious what their strength is -- they have a great running game."
Lancaster's best players are juniors. Only two seniors start on defense -- end Marcellus Jones, who leads the team with 61 tackles, and lineman Terry McLaughlin. For the Redskins to have reached The Ralph this year was a real shocker in Class AA circles.
Jankiewicz had taken his team to offseason camps at St. John Fisher, Fredonia, Buffalo State and Syracuse. But he never thought he'd be taking his team to Ralph Wilson Stadium.
"Certainly there have been some surprises," he said. "We've won some games by tight scores and it's a credit to the kids playing as group."
Fast facts: The Federation finals will be …