Senior James Chambers looks for running room in Lockportís Class AA semifinals loss to Orchard Park. Chambers helped the Lions finish 6-3. (Photo by Mike Petro)
If you went to high school Lockport stunned Clarence with a come-from-behind OT win in the Section VI Class AA quarterfinals.
The following week, though, the Lions were the victims of a rally when Orchard Park erased a 16-6 halftime deficit and hung a 33-16 loss on Lockport in the Class AA semifinals that took place on Oct.27.
James Chambers scored on touchdown runs of 83 and nine yards, as well as registering a safety. But it wasnít enough as the Quakers, second place in AA South, eliminated the AA North champion Lions, beating them for a second time this year.
The Lions finished with a 6-3 overall mark, going a perfect 4-0 in AA North as they beat Riverside, Hutch-Tech, Niagara Falls and defending champion Kenmore West.
While some critics might say the AA North wasnít as strong this year as in seasons past, fact is the Lions beat who they were supposed to beat and they did it with class week in, and week out.
Other than the two defeats at the hands of the eventual sectional champion Quakers, the Lions other loss was a 30-25 nail biter to a solid St. Joeís squad.
Win or lose, Lockport showed its character with a never-say-die attitude.
That resilience was on display not only in the playoff win over Clarence, but in the league clinching game on the road at Kenmore West.
Down 15-0 at one point and being pressured by a young but physical Blue Devils defense, the Lions could have easily faded. But Coach Greg Bronsonís troops took a deep breath and rationalized that if they could go into halftime tied, they would be able to win.
The Lions did just last as they tied the game at 15-15 before riding the arm of junior quarterback Dan Bronson to victory. Bronson, who threw for 250 yards in that game, hit key TD strikes to RD Hillman and James Chambers.
After the game West coach Rich Harris said he felt Bronson was the difference-maker as he methodically picked apart the young Ken-West secondary.
Gaining a great deal of respect this season, Bronson will no doubt be looked at as one of the premiere signal callers in the area next season.
But the road will be a challenging one in 2013 as the Lions not only graduate Chambers, who was a stud on both ends of the ball, they also lose Tevya Maslowski and RD Hillman, two of Bronsonís favorite targets.
Linemen Seth Anderson, RB Mitchell Evans punter/kicker Kyle Few also bid farewell to the Lions, who expect to return two dozen juniors.