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RIVALRIES DRAW THE LINE <br> LOYALTIES CAN BE DIVIDED ON THE LAST WEEKEND OF THE SEASON

When Steve and Sandy Griffin bought their home in Lancaster 15 years ago, they assumed that the Lancaster mailing address also meant that the house was in the Lancaster school district.

Imagine their surprise when the Lancaster graduates learned that the house they fell in love with was three blocks inside Depew's district. Their son, Shane, who was 3 years old, would someday be a Wildcat.

"We thought we were fine. We found out afterward," said Steve, an All-Western New York linebacker for Lancaster in 1978. Steve went on to Kent State and eventually made the Cleveland Browns roster before suffering a career-ending knee injury on the eve of the 1984 season.

Shane has thrived at Depew, but seeing him in all that blue and white took his father some getting used to.

"When Shane was starting school he'd come home with hats and shirts that they were selling through the (Parent-Teacher Organization), and (Sandy and I) just looked at each other and said, 'Na,' " Steve said. "It wasn't until he was in seventh grade (playing on the modified team) before we could buy any Depew stuff."

Shane (6-foot-3, 192 pounds) is having an All-Western New York-type season as a wide receiver and safety. Going into Friday's game, he's broken school records for most catches in a game (eight), most receiving yards in a game (160) and most catches in a season (40). He's also got a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Depew has won two of the last three meetings.

Here's a look at the big rivalry games this weekend:
Both teams will likely miss the Section VI playoffs, so this is a season-maker for the winner. The Redskins are coming off an upset of Orchard Park last week.

Tony Tylenda, a teacher at Lancaster, and his wife, Beverly, a teacher at Depew, will be on opposite sidelines for the 32rd and final season. Beverly is retiring in June.

Junior Jim Townsend is the fourth generation from his family to play for Lancaster. His great-grandfather, Hons, played 1919-23, his grandfather, Mogy, played 1945-46 and his father, Douglas, played 1968-69.

Depew two-way tackle Adam Rosner has committed to Syracuse. Another lineman, Justin Kindt, was All-WNY last year.

Series shakedown: Last year: Depew won, 28-21, before a paid crowd of 4,391 at Depew. Lancaster leads series, 43-27-6.
The Lumberjacks entered last year's game undefeated. This year it's the Warriors' turn. Tonawanda is looking to finish the regular season undefeated for the first time since 1999.

Jacks junior kicker Nick Fetterman has five field goals, including two 37-yarders. Sophomore QB Scott Gregson leads the team in rushing with 471 yards on 43 carries. The Jacks have won six straight. Four-year starter Alex Port looks to become the first NT player to beat Tonawanda four years in a row. Tonawanda's last win was 24-21 in 2000.

Series shakedown: Will Tonawanda remain the only undefeated team in Western New York, or will NT spoil its perfect season? Last year: North Tonawanda won, 21-0. NT leads series, 55-31-9.
Both coaches are hoping their alma maters lose. That's because West coach Jim Kuhn went to East and East coach Jim Maurino went to West.

Kuhn, the head coach at West since 1999, graduated from East in '79. He said his playing at East becomes an issue only when he runs into his former teammates. "They give me a hard time in a kidding way, 'How could you do that?' " Kuhn said, "but it's all in good fun."

Maurino was a fullback and linebacker for the Indians before graduating in 1991. He's in his second year as coach of the Trojans. "The game definitely has a different feel. It's like the playoffs for our kids," he said.

East assistant coach Mark Kawalec was the line coach at West for 16 years before coming over this year.

Series shakedown: The Indians look to add to their 10-game winning streak. Last year: West won, 41-20. West leads series, 19-15. Admission: free.
This game features Western New York's leading rusher, James Mallory of Kenmore West, who has 1,357 yards on 209 carries with 11 touchdowns.

"You can't stop him," West coach Rich Harris said. "He's tough, elusive, just a great player."

East counters with big-play receiver Steve Stillman, who had eight catches for 115 yards against a tough Sweet Home secondary. Junior Robert Mackin has made a smooth transition from wideout to QB and running back and defensive back Shareef Abadallah never leaves the field.

During halftime, the 2004 Kenmore East Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized. The game is also the highlight of the Kenmore East Football Reunion, which welcomes back players from all teams (1959-2003).

Look for legendary East coach Richard "Sparky" Adams (1964-1977) on the sideline. Adams remains East's all-time winningest football coach with 81 wins. He was a member of the inaugural East Hall of Fame class in 1994.

Series shakedown: The Blue Devils have lost only once since 1985. Last year: Mallory ran through East for 262 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-7 West win. West leads series, 28-15-2.
This year's game will mark the first Teacher Appreciation Night in Medina. Each player wrote an essay about his favorite teacher and that teacher will wear the player's jersey during the school day and then be introduced before the game.

Albion QB Justin Ward will make his second start after throwing four touchdown passes against Newfane last week.

Medina sophomore RB Kevin Dukes has rushed for 750 yards and scored nine TDs. Win or lose, the Purple Eagles are in the playoffs from Class B North.

Series shakedown: Albion has won 13 of the last 15. Medina's last win was 26-20 in OT in 1999. Last year: Albion won, 42-8. Albion leads series, 46-38-4.
Fredonia's leading rusher has been senior Nick Moore. "We could definitely use (a win)," Fredonia coach Bob Ball said. "(The 0-7 start) is definitely not from a lack of effort."

Dunkirk can move the ball through the air with QB Frank Jogoda connecting with Chad Wlodarek and Ryan Thompson.

Series shakedown: Fredonia has won the last five. One of WNY's oldest rivalries, the first matchup was in 1901. Last year: Fredonia won, 22-14. Dunkirk leads series, 63-38-11.

THIS WEEKEND'S SCHEDULE
(7:30 p.m. unless noted)
Section VI
Class AA North
Niagara-Wheatfield at Niagara Falls
Class AA South
Clarence at Frontier
Class A South
Hamburg at Pioneer
Iroquois at Lake Shore
Class B North
Albion at Medina
Newfane at Roy-Hart
Class B South
Dunkirk at Fredonia
Lackawanna at East Aurora
Springville at Southwestern
Class B
Amherst at Alden
Class C North
Silver Creek at Gowanda
Wilson at Akron
Class C South
Allegany-Limestone at Portville
Cassadaga Valley at Salamanca
Cattaraugus/Little Valley at Falconer
Class D West
Westfield at Brocton
Monsignor Martin Assoc.
Nichols at Niagara Catholic
St. Mary's/Lanc. at Timon, 7 p.m.
Nonleague
Depew at Lancaster
N. Tonawanda at Tonawanda, 6 p.m.
W. Sen. West at W. Sen. East, 7 p.m.

(2 p.m. unless noted)
Section VI
Class AA North
Williamsville North at Lockport
Class AA South
Orchard Park at Jamestown
Class A North
Lew-Port at Starpoint
Williamsville East at Sweet Home
Williamsville South at Grand Island
Class B North
Cheektowaga at Maryvale
Class B South
Eden at Olean, 7:30 p.m.
Class C North
Cleveland Hill at JFK
Class D East
Ellicottville at Forestville, 1:30 p.m.
Franklinville at Pine Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Class D West
Sherman at Panama, 1:30 p.m.
West Valley at Chaut. Lake, 1:30 p.m.
Monsignor Martin Assoc.
Canisius at St. Joe's
Nichols at Niagara Catholic, 7 p.m.
Walsh at Cardinal O'Hara
Harvard Cup
Seneca vs. Bennett, 10 a.m.
at All High Stadium
McKinley vs. South Park
at All High Stadium
Burgard vs. Grover Cleveland, 10 a.m.
at Riverside
Hutch-Tech at Riverside
Nonleague
Kenmore West at Kenmore East
Yngstwn Chaney (Ohio) at St. Francis

e-mail: mmonnin@buffnews.com

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