Who: Franklinville/Ellicottville Titans (9-0) vs. Maple Grove (8-1).
When: 5 p.m. Friday.
Where: New Era Field.
Web cast: myspectrumsports.com.
Rankings: F/E is ranked No. 3 in the News Small Schools Poll and No. 7 in the New York State Sportswriters' Poll. Maple Grove is ranked No. 8 in the News poll and ninth in the state.
New Era records: Maple Grove is 6-10 as a solo outfit, defeating the Titans in last year's final, 33-6. The Red Dragons are 2-0 as a merged program with Chautauqua Lake – winning titles in 2014 and 2015.
Franklinville/Ellicottville as a merged entity is 1-2, falling to Maple Grove last year and beating Frewsburg in the final two years ago. As separate programs, Franklinville won in 1992. Ellicottville/West Valley won Class DD in 2012.
Coaches: Maple Grove, Curt Fischer, 27th season (219-46); Franklinville/Ellicottville, Chad Bartoszek, fourth season (31-8).
Maple Grove key players and statistics: Sr. RB/DB Nick Fabrizio (135-911 rushing-12 TDs; 8-111-2 receiving; 57 tackles), Jr. QB/DB Easton Tanner (38-60-455-9 TDs passing; 69-433-7 TDs rushing; 33 tackles), Sr. RB/DB Nash Nelson (55-440-4 rushing; 43 tackles), Jr. WR/DB Zach Fischer (13-201-7 receiving; 35 tackles, 2 INT), Jr. DB Zach Hendrick (46 tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery).
Frank./Ellicott. key players and statistics: Sr. QB/LB Brock Blecha (67-105-1181-15 TDs passing; 108-571-15 TDs rushing; 50 tackles), Sr. RB/LB Griffin Chudy (85-619-8 TDs rushing; 17-322-2 TDs receiving; 40 tackles, 3 INT), Sr. TE/DE Sam Erickson (21-404-7 TDs receiving; 30 tackles, 4 FR), Jr. LB/RB Jacob Peters (41 tackles; 35-404-3 TDs rushing); Sr. WR/FS Austin Grinols (32-215-2 TDs rushing; 16-246-3 TDs receiving; 3 INT, 3 FR).
How they got here: Maple Grove advanced with 26-20 semifinal victory over Clymer/Sherman/Panama. Tanner had a solid all-around game for the Red Dragons, going 6 of 10 passing for 98 yards and 1 TD, rushing for 66 yards and making six tackles. Fischer caught both touchdowns, while Carter Russo (10 tackles, three sacks) had an 11-yard fumble return score. Maple Grove scored the first 20 points of the contest.
F/E reached its third straight final with a 43-14 rout of Chautauqua Lake. In that game, Blecha rushed for 75 yards and three touchdowns, while Grinols rushed for 61 yards and a TD on five carries.
Pre-snap read: During the regular season, F/E defeated Maple Grove, 26-6, at Maple Grove to hand the Red Dragons their first loss to a Western New York team in four years. F/E dominated most facets of that game but realizes it can’t take too much stock in that win. Maple Grove has one of the most experienced coaching staffs in the area, a crew that knows how to coach and win big games. The Titans need to do what they do best, control the line of scrimmage and let their playmakers do their thing.
What’s next: Winner advances to Far West Regional against Section V champion at 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at Capelli Sport Stadium in Rochester.