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Sweet four-peat as Maple Grove storms back to take down Titans in Class D football final

Maple Grove earned a little revenge and a piece of history Friday night at New Era Field.

The Red Dragons avenged their only defeat of the season by taking down previously unbeaten Franklinville/Ellicottville, 26-15, before an estimated 1,000 in the Section VI Class D football final.

Maple Grove scored the final 20 points of the game to secure its fourth straight Section VI championship – joining a short list of area teams to achieve the four-peat. The exclusive club includes Sweet Home, Orchard Park, Lackawanna, Clymer and Grand Island. The run began in 2014 in Class C when Maple Grove was merged with Chautauqua Lake.

The Red Dragons (9-1) fell behind 15-6 after Tyler Clear's picked off a Tanner Easton pass and returned it 41 yards for the touchdown with 8 minutes, 33 seconds left in the third quarter.

But Easton, who completed 7 of 14 passes for 113 yards, rebounded from that in a big way.

Maple Grove pulled within 15-13 on 25-yard TD pass to Nash Nelson from Easton. The possession included a roughing the passer penalty.

Maple Grove, which includes several players from last year's state runner-up team, took the lead for good with 7:28 left on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Easton to Zach Fischer. That capped a 95-yard drive that included a 48-yard completion from Easton to Keeshawn Smith.

Carter Russo recovered a fumble for the Red Dragons with 5:15 left after the ball hit the turf on a bad pitch during what appeared to be a potential trick play by the Titans. Maple Grove turned that into points as Nic Fabrizio scored on a short run with 3:11 left.

F/E (9-1) struck first with 5:00 left in the first quarter on a 58-yard catch and run play from Brock Blecha to Griffin Chudy. Blecha ran in the conversion to make it 8-0.

Maple Grove, which dropped a 26-6 decision to the Titans back in Week Three – the first time in four years it had lost to a Western New York program, pulled within two just 48 seconds into the second quarter on Fabrizio's 2-yard run.

The Red Dragons return to action next Friday at 5 p.m. at SUNY Brockport where they will face the Section V champion in the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Far West Regionals.

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