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Warriors hold off Cardinals, clinch No. 3 seed

Lucus Brown’s week began with a selection to the Big 30 Basketball All-Star First Team. It ended with a standout two-way performance, collecting two touchdown catches and two interceptions to pace the Salamanca football team past Randolph Friday night.

The Warriors won a back-and-forth game with the Cardinals in a Section 6 Class D regular season finale, holding off Randolph 25-20.

After falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter, Randolph answered with two scores in the second quarter to lead 14-13. Salamanca retook the lead with a 58-yard strike from quarterback Lucas McKenna to Brown before halftime, and scored on a short field in the third quarter after Brown’s first of two interceptions.

Brown, a freshman in his second year of varsity football, had 84 receiving yards on his two catches, both touchdowns.

“We’ve made efforts to utilize him more and more over the course of the last several weeks,” Salamanca coach Chad Bartoszek said. “Passing is all about timing and he’s finally getting in sync with Lucas (McKenna). He’s a gifted athlete who is going to be special as he improves his wide receiver technique and learns exactly how to maximize his talent. (I’m) super proud of the way he played and helped us win tonight.”

McKenna, the Warriors’ senior quarterback, had 96 passing yards and 93 rushing, including a 14-yard run to score the game’s first touchdown on the opening drive.

Junior lineman Tre Turner also sparked a pair of turnovers for the Warriors with two fumble recoveries.

“We came out in the second half and kind of shot ourself in the foot on that very first possession and gave them a short field,” Cardinals coach Brent Brown said. “Then they capitalized on it. That's when it changed right there.”

Salamanca (3-2, 2-2) clinched the No. 3 seed in the Section 6 Class D playoffs with the win. Randolph (2-3, 2-2) could still make the playoffs at the fourth seed, needing Franklinville/Ellicottville to defeat Silver Creek/Forestville today.

“Very similar teams, both were physical, tough, flying to the ball,” Bartoszek said of the matchup with Randolph. “We expected a battle. I was real proud of the way we started. We came out and really took it to them. They're just, like they showed, they're a play away and they showed a little bit of that explosiveness they have.”

Both teams sustained mul