The Kenmore West Blue Devils certainly aren’t easing into their first trip to the Section VI playoffs since the 2000 season.

West travels to Class AA South-power Orchard Park, the unanimous No. 1 in the Western New York large schools poll, at 7 p.m. today.

“They have a great winning tradition,” West coach Rich Harris said of Gene Tundo’s Quakers. “They’re always at (Ralph Wilson) Stadium. They’re ranked in the state. They run three or four different offensive sets, so what do you prepare for?”

Orchard Park is ranked 12th in the state in Class AA. The Quakers are one win away from their seventh straight trip to the Ralph, which would tie the record set by Maple Grove from 1996 to 2002.

Junior running back Jeff Tundo, the coach’s son, leads OP. Quakers quarterback Kyle Hoppy is also a threat on the ground.

“They put him in shotgun or have him run bootleg and he can do some damage,” Harris said of Hoppy.

The Blue Devils, though, have embraced the underdog role.

“We have nothing to lose,” Harris said. “Nobody expects anything from us, so we can just go out there and play.”

One thing the Blue Devils do have on their side is health.

“We’re totally healthy, Harris said, “so we’re in good shape there.”

• Beside an 85-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter from Damour Bailey to Warren Hemphill, the Blue Devils could not sustain much offense during a 20-8 loss to cross-town rival Kenmore East on Saturday.

“The kids know we let one slip away against them,” Harris said.

Bailey finished the game 5-of-12 for 144 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the loss. Tim Hersey was West’s leading rusher, picking up 104 yards on 10 carries.

— Jay Skurski

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