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TC St. Francis, Ithaca set to clash in D6 semifinal

TRAVERSE CITY – Traverse City St. Francis and Ithaca will clash in a battle of unbeaten gridiron programs on Saturday in a Division 6 state semifinal at Clare.

Eyeing their first trip to the state finals since 2009, the Gladiators will face a Yellowjacket squad that has made five consecutive appearances in the Division 6 state title game, winning four straight championships from 2010-2013.

“We understand the history there that they have put together the last seven years and we also understand that they’re a great program but we’re not bad ourselves,” St. Francis coach Josh Sellers said.

Defense has been the story for St. Francis’ run this fall, as the Gladiators have allowed 75 points through 12 games, including just 15 points over their three postseason contests.

Ithaca, which completed is fifth consecutive undefeated regular season this fall, provides St. Francis with its biggest test of the season.  

“It’s really exciting to go up against a team that is so good,” St. Francis senior Sam Shrift said. “It’s such a high stakes game, so I think it will be a little stressful like every game is, but if we keep doing what we’re doing then we will have nothing to worry about.”

Kickoff for Saturday’s semifinal is slated for 1 p.m.