LUCAS -- The day after his Mansfield Senior Tygers reached the state football title game, coach Chioke Bradley and his team came to Lucas to make sure they are not alone in Canton next weekend.
Bradley and the Tygers came to Lucas Saturday afternoon to support the Cubs during the team send-off to Columbus.
The day after scoring an epic win over Aurora in their own semifinal, Mansfield Senior's football team traveled to Lucas give the Cubs a proper sendoff. The Cubs (11-2) play Canal Winchester Harvest Preparatory (12-1) Saturday in the Division VII state semifinal at 7 p.m. in Columbus.
The Cubs did the same for Mansfield Senior on Friday afternoon.
"That was so cool, man, and I respect that. That's why we wanted to come over and respect them, so they can go out and do the same thing, man, get this win," Bradley said.
"It's not all the time when you get an opportunity to make it this far in the playoffs, so we want to make sure that from us to them we come over and show our support, for whatever it's worth. Hopefully it'll help them out so they can get that big win tonight," Bradley said.
Blaring horns, orange flags and cheers from community members of all ages filled the air as two football teams convened at Lucas High School--the team heading into the semifinals, and the team there to cheer them on.
In addition to the Tyger team, fans of Mansfield Senior also came out to support Lucas.
"It's Richland County, we got to support each other," said Jennifer Gossard of Mansfield.
Michael Lybarger is a Mansfield Senior alum; his wife Candace graduated from Lucas. Although their two kids are enrolled at Lucas, they've celebrated both teams' success this season, attending home games for both schools.
"It's great. (They're) making history," said Candace. "They've come a long way and it's neat to see the community come together. I think all of Richland County is excited for both the Tygers and the Cubs, so it's nice that we have a lot of the camaraderie coming together and everybody excited."
Regardless of teams or hometowns, the fans all agreed on one thing--the power of football to unite communities.
"It brings us all together. With everything bad in this world we need something like this. We need it," said Gossard.
"You have 40 year old men, 50 year old men crying, shedding tears, even myself. It's a beautiful thing for the city," said Mansfielder Donald Reese regarding the Tyger's semifinal win.
"No matter how old you are, we was all in high school at one point...Everybody can relate to high school and it's a beautiful thing. We all come together for one cause and football is something we all love and enjoy," he added.