York Catholic football coach Eric Depew will be matched up against one of his mentors Friday night, when the Fighting Irish travel to Camp Hill for a District 3-A semifinal game at 7 p.m.

The top-seeded Lions (6-4) are coached by Frank Gay, who previously spent eight seasons as the head coach at Red Land. Depew was a Patriots assistant for several of those seasons, and has spent 18 years coaching together with Gay.

Depew coached Red Land's linebackers and tight ends in 2006, when Red Land won a District 3-AAA championship.

"Frank and me go back a long way," Depew said. "He’s an intense guy. I’m an intense guy. So it’ll be exciting."

Depew and Gay are both first-year coaches with their respective programs. Depew inherited a team that lost 19 players to graduation, an abnormally large group for a Class A school. While the Irish have had some struggles, they sit at 4-6 and grabbed the district's fourth-and-final Class A playoff spot.

Camp Hill, meanwhile, has won five in a row, including a 14-13 upset of East Pennsboro two weeks ago. That has set up an unlikely first-round matchup.

"I called him on the phone prior to this, just to see the playoff format and how everything was going," Depew said of Gay. "And we weren’t even thinking we would play each other. After that Suburban game (two weeks ago), he called me and said ‘Looks like we match up with you.’”

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