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How The News voted: Week Eight

There are only going to be 10 Section VI teams left playing football after this week. Which, you would think, would make voting easier. We shall see.

Every week nine voters participate in The News' large and small school polls. The poll is published each Tuesday in the Sidelines of the Scholastic Spotlight.

We have one vote in each poll. Here are our ballots from Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five, Week Six and Week Seven.

And here's this week's:

1. Sweet Home (8-0) [last week: 1] - Knock-knock. Who's there? It's the playoffs, so it must be Iroquois. Sweet Home's toughest game since ... Iroquois (a 44-23 road win in Week Five)

2. North Tonawanda (8-0) [2] - What could be bigger than the 100th T-NT game? Friday night, that's what. Mr. Grapes, I'll see you in your press box.

3. Lancaster (8-0) [3] - Definitely thought about OP in this spot. This might be an end result of all of Lancaster's injuries, but at this point of the year, No. 1 seeds need to beat No. 4 seeds the way NT and OP won last week (not 12-0 at home against Niagara Falls). However, at this point in an eight-week season, it's terrifically difficult to put an 8-0 team behind the 7-1 team it beat head-to-head.

4. Orchard Park (7-1) [4] - Friday stands between the Quakers and another trip to The Ralph. OP doesn't like missing trips to The Ralph.

5. Hamburg (7-1) [5] - Beat GI, 26-3, in Week Two. Just a wild guess that this one will be closer. Argh. Wish I could be there.

6. Grand Island (5-3) [NR] - Just in from Hollywood: Vikings have a chance to avenge their losses in the first three weeks of the season in the first three weeks of the postseason (Will South, Hamburg, Sweet Home). They play the rest of the way like they did Friday night, and I'm claiming script rights.

7. Williamsville South (6-2) [6] - Several stunned Billies came back out to the muddy field, amidst a drizzle just short of a downpour, to spend some time on a field that they, like most, expected them to be playing on this weekend. South lost the last two weeks by a combined four points (to the two teams above them on this ballot).

8. Iroquois (6-2) [8] - Knock-knock. Who's there? It's the Chiefs bus driver. "It's the playoffs, so I must be driving to Sweet Home."

9. Canisius (3-5) [7] - I'm always fond of saying that any WNY team would lose as bad as the Catholic schools do when they play Ohio powers. But 58-0 through three quarters? Against a team that entered the game 4-3 and ranked 13th among 29 teams in Ohio's Division II Region 5? Some perspective: Division II is the second-largest among six divisions in Ohio, and there are a total of 24 regions. The top eight in each region -- as determined by computer -- make the playoffs. We shall see what goes down at St. Francis on Friday night, one of the six or seven places I'd like to be at once. Calling Coach K?

10. St. Joe's (4-4) [9] - Gutsy win at St. Francis, great road win at Kearney, shutout of a very good Cardinal O'Hara team might make you think they deserve better. I did. (I thought about No. 8 in particular) But just can't do it with the loss to Canisius.

Small schools

1. Southwestern (8-0) [1] - Cleve Hill visits Friday, yet another game I wish I could be at. Arghhh.

2. Cheektowaga (8-0) [2] - Won at Albion, 28-12, three weeks ago. So you wouldn't think there would be any drama. But we that's what we thought about games that Alden and Albion won last week, hmm?

3. Eden (8-0) [3] - Tough, hard-nosed, smashmouth Raiders hosts tough, hard-nosed, smashmouth Cougars ... and it's on Saturday! Wheew - I think I can make this one.

4. Cleveland Hill (7-1) [4] - Eagles are as ready as they'll ever be for that trip to Southwestern.

5. Cassadaga Valley (6-1) [6] - Last week I wrote in this space: "Host Wilson in what could be an interesting one." Whoops. CV 40, Wilson 0.

6. Burgard (6-0) [7] - We repeat: Bulldogs still undefeated, still beating large schools.

7. East Aurora (6-2) [9] - Blue Devils and Ryan Sweet remain white-hot with game-deciding 28-0 first quarter. Beat Alden at home, 14-6, three weeks ago.

8. Cardinal O'Hara (5-2) [8] - Keeping them here despite loss at Joe's.

9. Randolph (7-1) [10] - They still get this spot ahead of the team below them because the loss was by a point way back in Week One to Maple Grove, and since then the Grove has stumbled (to a team now out of the playoffs) while Randolph hasn't.

10. Maple Grove (7-1) [NR] - Welcome back, Red Dragons. In one of them tough-to-pick, apples-vs.-oranges deals, Alden's stunner at Depew (as well as Albion's stunner at Lackawanna, which beat Alden just two weeks ago) cancels those two Bs out of the top 10 consideration while a long-deserving, 11th team for the top 10 gets the call. But as it is every week -- that's just for now.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below.

Also, visit here Wednesday for a live chat with yours truly at 7 p.m.

---Keith McShea

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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