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How The News voted: Week Five

After one of the biggest weekends in high school football in recent years, one of the most-anticipated polls.

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's our ballots from Week One, Week Two, Week Three and Week Four.

And here's this week's:

1. Sweet Home (5-0) [last week: 2] - How can Lancaster win at Orchard Park and not earn my No. 1 vote?

The long answer: Because the Panthers just won big on the road against a super-tough top 10 opponent when many thought their win streak would stop at 17, as OP's did; because they are state champions; because they are ranked first in the state (ahead of teams like Aquinas); because last year's Panthers might have been better than last year's Quakers.

The short answer: I had Sweet Home No. 2 to OP all year. I just moved them up.

2. North Tonawanda (5-0) [3] - The short answer to the next question: I had NT behind Sweet Home and ahead of Lancaster all year. I just moved them up. I'm not the only one wondering aloud if either Lancaster or OP could beat NT. I guess this vote says I'm doing more than wondering.

3. Lancaster (5-0) [4] - The second-half Redskins and the second-half Juda were something to watch.

4. Orchard Park (4-1) [1] - Typing a "4" in front of them feels strange.

5. Williamsville South (5-0) [5] - Not ready for top four, not ready for being ranked ahead of OP. Ready for Iroquois' visit Friday at 7?

6. Canisius (2-3) [8] - In the toss-up that is St. Francis and Canisius, the Crusaders get credit for beating St. Joe's ...

7. St. Francis (2-3) [7] - ... and the Red Raiders lose credit for a big loss to a big team in Mooney. But stay tuned, of course. And because you're wondering: Friday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. -- Canisius at St. Francis.

8. Iroquois (4-1) [6] - A closer game might have meant a shorter fall, or none at all.

9. Hamburg (4-1) [9] - Fun one Friday -- here comes Frontier.

10. Lockport (3-2) [NR] - Kind of a toss-up here, but we'll go with a team that went 2OT at OP and was down 7-0 at the half at NT. Note the locations of those games. Just outside the huddle are Riverside and St. Joe's. Not sure others are worth a vote, but I'm thinking you'll hear from me about that tomorrow night.

Small schools

1. Southwestern (5-0) [1] - Must-see team, which you must see at the Ralph.

2. Cheektowaga (5-0) [2] - Great tough-it-out win Friday night.

3. Eden (5-0) [5] - Twelve reasons they're here: that's how many points they've given up all season. Whoa.

4. Cleveland Hill (4-1) [6] - These Golden Eagles scored six of those points.

5. Alden (5-0) [7] - Bulldogs' crescendo of a closing schedule continues with a twist: Nice shutout of a tough Dunkirk team last week, and now this week's game (at East Aurora) appears more formidable than the Week Seven finale (home vs. Lackawanna).

6. Depew (4-1) [8] - Tough one against Cheektowaga. The other results prevent me from joining them at the hip (a la Eden and Cleveland Hill in this ballot), the same reasons we had them at No. 8 last week.

7. Cassadaga Valley (4-1) [3] - Played Southwestern tough. Played like they'll get another chance to do so.

8. Burgard (3-0) [9] - Bulldogs keep taking care of business. Only undefeated team in the Harvard Cup after three wins over large schools. They better be ranked this week for crying out loud.

9. Cardinal O'Hara (4-1) [10] - Quality win for the Hawks against visiting Fredonia (thank you Bob Ball for playing it), which had given up only seven points in their previous three games.

10. Randolph (4-1) [NR] - Rolling since the one-point loss in the opener at Maple Grove, which makes it the top choice for a Class D vote for us ... this week. Frewsburg visits the Cardinals Saturday night. Maple Grove is probably wearing our ignominious No. 11.

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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