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Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: NT beats Niagara Falls, 34-26; video from five different locations

Hello and welcome to what should be another interesting night of high school football here with PrepTalkTV and the Prep Talk blog.

Settle in with your refresh button and get updates here all evening -- I'll provide updates from the games I check out, I'll pass on any score updates I learn of, and we have our team of reporters and photographers at several spots in Western New York tonight so we'll have photos and videos from them as well.

4:15 p.m. We love the early kickoffs here at PrepTalkTV -- we're starting at Nichols, which hosts Cardinal O'Hara in the teams' Monsignor Martin League A opener at 4:30 p.m. at the Big Green's Strauss Truscott Field.

Nichols is 1-1 after beating JFK and battling Grover Cleveland to the end last week; O'Hara started with a big loss at Canisius but last week had an impressive victory over Xavier of New York City. 

Week Three actually kicked off last night (check my live blog) with a a big win for Williamsville South as well as Williamsville North over Williamsville East.

4:30 p.m. They are about to kick off here at Nichols, and here's our kickoff:

4:41 p.m. Cardinal O'Hara has a quick lead after a 41-yard TOUCHOWN run by senior Robert Davis on the Hawks' first play from scrimmage. Soo Young Park adds the extra point and O'Hara has a 7-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first quarter.

On Nichols' first possession, they quickly had a fourth down come up but got a first down on a fake in which senior Matt Benedict ran to the right side and down the right sideline -- he was whistled for being out of bounds but the Nichols sideline and fans were adamant that he kept himself in.

4:46 p.m. Nichols calls a timeout facing another fourth down, I believe (the scoreboard here just has the score and time and I'm sitting on the back of an elevated scorer's table, facing away from the field.). There is 4:12 remaining in the first. It appears Nichols could be in for a long day.

Cardinal O'Hara put on a stately performance at Nichols. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

4:56 p.m. Definitely a long day. Nichols had turned the ball over on downs on that last drive (my bad), Davis broke off another nice run, and then Kyree Carter had plenty of blocking and little trouble getting into the end zone on a 12-yard TOUCHDOWN. The point-after pass failed and O'Hara's lead is 13-0 with 3:07 left in the first.

4:58 p.m. Here we go again. Nichols turns the ball over on downs -- I'm guessing they don't have a punter -- and O'Hara scores on its first play from scrimmage. Sophomore quarterback Anthony DiFrancesco lofts a nice ball down the left sideline for senior Maurice Betton, who makes a very nice airborne catch for a 39-yard TOUCHDOWN. Another Park extra point is good and O'Hara leads, 20-0, with 10:57 left in the second quarter.

5:08 p.m. Yikes. A Nichols fumble is turned into what I believe was a 30-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Davis. Park adds another kick and O'Hara leads, 27-0, with 8:59 left in the second quarter.

5:15 p.m. Nichols turned the ball over on downs again -- the lack of a punter is killing the Green -- and Davis soon after runs in for a 23-yard TOUCHDOWN. He made some nice moves and slipped out of a few tackles on that one. Another Park PAT and O'Hara's lead is 34-0 with 5:11 left in the second quarter.

And no, I'm pretty sure there is not a mercy rule in football. Just looking at the sidelines, Nichols is outmanned big time, and O'Hara is one of the best small schools in Western New York. That would be enough for a mismatch, but again, the no-punter thing is extremely hazardous to the health of a football team. We've had Nichols drives go four plays and out, handing the Hawks a short field.

The Nichols soccer team is practicing on the adjacent field here -- maybe one of those guys can punt? Sorry, couldn't resist. :-)

5:21 p.m. While we've been typing, Nichols fumbled again, Davis recovered it again, and the Hawks have another short field. The Hawks take over inside the 20 with 3:04 to play in the first half.

5:23 p.m. The football gods just checked in -- an O'Hara fumble is recovered by Benedict.

5:24 p.m. Maybe not. Senior Brandon Lyles with an interception and O'Hara takes over just outside the Nichols 10.

5:28 p.m. Senior Koran McCoy runs in from 2 yards out for a TOUCHDOWN, Park with another extra point, O'Hara with a 41-0 lead with 47 seconds left in the first half.

5:32 p.m. It is HALFTIME and Cardinal O'Hara leads Nichols, 41-0.

Here's what it looked like -- here's Lauren Mariacher's video highlight package:

6:15 p.m. Typing from the car for a quick update ... O'Hara leads Nichols, 48-6, in the fourth quarter. Betton scored for O'Hara on a 35-yard TOUCHDOWN run. On the second play of the fourth quarter, Benedict caught a pass from Liam Ryan for a TOUCHDOWN. It was for about 19 yards; not sure because I was in the parking lot.

I'm off to North Tonawanda for the 0-2 Lumberjacks' home game against 2-0- Niagara Falls.

6:58 p.m. Hello from NT, where we are about to kick off.

7:11 p.m. NT taking over at the Falls 47 after a Falls punt goes bad and the punter does well to pass it forward for an incomplete pass rather than a big loss. It will be NT's second possession; Falls has one first down over two drives which haven't gone far.

7:18 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER and it is scoreless between Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda.

7:23 p.m. North Tonawanda scores the game's first TOUCHDOWN as Rob Wikierski takes a handoff to the left side on fourth-and-2 and runs in pretty cleanly for a 5-yard score. Dan Montesanti adds the extra point and North Tonawanda leads Falls, 7-0, with 11:17 left in the second quarter.

7:25 p.m. Niagara Falls comes right back, and it shouldn't be a surprise who came up with a big play. Dale Stewart took the kickoff return back 99 yards on an absolute highlight reel play that I'll post as soon as I can. He appeared to be stopped on the right side, but slipped out of a tackle, reversed field, then made some nice moves and used his speed for quite a play and a TOUCHDOWN. Falls' extra point was blocked by Joe Montesanti; NT leads Falls, 7-6, with 10:58 left in the second quarter.

Here's my iPhone video, picking up just as Stewart picked the ball up:

7:25 p.m. UPDATE from Joe Popiolkowski at East Aurora: Southwestern leads, 7-0, after a John Mistretta run to complete the Trojans' first drive.

UPDATE from Lauren Mariacher at All High: Iroquois leads Lafayette, 8-0, with 11:41 left in the second quarter.

7:43 p.m. NT with another TOUCHDOWN as Joe Montesanti passes to brother Dan for an 18-yard score with 6:08 left in the second quarter. A nice drive which included a very strong run by Joe Montesanti on a keeper. NT leads, 13-6.

7:47 p.m. Falls and Stewart again respond quickly with another TOUCHDOWN on the second play of their next drive. Stewart had some good time, bought some more time by rolling right and he directed Marcus Feagin to get to the end zone. That's where Stewart threw it and the connection to Feagin was a 36-yard score.

Here's the video of that one:

Falls' two-point conversion was stopped -- and NT's lead was preserved -- when Joe Montesanti made a great open-field tackle on Stewart on the left side. NT leads Falls, 13-12, with 5:40 left in the second quarter.

7:56 p.m. It's another TOUCHDOWN connection from brother-to-brother as Dan Montesanti catches a quick pass from Joe over the middle, then does a tremendous job to rumble through several potential tacklers before breaking the plane of the end zone. Dan Montesanti's extra point is wide left and with 1:52 left in the first half, North Tonawanda leads Niagara Falls, 19-12.

Check it out:

8:05 p.m. We are at HALFTIME here with North Tonawanda leading Niagara Falls, 19-12.

UPDATE from Joe Pops at East Aurora: Southwestern goes up, 13-0, on another Mistretta touchdown. There's 4:46 left in the second quarter.

UPDATE from Lauren Mariacher at All High: Iroquois has taken its 8-0 lead on Lafayette to halftime.

UPDATE from noted blogger BullsFan at Lancaster, where the host Redskins lead Clarence, 7-0 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. "Two long but point-free drives for Clarence," his text reads.

8:08 p.m. More from BullsFan: Lancaster goes up 10-0 on a field goal with eight minutes left in the second, thanks to a long 60-yard-plus run to set it up.

8:11 p.m. Lengthy halftime here for a nice ceremony honoring this year's NT Hall of Fame class. I'm going to try and get another clip or two up.

8:13 p.m. UPDATE from Lauren Mariacher, who turned on her car radio to learn that Southwestern's lead at EA is now 21-0 with 50 seconds left in the second quarter after a 26-yard touchdown catch by Nick Austin.

8:13 p.m. UPDATE from Lauren Mariacher and Joe Pops -- Southwestern is up, 28-0, at halftime at EA after Jake Swan's 50-yard interception return.

8:30 p.m. Big-time bad news for NT: Joe Montesanti, who on the second-to-last play of the first half took a big hit and was holding his head, is not back on the field. He does not appear to be on the sideline either. Junior Pat Angelhow is in at quarterback on the Jacks' first drive of the second half.

UPDATE: Lancaster leads, 13-7, at the half.

8:41 p.m. So much for that bad news. Angelhow had a few classic NT pitches (reminded me of Mike Tuzzo the last two years) on nice runs to lead the Jacks on a scoring drive. The TOUCHDOWN was a halfback option pass from junior Justin Bacon to senior Brandon Camarre on the right side of the field. NT gets an extra point from junior Derek Wasielewski and the Lumberjacks take a 26-12 lead with 6:28 left in the third quarter. Quite a drive for NT -- not just for tonight, but for its season.

Here's the halfback option highlight:

8:51 p.m. Falls, as it as often done this season, comes back with a score. Stewart runs in for a 3-yard TOUCHDOWN with 4:00 left in the third quarter. The drive included two big pass plays, one a deflected pass that senior Flavian Sanders came down with; the other was another excellent scramble by Stewart to the right side, where he put up a long pass for a 31-yard completion to Quandray Gray to the 3.

The point-after attempt has had three penalties in a row; the first two pushed Falls back; the third was a pass interference call on NT; NT then took a timeout.

8:55 p.m. Falls scores on the two-point conversion as Stewart puts up a pass for a wide-open Feagin on the left side of the end zone. NT leads Falls, 26-20, with 4:00 left in the third.

8:57 p.m. Check out a photo gallery from tonight's action.

UPDATE: Clarence has scored a touchdown to open the second half; Lancaster leads, 13-12.

9:11 p.m. We are at the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER and NT leads Niagara Falls, 26-20. Falls has a first down at the NT 21.

The shots in our photo galleries are much better than this one. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)

9:16 p.m. Falls' drive ends on a fourth-and-8 at the NT 19 when junior Justin Bacon picks off a Stewart pass to the right side. NT takes over at its 21 with 10:30 left in the game.

9:22 p.m. Falls' Stewart is a must-see player. The senior just went on a keeper run that was a serious highlight play -- he sped right, cut back to the middle, and somehow escaped numerous close calls by potential tacklers before breaking back to the right sideline and sprinting for a tremendous, 50-yard TOUCHDOWN for Falls. The extra point by Carleton Gayle of Falls is blocked by Rob Wikierski and we are tied at 26-26 with 7:35 left to play.

9:27 p.m. There have been fumbles on THREE straight plays, with teams alternating possessions each time. Falls has the ball at the NT 38 with 7:02 left.

UPDATE: Clarence leads Lancaster, 28-13, with 11:53 left.

9:42 p.m. This game is ridiculous. Justin Bacon takes an inside handoff and runs for a 9-yard TOUCHDOWN to give NT a 32-26 lead on Niagara Falls with 1:15 left in the game. NT calls a timeout before the conversion attempt.

9:44 p.m. Bacon takes a pitch to the wide right side and cuts back through a great open lane and the conversion is GOOD. NT leads, 34-26.

Updates will be limited because I have to file a story for our first edition.

9:49 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: NT 34, Niagara Falls 26.

10:48 p.m. Wow, can an hour fly by when you're running around like a maniac.

Wrote story for first edition, got kicked out of the NT press box at 10:10 p.m., got the stats from NT coach Eric Jantzi, got quotes thanks to Lauren Mariacher's postgame on-field work after she and I were able (thanks, NT) to set up shop in the NT trainers' room, revised the story for the Niagara edition for our two Niagara County schools, and here we are.

Here's our wrapup video from NT:

UPDATES and finals include two WOW scores: McKinley beats Grand Island at Lafayette, 36-19. Pioneer gets a huge win over Eden, 20-0.

A final from games I was updating you on: Clarence surges to a 35-13 win at Lancaster. Had that a little bit ago but it has been crazy.

MUCH more to come on here, video-wise and results-wise, so stay tuned.

10:57 p.m. Speak of the devil (or EA Blue Devil?) -- here's Joe Pops' report from what was a 42-14 victory for Southwestern at East Aurora.

11:06 p.m. Another final from a game we were monitoring -- Iroquois survives Lafayette, 8-6.

Here's some great video of hard-hitting plays during the first half of Iroquois' win at All High Stadium:

One of the big scores put up tonight was one that's not really a surprise as Canisius rolled to a 54-7 win against Bishop Timon-St. Jude at Timon's Fitzpatrick Field in South Buffalo.

Here are Canisius coach Brandon Harris and quarterback Travis Eman talking about the big Monsignor Martin League AA-opening victory. Some great stuff about the game and the Crusaders' next contest against Cathedral Prep of Erie, Pa.:

Some more scoring updates:

The Cardinal O'Hara rout of Nichols we were at for the beginning of the night ended in a 51-12 win for the Hawks.

Here's a rundown of the other scores: Jamestown 41, Bennett 0. ... Orchard Park 43, West Seneca West 8. ... Lake Shore 28, West Seneca East 21. ... Alden 56, Lew-Port 7. ... Medina 36, Tonawanda 0. ... Depew 34, Akron 6. ... Dunkirk 32, Springville 7. ... Lackawanna 37, Olean 8. ... Cattaraugus/Little Valley 34, Ellicottville 24. ... Frewsburg 46, Franklinville 6. ... Randolph 57, Forestville 0. ... Chautauqua Lake 34, Panama 12. ... Cheektowaga 32, Albion 7. ... Cassadaga Valley 32, Wilson 27. ... Frontier 28, Hamburg 0. ... Fredonia 33, Gowanda 0. ... Grover Cleveland 34, All.-Limestone 0. ... Salamanca 30, Roy-Hart 20.

No huge surprises there -- I thought Frontier would come up with another solid win and they did so. ... Nice win for a Lake Shore program that hasn't had many in recent years. ... Impressive home opener for Jamestown romping over Bennett.

Here's my audio wrapup of the night:

See you back here tomorrow ...

* * *

As always, we want to hear from you about what you've seen tonight. Let us know what you thought of the teams, players -- even the hot dogs -- in the comments section below. 

---Keith McShea


Cardinal O'Hara | High school football | Nichols | Video
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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.

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