Today could be one of the most eventful Saturdays of the high school football season as we've got a ton of quantity and quality.
I'm starting the day at one of the best matchups of the season in Williamsville South at Grand Island -- those teams split two tremendous games last year. Both won on the opponent's home field, including GI winning at South on a last-minute field goal in the sectional semifinals.
Tonight I'll be at Clarence for the Red Devils big game with Orchard Park -- a rare Saturday night game here in Western New York.
In addition to the major games I'll be at, there are plenty of other meaningful contests from big league games to intriguing matchups between WNY's top Catholic schools and some top programs from downstate.
If you haven't checked it out already, Friday Night Live has our travels from an exciting opening night of Week Two action.
1:20 p.m. I started the day by stopping at St. Joe's, which fell behind, 7-0, as Monsignor Farrell of New York City stuffed St. Joe's in three-and-out on its opening drive, then scored on its opening drive.
Here's a look at St. Joe's quarterback Chad Kelly's arm on a close-call on the Marauders' second possession:
Report from state football guru Mark Adair at St. Joe's: Canisius had a 27-7 lead with three minutes left in the first half of its game with St. John the Baptist of Long Island.
Report from famed blogger Milt Latimer: Canisius had a 41-7 lead after the third quarter.
2:16 p.m. We have our first score of the game. On first-and-goal at the 4, Williamsville South standout quarterback Joe Licata rolls right and hits Sam DiVita for a TOUCHDOWN. The extra point is good from Josh Neuss and South is up, 7-0.
2:24 p.m. We're tied at 7-7 after an impressive drive by Grand Island -- quarterback Tom Dzielski hits Nick Kellner on the left side for a 26-yard TOUCHDOWN. Nate Benoit (he of the game-winning field goal last year) kicks the extra point and we're tied at 7-7 with 1:46 left in the first quarter.
2:32 p.m. South strikes back and takes a 14-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter. Licata had nice time to find Kevin O'Connell down the right side, putting the ball perfectly to him in stride as for an over-the-shoulder catch just as he crossed the goal line on a 32-yard TOUCHDOWN with 11:53 left in the second quarter. Neuss added the extra point.
Here's my iPhone video from the press box:
2:49 p.m. It was Grand Island's turn, and they oblige with a TOUCHDOWN with 2:27 left in the second. Dzielski put up a very pretty pass to Kellner, who made a tremendous diving catch in the back right corner of the end zone on what was a third-and-goal play from the 11. GI's extra point kick had a bad snap so Williamsville South leads Grand Island, 14-13.
2:58 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with South leading GI, 14-13.
South had a big opportunity late in the half but Pat Gallagher came up with a big interception for GI in the end zone. Licata rolled right and threw but Gallagher stepped up from his spot in the end zone and ran it out to the 5. GI took a knee and ran out the clock.
3:03 p.m. Report from media/coaching star Sean Bruso at Niagara Falls, where the Wolverines have a 12-7 lead on Kenmore West at halftime. Bruso's text reports that Ken West was driving at the end of the first half but threw an interception; on the next play Dale Stewart went 90 yards for a touchdown to send some serious momentum Falls' way at the break. Falls likes those big plays near the half (returned second-half kickoff last week to beat Riverside).
Report from video reporter Joe Popiolkowski at St. Joe's, where the Marauders have fought back to a 14-12 deficit in the second half.
3:12 p.m. Another report from Bruso ... Didn't I say Falls likes big plays at the half? Stewart just returned the second-half opening kick for a touchdown to put Falls up, 18-7.
3:18 p.m. Second half has started with South starting at its 25 after a nice kickoff and coverage.
3:30 p.m. The teams traded short possessions to open the first half -- the defense has stepped up here. South has the ball and a first down at its 43 after a tremendous hands-over-his-head catch by Phil Stasiak of a Licata pass down the left side for a 22-yard gain.
3:34 p.m. South has another nice offensive play and another TOUCHDOWN. Licata showed why he has already verbally committed to the University at Buffalo -- he put up a perfect pass down the left side. He couldn't have hit Billy Jacobbi in stride any better as he made the catch just a yard or two before running in to the end zone for a 27-yard score. South leads, 20-13, with 7:46 left in the third quarter.
Here's the video of the pretty pass:
3:40 p.m. BIG momentum swing here. Stasiak intercepted Grand Island on its first play from scrimmage after South's score to put the Billies at the Grand Island 36 with 7:34 left. Four plays later, Licata hit Kevin O'Connell on the right side, and O'Connell did a very nice job to dive and break the plane of the end zone just over the right pylon.
Here's the video from that one:
South added a two-point conversion when Licata laser-beamed the ball to Buddy Ammerman on the left side for a catch and a 28-13 lead for South with 5:56 left in the third.
UPDATE from Joe Pops at St. Joe's -- the place must be going nuts. The Marauders have gone ahead, 20-14, on a touchdown and a two-point conversion with a minute remaining.
3:47 p.m. Impressive defense from South continues here in the third as well. They force three GI incompletions for a three-and-out; the Vikings tried a fake punt that worked for what would have been a first down but it was called back on a holding penalty. GI punted it away and South takes over at its 32 with 5:21 left in the third.
UPDATE from Joe Pops at St. Joe's -- Monsignor Farrell scores a touchdown in the last minute and the extra point is good for a 21-20 victory. WHOA.
Here's Joe Pops' video from that one:
3:54 p.m. Talk about an extremely impressive third quarter by Williamsville South. Licata goes in from the 1-foot line on a quarterback sneak to give the Billies a 34-13 lead with 34.3 seconds left in the third. Buddy Ammerman had two strong first-down runs during the series while Licata hit Sam DaVita for a 19-yard gain on third-and-9 from the GI 20 to set up the Licata sneak for the score.
3:57 p.m. It is the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER with Will South leading Grand Island, 34-13.
4:04 p.m. UPDATE from Sean Bruso: North Tonawanda and Lockport tied at 14-14 in overtime. Whoaaaaa.
4:10 p.m. Grand Island's next possession ended on an incompletion in the end zone on fourth-and-goal; South has the ball and has earned two first downs on a drive here as the clock winds under five minutes to play.
4:24 p.m. A late drive by Grand Island ends with an interception by Luke Falzone deep in Will South territory; there's 2:39 left to play.
UPDATE from Bruso: He left Falls with Falls up, 22-7, then listened to the NT-Lockport game on WLVL radio -- and he heard quite a finish as his text says Lockport beat NT, 21-20, in overtime. That would put Niagara Falls at 2-0 in Class AA North and North Tonawanda at 0-2 -- which I don't think anyone could have predicted. Whoa.
4:27 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE here at Masters Field: Williamsville South 34, Grand Island 13.
Time for interviews and I'm on the move ... time to do some video blabbity-blah-ing and write a story before heading out to Clarence.
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There will be more video from South's win over Grand Island as part of PrepTalkTV's wrapup of Week Two.
As always, we want to read about what you saw today as well, so let us know about the players, teams -- even the hot dogs -- in the comments section below.