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Saturday Afternoon & Evening Live: Emotional win for Ken West; V-Aquinas beats St. Francis, 26-11 (with video)

As is the case a few times throughout the high school football season, Saturday's lineup is much lighter than Friday's. There are 13 games on today's schedule as opposed to 26 last night.

Speaking of Friday, here's your rundown of our coverage: my game story on NT's wina roundup of the other actionthe scoreboard; and last night's blog which features a ton of video coverage.

I'll be heading out to some stops this afternoon before covering tonight's 7 p.m. matchup of Section V power Aquinas at St. Francis.

2:40 p.m. Check out Joe Popiolkowski's report from the Lockport-Kenmore West game on the moment of silence for Brian Dugan, the popular Kenmore West teacher who was struck and killed by a car Wednesday.

2:50 p.m. Riverside is up, 42-0, on Hutch-Tech in the fourth quarter at All High Stadium. No surprise there. Listen in to the Intense Milk Game of the Week

2:58 p.m. An alarming report from that radio broadcast: Starpoint 7, Sweet Home 0 at halftime. 

3:03 p.m. It's a final from All High: Riverside beats Hutch-Tech, 42-0.

I'm headed to Kenmore West's Crosby Field to catch the end of Kenmore West-Lockport; Kenmore West is up, 7-3, at Lockport at the half.

3:39 p.m. Lockport leads Ken West, 13-7, at the end of the third quarter.

3:44 p.m. Lockport with a big interception and it takes over at the Kenmore West 46 with under 10 minutes to play.

3:47 p.m. Big first down for the Lions after a measurement -- first down at the Ken West 36 with under eight minutes to play.

4:01 p.m. Ken West got the ball back on downs, then used a razzle-dazzle halfback option pass to get deep into Lockport territory.

Soon after the Blue Devils scored on a 10-yard TOUCHDOWN run by junior back Martin Bailey.

They then added the extra point from senior Nick Fisher for a 14-13 lead with 2:09 to play.

Balloons were released after Kenmore West's win in honor of the late Brian Dugan. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 5:19 p.m. My apologies for the delay.

Kenmore West scores an emotional win on an emotional day, beating Lockport, 14-13. 

The Ken-Ton community paid tribute to late teacher and coach Dugan before, during and after the game. There was an emotional ceremony to honor Dugan following the game. You'll be able to see that in a special PrepTalkTV video Joe Popiolkowski is producing; we were putting together that video following the game as well. My apologies for not updating the blog before we did that.

Lockport's last-ditch drive didn't last long as junior Nick Hersey stepped in front of a long pass for an interception with 59.6 seconds left. Kenmore West ran out the clock.

The postgame ceremony included tributes from Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda superintendent Mark Mondanaro, Board of Education president Bob Dana, principal Karen Geelan and fellow teacher Samuel Drago.

A large gathering of Dugan's family, students and teachers gathered on the field for the ceremony, and blue and white balloons were let go into the sky at its conclusion.

** Click here for our special PrepTalkTV episode on Ken West's victory and tribute to Dugan **

Coworker Joe Popiolkowski did a tremendous job reporting from the scene and producing the video.

6:37 p.m. We're at St. Francis to get some work done before the 7 p.m. kickoff.

7 p.m. We are right on schedule -- I just got done with my work (writing up some Ken West game info for tomorrow's paper) and we're ready to kick off -- St. Francis is kicking off to Aquinas, which starts on its 20 after a touchback.

Sidenote: This is my first time in the new press box atop the new bleachers -- which are on the opposite side of the field. I swear when I parked my car, I started walking to the wrong side of the field. Wacky. A top-notch press box, for those scoring at home. One main area in the middle, an auxiliary booths on each side, plus standing/filming room on each side of the box.

7:09 p.m. Aquinas scores a TOUCHDOWN on that first drive, with Mike Messina driving behind a pile for what appeared to be a 2-yard score. Aquinas' Eric Terhaar hits the extra point for a 7-0 Aquinas lead over St. Francis with 6:29 left in the first quarter

7:18 p.m. St. Francis with a nice drive -- some penalties hold them up a bit but they've got to be happy about getting points out of it after a 41-yard FIELD GOAL by senior Nicholas Borgese. A low, booming line drive of a kick by Borgese. Yardage was announced as 41; I might have to check on that later. 

Junior Akeel Lynch, a transfer from Toronto, had some nice runs on that drive -- he had some big holes, but man, was he quick to get through them and get to the outside. He had runs of 11 and 18 yards on the drive.

7:25 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER with Aquinas leading St. Francis, 7-3. Aquinas faces a third-and-1 at the St. Francis 46. 

7:29 p.m. Aquinas has another TOUCHDOWN and in spectacular fashion. Messina went on a run up the middle and spun off at least two packs of tacklers -- if that wasn't impressive enough, he refused to be felled on another tackle attempt, putting a hand on the ground to enable him to keep his feet and he kept running for the end zone on a 41-yard run. Whoa. The drive started at the Aquinas 20. Terhaar adds another extra point and it is 14-3 Aquinas with 10:33 left in the second quarter.

** You can listen to the game via St. Francis' broadcast at its Web site. **

7:38 p.m. St. Francis punts, but then gets the ball back on a nice interception by senior Austin Zakroczemski, who jumped in front of a pass to the right side and made a diving catch. St. Francis has the ball at the Aquinas 47 with 6:05 left in the second. 

7:48 p.m. A crazy play here. With St. Francis facing a third-and-19 at its 41, Jake Kulig nearly sacked sophomore quarterback Brian Melisz, who tried to throw it away but it went right into the arms of Marc Pettrone, who ran it in for what would have been a devastating score.

However, the play was apparently ruled dead -- a double personal foul was issued to Aquinas and a player was ejected, but I'm not sure who. The end result was the Aquinas got possession, but they were pushed back to its own 24.

8:04 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Aquinas leading St. Francis, 14-3. 

Aquinas had about a 30-yard field goal miss on the final play of the half -- it was a high, good-looking kick by Terhaar, but the officials waved no good. Terhaar raised his hands as if to say, "huh?"

8:40 p.m. St. Francis started the second half with a long, great drive that ended with a TOUCHDOWN by junior fullback RauDric Parks on fourth-and-goal at the 1. Brian Melisz calmly hit an open Jacob Podger in the back left corner of the end zone on the conversion, and the Aquinas lead is 14-11 with 3:10 left in the third quarter. Hmmm.

8:48 p.m. Aquinas comes back on its next drive with a TOUCHDOWN as junior quarterback Cory Benedetto put up a pretty pass down the left side to a wide open Chris Bostick for a 37-yard score. The  point-after kick is no good and Aquinas leads St. Francis, 20-11, with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.

A huge play on the drive was a pretty Benedetto pass to Jahmahl Pardner on the left side on third-and-19 from the Aquinas 18. The 46-yard pass play moved Aquinas to the St. Francis 36, and the Little Irish scored two plays later. 

8:52 p.m. It is the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER with Aquinas leading St. Francis, 20-11.

9:12 p.m. This one should go Aquinas' way. Messina added a 2-yard TOUCHDOWN with 8:39 left in the fourth quarter which was set up by a great, 37-yard run by Messina. The extra point missed and Aquinas had a 26-11 lead.

St. Francis' next possession just came to an end -- on third-and-10 at the Aquinas 42, Brian Melisz was intercepted a few steps outside the end zone by Bostick. Aquinas takes over with 5:32 left in the game. 

Sorry for the delay -- was working on my story and researching Aquinas' success against the Monsignor Martin Association. This is shaping up to be the 19th straight win for the Rochester private school (and member of Section V) over Monsignor Martin teams.

[Note added Sunday: It's the 19th straight win. I originally reported 18. I miscounted like an idiot.-KM]

9:24 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Aquinas beats St. Francis, 26-11.

Time for interviews and some running around for me ... 

I caught up with Messina and Aquinas coach Chris Battaglia:

* * *

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

---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.

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