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How The News voted: Week Seven

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls. Check out this week's polls here.

We have one vote in each poll. Here's how we voted in the preseason, Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week FourWeek Five and Week Six. Here's this week's ballot:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Sweet Home (7-0) [last week's ballot: 1] -- Look out Lafayette.

2. Clarence (7-0) [2] -- Good news is that the Red Devils have the No. 1 seed. The bad news might be that AA North has been so balanced and so unpredictable, getting their No. 4 is not too much different from getting their No. 1. 

3. Orchard Park (6-1) [3] -- Nice comeback down at Strider Field in what was sort of a trap game: OP had clinched a spot, long road trip, etc.

4. Williamsville South (7-0) [4] -- South hosts the same team in the quarters ... Grand Island has the same kicker ... Is the forecast for rain Friday night? ... (cue up the spooky Halloween music here).

5. St. Francis (2-5) [5] -- 2-0 vs. WNY. Broken record alert: Super-safe to say that St. Ignatius would beat everyone in WNY other than Sweet Home, and even that qualifier would probably get a Ohioan's buckeyes crossed. The loss of Lynch might make this ranking a bit tenuous, but we'll cross St. Francis Drive when we come to it.

6. St. Joe's (3-4) [6] -- 2-1 vs. WNY. I thought that game was going to be close, but the St. Joe's offense and Chad Kelly did not let that happen.

7. Canisius (5-2) [7] -- 2-1 vs. WNY. Crusaders get a feel-good, get-healthy win; but the 54-6 victory came against a feel-sorry-for, at-least-you-have-your-health Kearney team which ended its season 0-7 after losing all its games by at least 18. St. Joe's beat the Kings, 44-0; St. Mary's beat them, 40-14. Crusaders head to Ohio for what is likely to be the opposite kind of game. It's all about Week Nine (home for St. Francis) and the two postseason weeks that follow.

Excuse me while I flashback to last week's poll while slapping myself on the back, which is very difficult to do while typing: "Aquinas taking on Cathedral Prep next week. Bold prediction: Aquinas by three touchdowns." Aquinas 39, Cathedral Prep 14.

8. Riverside (4-3) [NR] -- Back-to-back wins over Lockport and Ken West get them a championship the city can point to in a first season of great success (five of eight eligible teams make the playoffs), this spot in the poll, and ... whoaaa, a tough first-round matchup against Jamestown.

9. Kenmore West (5-2) [8] -- Have big-play ability I saw in the first half against Riverside, but not in the fourth quarter.

10. McKinley (5-2) [9] -- I'll still call them a clear No. 3 in Class A. I know Will East had clinched already, but the Flames have to win at home against a team (Starpoint) that other A playoff teams beat if they want to earn poll cred. Macks finished the season in style by overwhelming a decent St. Mary's team.

Frontier gets bumped with Riverside's elevation and is probably No. 11. Falcons' Week One win over Jamestown was a while ago (and only 13-0), while the Red Raiders (we'll call them No. 11a) put up a good fight against OP. Falcons have a chance to turn heads again at Ken West on Saturday. ... Will North is No. 11b after a fine finish up at 11c Lockport in what turned out to be a I-don't-know-which-is-worse-bowl: Lockport takes trip to Clarence; Will North goes to OP. ... Amherst is 6-1 after beating a desperate Lake Shore team by a touchdown. But in the super-deluxe version of this poll (which, of course, doesn't exist), the Tigers are behind the aforementioned teams, as well as North Tonawanda. And probably Grand Island and Niagara Falls. I'd think about Starpoint too after it won big at Will East. I don't have anything against the Tigers. Just the way I see it trying to put this poll together. I'm utterly blown away that they are No. 6.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Southwestern (7-0) [1] -- Read this story. A great moment captured in the opening lines by Jamestown Post-Journal's Scott Kindberg says it all.

2. Depew (7-0) [2] -- These guys are big, tough, talented, multi-dimensional, and smart. And if you happen to be in a close game with them in the fourth quarter, they have found a way to beat you. Friday night's win will go down in the history of the Lancaster-Depew rivalry. Now it's just a question of what kind of label the 2010 team has 20 years from now when Wildcat fans are taunting Redskin-ners about Ertel-to-Miller in the final minutes. "Remember in 2010 when we beat you in the final minutes? That team finished the regular season undefeated and then _________."

3. Randolph (7-0) [3] -- Another link from a fine fellow down south, the P-J's Matthew Wakefield details the ridiculously dominant win Friday night. Can anyone get in the way of Randolph-Silver Creek?

4. Alden (7-0) [5] -- Bulldogs' dominant season pays off with top seed, and how: Instead of Lackawanna at No. 7, it will host a No. 8 Lew-Port team it beat, 56-7, in Week Three.

5. Burgard (5-2) [6] -- I know they lost at Lackawanna, but that was on the road in a nonleaguer; the way they routed a desperate Cheektowaga team at home, I'm guessing they might be able to return the favor to the Steelers at home. That also allows me to pull a Monsignor Martin and rank the next three the way they fell in the standings ...

6. Pioneer (6-1) [NR] -- ... the Panthers (loss was home to Lackawanna by eight two weeks ago) ...  

7. Eden (6-1) [NR] -- ... then the Raiders (loss was at Pioneer by 20 in Week Three) ...

8. Lackawanna (6-1) [4] -- ... then the Steelers, who pay a big price/earn a big opportunity to bounce back after closing with the home loss to Eden: a trip to the blue turf of Depew.

9. Cardinal O'Hara (5-2) [7] -- I will stand by my claim that the Hawks will win one of the next two weeks after St. Joe's -- in my top 10 large schools -- lit up the scoreboard on the north side of the Town of Tonawanda. 

10. Grover Cleveland (7-0) [9] -- Nice rivalry win over Lafayette. Presidents are a very good Class C team, but there just are too many very good Class B teams. The next few weeks will show us how presidential they are -- we could have a showdown with one of the other teams with a claim to this spot (Fredonia) in the semifinals.

Silver Creek deserves to be ranked. But unfortunately the ballot doesn't go to 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 8:30 p.m.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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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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