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Video: PrepTalkTV previews prime-time programming at The Ralph

The wipeboard and the bad handwriting are back as PrepTalkTV's weekly wrapup focuses on the Section VI championships as well as the Monsignor Martin's League AA final four:

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You can find all of our videos easily by going to the video player and clicking the "PrepTalkTV" tab.

---Keith McShea

Saturday Afternoon Live: Sweet Home beats McKinley, 31-6 (with video); Canisius beats St. Francis, 21-19; MMA AA playoffs set

One spot left for Ralph Wilson Stadium, and it's being decided today as McKinley visits Sweet Home in a Section VI Class A semifinal.

2:15 p.m. We're getting caught up here in closed quarters. I'm in a folding chair in the back of the cozy press box with WGR doing the game on the radio.


McKinley got one first-down run but punted after four more plays; Sweet Home went three-and-out; McKinley has called a timeout with 5:20 left in the first facing a second-and-11 at its 30. 

UPDATE from correspondent Nate Beutel at Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca: Mercer Timmis scores on a 1-yard run to give Canisius a 7-0 lead over St. Francis.

2:23 p.m. Sweet Home's second drive was a short one but a good one as the Panthers took advantage of excellent wind-helped field position to score. The wind is a huge advantage for teams heading right to left on your computer screen :-).

After taking over at the McKinley 30 after a Macks punt, Sweet Home got a 21-yard TOUCHDOWN from senior Ralph Neasman, who made a tackler miss near the line and then burst through to the right side for an easy finish to the end zone. The snap for the extra point is wild and a flailing pass attempt fails; the Panthers lead McKinley, 6-0, with 3:02 left in the first quarter

2:30 p.m. Sweet Home takes advantage of more great field position set up by an interception by senior Kyle Luchey. Nice play by Luchey on a ball that was held up in the wind -- definitely a solid second guess of the Macks passing there. The Panthers took over at the McKinley 25 and five plays later, on third-and-3, Neasman pinballed his way into the end zone on a very nice 6-yard TOUCHDOWN run. Sweet Home's two-point conversion attempt is no good after a shotgun snap goes over Jordan Johnson's head. With 1:01 left in the first quarter, Sweet Home leads McKinley, 12-0.

2:35 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Sweet Home leads McKinley, 12-0.

UPDATE: Canisius is up, 13-0, on St. Francis after a 22-yard pass by Travis Eman with 10:58 left in the second quarter.

2:41 p.m. McKinley is on the board as it converts on its first possession with the wind in the second quarter. Quarterback Marquell Ingram makes a great read after initially going back to pass, then runs cleanly right up the middle for a 5-yard TOUCHDOWN. McKinley's two-point conversion is also no good after a bad snap and Sweet Home leads McKinley, 12-6, with 10:44 left in the second quarter.  

2:47 p.m. We have a Sweet Home timeout with the Panthers facing a fourth-and-4 at the McKinley 44 with 8:45 left in the second quarter.

2:49 p.m. A Johnson pass into the wind falls incomplete and McKinley takes over at its 44 with 8:40 left in the second.

2:56 p.m. McKinley punted and Sweet Home took over at its 20; with 4:50 and counting down, Sweet Home faces a fourth-and-2 at its 44 and appears to be going for it.

2:57 p.m. Sweet Home gets the first down to the McKinley 49 thanks to an endaround run by senior K.J. Zinermon.

3:05 p.m. Sweet Home calls a timeout with :06 left in the first half. First down at the McKinley 9.

3:07 p.m. We are at HALFTIME after a great finish to the half for Sweet Home, who scores a TOUCHDOWN on the final play. 

On the final play, Johnson rolled left, rolled left, then ran past the left pylon for a 9-yard score and a 18-6 halftime lead for Sweet Home. The two-point conversion attempt for Sweet Home fell just short as Neasman was stopped going up the middle.  Neasman had a nice 11-yard run to set up the first-and-goal.

Here are some first-half highlights -- including all three touchdowns -- thanks to wind-battling video reporter Lauren Mariacher:

3:16 p.m. UPDATE from West Seneca: Canisius has a 21-6 lead. The Crusaders extended its lead with the second of two Eman-to-Theo Russell pass plays.

According to Canisius athletic director Jim Mauro, here's the scenario for Canisius, which with a win would force a three-way tie atop the Monsignor Martin's League AA at 2-1. The first tiebreaker is point differential with a maximum of 20 points. With Canisius having lost by more than 20 to St. Joe's, and St. Joe's having lost by 20 to St. Francis, Canisius needs to win by 20 or more to force thing to the next tiebreaker -- which is points allowed among the three teams. St. Joe's allowed 75; Canisius allowed 50 and St. Francis 21 entering the game. For Canisius to jump over St. Joe's, it needs to win today by 20 and hold St. Francis to 24 points or less. 

3:25 p.m. We're about to start the second half here and it appears that some kind of penalty has been called on Sweet Home. Apparently it is a 15-yard penalty for the Panthers not being present on the sideline after the break. That's a first. Interesting call there.

It was just announced; officially it is a delay of game penalty.

Impressive first half by Sweet Home, which, as we've seen before, was hampered by some penalties but overcame them. The score at the end of the half was huge obviously. Gives Sweet Home a nice cushion against a McKinley team which can move the ball.

3:29 p.m. With the 15 yards pushing Sweet Home back, they kick off and a short McKinley return moves the Macks to their 49 to start the second half. McKinley is going left-to-right and into the wind so we're starting the second half as we did the first with Sweet Home having the wind.

3:31 p.m. McKinley's first drive is a three-and-out in which Mikal Coleman had a sack on third down; Sweet Home takes over at its 46 with 10:50 left in the third quarter.

3:41 p.m. With 6:21 left in the third, a Sweet Home junior lineman Scott Schriver is down and is helped off the field; the Panthers face a third-and-1 at the McKinley 46.

3:43 p.m. UPDATE: St. Francis scores to cut Canisius' lead to 20-13 late in the third.

3:46 p.m. Just as in the first meeting between these teams, mistakes have killed McKinley. The Macks had a penalty on their punt return to knock them back to their own 7 with 5:16 left, and on the first snap, a fumble led to Mikal Coleman covering the ball in the end zone for a Sweet Home TOUCHDOWN. The extra point kick is good by JV callup Sean Huber and Sweet Home leads McKinley, 25-6, with 5:08 left in the third quarter.

3:52 p.m. Another error for McKinley, which had been moving the ball well, but the drive ends with an interception by junior Brian Barnes and Sweet Home takes over at its 14.

4:01 p.m. A very unfortunate and disappointing development here as three players were ejected after some post-play activity that brought a total of five flags. Sweet Home's Rashaad Rogers and Tim Oaks have been ejected as has Mileec Deberry of McKinley. After a run by Ralph Neasman, there was some activity at the right (far) sideline and players got together and I believe Oaks and Deberry took their helmets off for an automatic ejection. Radio reports have Rogers being ejected for coming off the Sweet Home sideline.

After all the fallout, Sweet Home had first-and-10 at its 10.

4:08 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Sweet Home has a 25-6 lead over McKinley.

McKinley will start the fourth with a third-and-10 at the Sweet Home 33.

UPDATE: Canisius' lead is 21-13 after three quarters.

4:14 p.m. UPDATE: Canisius leads, 21-19, with four minutes left after stopping St. Francis' two-point conversion following a touchdown.

4:25 p.m. We're under five minutes here.

4:25 p.m. Kyle Luchey returns a punt 35 yards for a TOUCHDOWN and Sweet Home leads McKinley, 31-6, with 3:17 left.

4:39 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Sweet Home 31, McKinley 6.

I'm off to do interviews.

* * * Check out the updated Section VI championships schedule here * * *

FINAL from West Seneca: Canisius 21, St. Francis 19.

That means, that based on the point differential tiebreaker, today's result makes St. Francis (2-1, plus-18 point differential) the top seed, followed by St. Joe's (2-1, even, beat Canisius head-to-head) then Canisius (2-1, minus-2).

The Monsignor Martin AA semifinal matchups are 4-Bishop Timon-St. Jude at 1-St. Francis, and, get a load of this: 3-Canisius at 2-St. Joe's, a rematch at the site of St. Joe's blowout win over Canisius in Week Five.

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Here's our PrepTalkTV video wrapup for Week Nine, which looks forward to Week 10 and the Section VI finals.

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As always, we want to hear from you about any games you saw: Let us know what you thought of the players, teams -- even the concession stand -- in the comments section below.

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Also, if you will be at a game and are interested in supplying updates to the Prep Talk blog, email me with your name and cell number at and I'll get in touch -- or you can just email me updates from one of those fancy phones. We don't need every play or even every possession -- just scoring plays and the score after each quarter and anything else that would cause you to blow up a fellow fan's phone with a text/email. I'll definitely give you a shoutout here, as I have the last few weeks, for helping pass the word along during the Friday Night Live and Saturday Afternoon Live blogs.

---Keith McShea

Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: Alden routs Burgard, 42-6; Clarence, OP, Will South, Lackawanna, Fredonia, Southwestern, Randolph, Silver Creek win

Greetings on what will be an eventful night of high school football. By the end of the night, we'll know who will be headed to The Ralph for the Section VI championships.

6:59 p.m. Just arrived at Alden -- my first visit to the school -- and there's a great environment here with a super-packed bleacher and hundreds of fans standing along the fence around the field under the Friday Night Lights.

Great night at Alden. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 7:07 p.m. We've started. Burgard kicked off and Alden started at its 35; it just called a timeout facing second-and-10 at the Burgard 34 with 10:41 left in the first quarter. Alden has first downs via a big run by Dakota Peel and a pass interference penalty.

7:12 p.m. Alden has completed an impressive first drive with a score. Senior quarterback Tyler Stoldt took a quarterback draw and did an excellent job to speed his way to the left, dodge a few tacklers and then scoot untouched past the left pylon for a 23-yard TOUCHDOWN. Senior Ray Richards adds the extra point kick and Alden leads Burgard, 7-0, with 9:29 left in the first quarter.

7:21 p.m. Alden is off to a tremendous start. Burgard's first drive went three-and-out -- it appears that senior quarterback Darren Sanders is not playing.

Alden took just four plays to score again as Stoldt put up a very pretty pass to the back left corner to senior Nate Bailey for a 26-yard TOUCHDOWN. Another Richards kick puts Alden up, 14-0, with 5:19 left in the first quarter.

UPDATE from correspondent Nate Beutel at All High: Fredonia takes a 7-0 lead on Grover a 2-yard run by Shane Smith midway through the first quarter.  

UPDATE from video reporter Joe Popiolkowski and blogger TML1000: Host Clarence leads Kenmore West, 7-0, after an 11-yard pass from Zach Lauricella to Dominic Principale.

Here's Principale's touchdown, thanks to Popiolokowski:

7:30 p.m. Alden calls a timeout with 18.7 seconds left with a first down at the Burgard 27.

7:32 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Alden leads Burgard, 14-0.

UPDATE from video reporter Lauren Mariacher: Orchard Park and Jamestown are scoreless after one quarter.

Here are Mariacher's highlights from that first quarter at OP, including a goal-line stand by the Quakers:

7:34 p.m. UPDATE: Fredonia up, 13-0, entering the second quarter after a 51-yard fumble return for a score.

UPDATE from Scott Kindberg of the Jamestown Post-Journal: Southwestern leads Salamanca, 7-0, with 6:14 left in the first quarter after a 3-yard run by John Mistretta.

7:42 p.m. Alden has scored on all three of its possessions, adding another TOUCHDOWN after another impressive drive. It ended with another pretty pass from Stoldt, a 5-yard score in which he lofted the ball up to the left side where Bailey reeled it in. Richards added another extra point and Alden's lead is 21-0 with 7:47 left in the second quarter.

UPDATE from TML: Clarence's lead is now 21-0. Wittig scored the second touchdown on a run that followed a failed fake field goal by Kenmore West.

7:51 p.m. Alden calls a timeout with 4:29 left in the second facing third-and-12 at the Burgard 43.

UPDATE from All High: A Chris Holland TD pass has cut Fredonia's lead to 13-8 with four minutes left in the second.

7:56 p.m. Alden got the first down and now has first-and-goal at the Burgard 8.

7:58 p.m. On second-and-goal at the 5, Peel takes a carry to the right side and through a great hole to pound in for a TOUCHDOWN. Richards adds another extra point and Alden has a 28-0 lead with 1:41 left in the first half.

Obviously a very, very impressive opening half for the Alden Bulldogs against the Burgard Bulldogs.

8:04 p.m. Darren Sanders has made an appearance here late in the half. Burgard had a first down at the Alden 15, but Sanders has been sacked on two straight plays. It is third and 28 at the Alden 33.

8:09 p.m. Some drama here to end the half, but Alden's big lead is intact. Burgard had a 33-yard touchdown from Shamari Cheney to Corvonte Jones waved off on a holding penalty; Cheney scrambled from the right side of the field to the left, got off a pass on the run and after the pass was deflected, Jones caught in on the doorstep of the end zone and trotted in. Burgard ended the half with another incompletion.

At HALFTIME, Alden has a 28-0 lead over Burgard.

8:12 p.m. UPDATES: Fredonia leads Grover Cleveland, 20-8, after a Shane Smith touchdown pass with four seconds left in the first half. ... Bee reporter extraordinare Pat Nagy reports that Will South has a 28-7 lead on Will East at halftime. ... Clarence leads Kenmore West, 27-0, at halftime.

8:22 p.m. UPDATES: Lackawanna has a 12-0 lead at Pioneer at halftime.

8:31 p.m. The second half has started terribly for Burgard and excellently for Alden, as Burgard fumbles a handoff on its first play from scrimmage and Alden takes over at the Burgard 29 just 15 seconds in to the third quarter.

UPDATE: Lackawanna now leads, 20-0, in the third quarter.

8:37 p.m. UPDATES: Clarence leads Kenmore West, 34-0, with 10:05 left in the third quarter; thanks to Prep Talk Nation's Coach K for that. ... Lackawanna's lead now up to 26-0.

8:39 p.m. Alden has finished off the first possession and good field position with a TOUCHDOWN after a 1-yard dive by Peel. Another Richards kick and Alden's lead is 35-0 with 6:43 left in the third quarter.

UPDATE: Fredonia's lead over Grover Cleveland is up to 26-8 in the third quarter.

8:50 p.m. UPDATES: Orchard Park leads, 26-0, in fourth quarter. ... Clarence has a 41-0 lead with 3:30 left in the third after a 10-yard pass from Lauricella to William Fitzhenry. ... Lackawanna's lead is up to 34-0.

9 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Alden leads Burgard, 35-0.

UPDATES: Will South leads East, 35-7, after three quarters.

9:11 p.m. Junior Ryan Sosnowski goes in for a 6-yard score and Richards adds another kick as Alden takes a 42-0 lead with 5:29 left in the fourth.

UPDATE: Will South now up, 35-14, in fourth.

9:19 p.m. Burgard scores on a 3-yard TOUCHDOWN on a run by junior Corvonte Jones. The two-point conversion is no good; Alden leads, 42-6, with 1:49 left.

9:26 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Alden 42, Burgard 6.

Here's the video package Joe Popiolkowski put together on the game:

FINAL: Will South wins, 42-20. ... Fredonia up, 38-20, with 3:39 left.

* * * Check out our Friday night football gallery here * * *

Time for interviews and a bunch of stuff. Be back ASAP.

* * * Check out our Friday night football scoreboard here * * *

9:47 p.m. A FINAL from All High: Fredonia 45, Grover Cleveland 20.

Here's Lauren Mariacher's video report on Fredonia's victory:

10:31 p.m. A FINAL from the Southern Tier thanks to standout reporter Matt Wakefield: Randolph 23, Maple Grove 8.

A FINAL thanks to Lackawanna hoop coach Tim Foley: Lackawanna 34, Pioneer 8.

Here's some postgame reaction thanks to photographer John Hickey:

10:40 p.m. The rest of the FINALS: Clarence won, 41-13; OP won, 26-0; Southwestern won, 37-0; Silver Creek won, 27-0.

* * * Check out the updated Section VI championships schedule here * * *

We'll be back tomorrow from Sweet Home to get the final puzzle piece for the Section VI championships, and soon after we'll have another PrepTalkTV preview of those five games at The Ralph.

Finally, I'd like to thank Alden for its hospitality and a great workspace. When I showed up at the gate, I was escorted to the press box by an intern with the athletic department. Whoa. Never had that happen before.

A great touch was the reading of what I believe was referred to as the "Bulldog athletic pledge," a sportsmanship pledge that set a great tone. The pledge was also printed on a sign at the entrance to the field. Very nice job.

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As always, we want to hear from you about any games you saw: Let us know what you thought of the players, teams -- even the concession stand -- in the comments section below.

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Also, if you will be at a game and are interested in supplying updates to the Prep Talk blog, email me with your name and cell number at and I'll get in touch -- or you can just email me updates from one of those fancy phones. We don't need every play or even every possession -- just scoring plays and the score after each quarter and anything else that would cause you to blow up a fellow fan's phone with a text/email. I'll definitely give you a shoutout here, as I have the last few weeks, for helping pass the word along during the Friday Night Live and Saturday Afternoon Live blogs.

---Keith McShea

Week Nine walkthrough: The Ralph is one step away

We're down to 20 Section VI teams for 10 spots at The Ralph for next week's Section VI championships.

With nine of the 10 semifinals held on Friday, and six of them kicking off at 7 p.m., it's going to be a busy night. Here's the full schedule.

I'll be headed to Alden for its Class B game with Burgard. I'll be able to monitor the Intense Milk Game of the Week by the WJJL crew through this link as Fredonia and Grover Cleveland meet at All High Stadium (I'm told it will be an Internet-only broadcast).

We will have PrepTalkTV members at many of the games for our Friday Night Live blog, but we can't be everywhere. If you are interested in supplying updates from a game, email me with your name and cell number at and I'll get in touch (or you can just email me from your fancy phone during the game). We don't need every play or even every possession -- just scoring plays and the score after each quarter, along with anything else that would cause you to blow up a fellow fan's phone with a text. 

I'll definitely give you a shoutout here for helping pass the word along.

now it's voting time: We've added two new polls about the weekend to the high school home page -- they are listed below the polls we've repeated from earlier in the week about who will win each class (check out the race between Alden and Lackawanna in Class B!)














Let us know why you voted the way you did by clicking your way to our comments section.

---Keith McShea

Live chat Oct. 27: Soccer scoreboard-ing, cross country crosstalk, mid-chat radio visit, football poll angst over Ohio & helmet visors of various colors

Our weekly chat is tonight at 8:30, and, as always, anything in the world of high school sports or our coverage of it is up for discussion. With 10 football teams a win away from The Ralph, postseason action getting underway in all fall sports and the winter just around the corner, there's plenty to talk about.

For the second straight week, we'll call a chat timeout to appear on The Late Nick Mendola show on WECK (1230 AM) at 9:30. Here's the link to last week's visit.

In a bizzare instance of sports universe synchronicity, there will be a McShay (yes, that one -- college draft guy Todd of ESPN) and a McShea (yes, this one) on the show. Whoa.

I promise I'll get to your question or comment in the chat -- but please be patient. It can get busy fielding all of the questions and I can only answer one at a time. And please don't enter your question/comment multiple times -- that only makes things crazier.

Here are this season's previous chats: Oct. 20, Oct. 13, Oct. 6, Sept. 22, Sept. 15, Sept. 8 and our kickoff (Sept. 1). Here's a link to the final session of the spring (which also includes last school year's spring and winter archives).

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section or email me and I'll do my best to address it.

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Here's the link to an audio clip of the WECK visit. Unfortunately -- but understandably -- whoever posted it fell victim to the McShay/McShea overdose and spelled my name the way Todd's name is spelled.

---Keith McShea

How The News voted: Week Eight

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:


1. Sweet Home (8-0) [last week's ballot: 1] -- Panthers tend to punch their ticket to The Ralph with authority.

(Interesting note to follow up on my post last week about Sweet Home getting widespread support as No. 1 in NY: this week's National Prep Poll has one New York team mentioned, and it's Aquinas -- which is definitely legitimate).

2. Clarence (8-0) [2] -- Another big number could be put up Friday night. 

3. Orchard Park (7-1) [3] -- OP has a chance to show that Week Seven fourth-quarter comeback (three touchdowns) at Jamestown was one of those we-already-clinched-a-playoff-spot lack-of-focus deals.

4. Williamsville South (8-0) [4] -- It'll be a nice night for Williamsville (although probably nicer for South). To completely round things out, North should swing by at halftime and get a shoutout for making the playoffs (and watch alum McDuffie coach East).

5. St. Francis (3-5) [5] -- 3-0 vs. WNY. Solid win over O'Hara. This ranking still feels a bit tenuous with  Lynch out. We'll find out soon enough: Saturday at Canisius. Note to MMA schedule makers for 2011 and beyond: St. Francis-Canisius should be earlier in the season to a) avoid the Section VI semifinals; and b) avoid having the same teams play in back-to-back weeks.

6. St. Joe's (3-5) [6] -- 2-1 vs. WNY. Big loss at Steubenville, which entered the weekend 6-2 and ranked fifth in Ohio in Division III (third-largest of seven Ohio divisions) by the Associated Press; in the Ohio High School Athletic Association's computer rankings (the ones that decide playoff spots), the Big Red were ranked second of 30 teams in Division III's Region 2.

Big stat from the 59-39 loss at Steubenville: Senior linebacker Dominic Bargnesi with a school-record 31 tackles. Whoa.

7. Canisius (6-2) [7] -- 2-1 vs. WNY. Great win at Walsh Jesuit (coming into the game, its 6-2 mark put it ninth of 30 teams in Division II's Region 5 computer rankings). Check out video of the winning touchdown here (the link should work, especially if you are on the Crackbook). All of a sudden the Crusaders are poised to power into the playoffs.

Timeout No. 1: As great as the win at Ohio is, the earlier results involving St. Francis and St. Joe's (and Aquinas) have to keep Canisius behind its league mates right now.

Timeout No. 2: While we're taking a Buckeye's glance at some teams:

* Cleveland Heights, which outscored St. Joe's earlier this year, is 4-4 and ranked 19th of 27 teams in Region 1 of Division I -- that's the state's largest classification; other Region I teams ahead of Cleveland Heights: national top 50ers Glenville and St. Edward as well as Solon, St. Ignatius (14th -- routed St. Francis, 47-7) and Mentor.

* Cardinal Mooney, which thumped St. Francis, 42-0, is 5-2 ,sixth in the AP state Region III poll as well as first in the Division III Region 9 computer rankings.   

Timeout No. 3: I have seen plenty from the second tier of Class AA in the last two weeks (below), which makes me all the more certain that the MMA three should come ahead of the next two AAers.

8. Jamestown (5-3) [NR] -- They won at Riverside, which won at Kenmore West, which beat Frontier, all last week, to put them atop the heap of second-tier AAs.

9. Kenmore West (6-2) [9] -- The rest of AA North should be blowing up the Blue Devils' Crackbook pages with kudos after Ken West registered the league's only win to avoid a sweep by AA South.

10. McKinley (6-2) [10] -- Strongly considered them for No. 8. Might get there next week -- or maybe even higher?

Riverside drops despite a close loss to Jamestown and a close win over Ken West -- if they played McKinley I'd take the Macks because Riverside has had serious trouble scoring and extremely serious trouble with penalties. ... Next up? Frontier, Will North, Lockport, NT, Niagara Falls, Grand Island, Starpoint.

From the I-don't-really-hate-to-say-I-told-you-so dept.: Who was voting for Amherst again? Tigers deserve props for a 6-1 regular season and a home playoff game (their first in forever). They just didn't deserve votes in the top 10, as McKinley's win showed Saturday.

It's a little hard to believe that there are eight Section VI large schools playing for the right to go to The Ralph and one of them is nowhere near getting on my ballot (Will East).


1. Southwestern (8-0) [1] -- Ladies and gentlemen, your new Section VI win streak record-holder.

2. Lackawanna (7-1) [8] -- Talk about a bounce back: They went into Depew and won the game, and won the Wildcat's former spot in this poll. The Steelers had success running on Depew's huge line (including up the middle), they have a big-play-big-moments guy in junior quarterback Christian Smith and they played some really tough defense. We're officially considering the Week Seven loss to Eden one in which they took a team lightly that they shouldn't have taken lightly.

3. Randolph (8-0) [3] -- Strongly considered moving Cardinals up to No. 2, but Lackawanna won a game that might have been the Class B championship. Cardinals-Red Dragons is a great matchup of names, but I think the result will be something like this poll, where one team is No. 3 and one team is outside the top 10.

4. Alden (8-0) [4] -- A season worth of questions will be answered Friday night (and perhaps the following week ... and the week(s) after that?).

5. Burgard (6-2) [5] -- I seriously thought about these Bulldogs ahead of the No. 4 Bulldogs. Extremely impressive shutout of Eden.

6. Depew (7-1) [2] -- I started the season reluctantly ranking the Wildcats at No. 5 since -- this-may-sound-familiar alert -- they finished off of my year-end ballot due to a first-round exit at home (to eventual finalist Alden).

7. Pioneer (7-1) [6] -- Solid win at home over Medina gives them another shot at the Steelers.   

8. Cardinal O'Hara (5-3) [9] -- Hawks head down to Steubenville with a bigger challenge than the ones its faces the last two weeks (losses to St. Joe's and St. Francis). 

9. Grover Cleveland (8-0) [10] -- Huge game Friday night with the Hillbillies visiting the big city.

10. Fredonia (7-1) [NR] -- Hugely impressive win over Cleveland Hill (56-14) provides them spot.

Silver Creek still deserves to be ranked. Fredonia's margin of victory over Cleve Hill led to this awkward imagery: a Hillbilly leap-frogging a Black Knight (look out for that armor!).

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

Video: PrepTalkTV's road to the final four(s)

The wipeboard and the bad handwriting are back: PrepTalkTV's weekly wrapup takes a look at the 20 semifinalists who are one win away from The Ralph:

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You can find all of our videos easily by going to the video player and clicking the "PrepTalkTV" tab.

---Keith McShea


Who's going to win at The Ralph?

With the original playoff field cut in half, the semifinal matchups are set, so watch our semifinal preview video and let us know what your answer to the big question is now:

Who's going to win at The Ralph?

Here's what you thought in our polls entering the playoffs.











As always, let us know why you voted the way you did in the comments section below, or stop by our always-lively weekly live chat at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Also feel free to help get out the vote by taking our new Facebook or twitter links for a spin below.

---Keith McShea

Section VI football semifinal schedule

We filled out our playoff picture after we made it three-quarters of the way through the quarterfinals (15 of 20 games) on Friday night. On Saturday we added semifinalists as the games conclude.

CLASS AA semifinals
Kenmore West (6-2) at Clarence (8-0), Friday 7 p.m.
Jamestown (5-3) at Orchard Park (7-1), Friday 7 p.m.

CLASS A semifinals
McKinley (6-2) at Sweet Home (8-0), Saturday, 2 p.m.
Williamsville East (5-3) at Williamsville South (8-0), Friday 7 p.m.

CLASS B semifinals
Burgard (5-2) at Alden (8-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
Lackawanna (7-1) at Pioneer (7-1), Friday 7 p.m.

CLASS C semifinals
Fredonia (7-1) vs. Grover Cleveland (8-0) at All High Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.
Salamanca (5-3) at Southwestern (8-0), Friday 7:30 p.m.

CLASS D semifinals
Maple Grove (7-1) at Randolph (8-0), Friday 7:30 p.m.
Chautauqua Lake (6-2) at Silver Creek (8-0), Friday 7:30 p.m.

The consolation bowl schedule and other nonleague matchups between non-playoff teams, as well as the Harvard Cup consolation games, are available on the week-by-week season schedule, which can also be found under "Key Links" at the high school home page.

---Keith McShea

Saturday Afternoon Live: Jamestown beats Riverside, 7-6 (with video); Kenmore West, Sweet Home, Will East, Burgard win

Hello from Charles Dingboom Field for the Class AA quarterfinal featuring Jamestown at Riverside.

Today there are just five Section VI quarterfinals as opposed to last night's busy lineup. We'll be filling up the brackets as soon as we get results today. We'll be passing along updates as soon as we get them.

You can tune into the Class B game on the other side of the city at All High Stadium, where Burgard is taking on Eden in the Intense Milk Game of Week on WJJL (1440 AM).

2:02 p.m. We're set to kick off and Riverside will be kicking off to Jamestown.


2:09 p.m. Whoa. That was quick. After Jamestown went five plays and punted after its first drive, Riverside scores a TOUCHDOWN on its first play from scrimmage. Junior D'Yontae Parker took a handoff to the right side, got some solid blocking and -- as he approached the right sideline -- made a super cutback to get into the secondary, then used a burst of speed to get in the open field, running across to the left side and into the end zone for a 79-yard score. The two-point conversion pass was tipped and fell to the turf. With 9:42 left in the first quarter, Riverside leads Jamestown, 6-0.

2:17 p.m. A punt by Jamestown is followed by an interception by the Red Raiders' Gerald Dixie to set up the Red Raiders at the Riverside 44 with about 6:50 remaining in the first quarter.

2:22 p.m. Jamestown takes advantage of the turnover with a strong drive on the ground. The Red Raiders ran eight times, concluding with a 4-yard TOUCHDOWN run by Joe Campion in which he went to the right and had an open lane to the end zone. Eric Tyra kicks the extra point and with 3:18 left in the first quarter, Jamestown has a 7-6 lead at Riverside.

UPDATE via the WJJL broadcast: Burgard takes a 8-0 lead on Eden with 1:14 left in the first quarter.

2:29 p.m. Riverside appeared to have a blockbuster play in which quarterback Jeremiah Cormack hit Harold Millender on a huge pass play which would have gone for about 50 yards, but it was called back on a holding penalty. Riverside has had trouble with penalties all season. They would have to punt and Jamestown took over at the Riverside 47.

2:30 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Jamestown leads Riverside, 7-6. Jamestown has a second-and-10 at the Riverside 42.

UPDATE from All High via WJJL: Burgard leads Eden, 14-0, after Corvonte Jones returned a fumble 36 yards for a touchdown.

2:37 p.m. UPDATE via WJJL play-by-play man Rich Kozak via text (quality multitasking): Frontier leads, 7-3, at Kenmore West in the second quarter of that Class AA quarterfinal.

2:43 p.m. Jamestown took a timeout with 5:16 left in the second quarter before a fourth-and-1, then they got it -- by the nose of the ball on a measurement -- after a nice, tough run (one of many) by Joe Campion.

2:47 p.m. Jamestown faces another fourth down (and 6) but the pass goes incomplete and Riverside takes over at its 26 with 2:44 left in the first half.

2:50 p.m. A timeout here with 1:08 left in the second quarter with Riverside facing a fourth-and-2 at its 34. ... UPDATE from Prep Talk first-ballot Hall of Famer TML1000: Frontier 7, Kenmore West 6 at halftime.

2:54 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Jamestown leading Riverside, 7-6. Just the kind of score we expected here. ... It is also halftime at All High: Burgard leads Eden, 14-0.

Here are halftime highlights -- including both first-quarter touchdowns -- thanks to multi-talented video reporter Aaron Besecker:

3:05 p.m. Listening to WJJL halftime show in a rare moment where I'm not typing stuff or updating stuff or getting an update or giving an update :-) ... I totally disagree with Roger Weiss' halftime show guest saying Depew looked sluggish at the start of last night's game (the theory is that the rivalry game win at Lancaster the week before led to some kind of a letdown). I thought last night's game was an outstanding matchup of two great teams and I wouldn't put anything on the Lancaster game whatsoever. Both teams were very good early, scoring on their opening drives. Lackawanna won the game, period. 

3:12 p.m. Update here that Sweet Home leads Lafayette, 12-6, at halftime. Whoa. We're about to start the second half here.

3:18 p.m. UPDATE from Williamsville East from someone who said "Milt told me to call:" Iroquois leads Will East, 27-14, at halftime.

Riverside punted after its first possession and Jamestown was pinned at its 1 with 9:58 left in the third quarer.

3:24 p.m. Jamestown is stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Riverside 41 and the Frontiers take over with 6:33 left in the third quarter.

3:31 p.m. UPDATE from TML1000: Frontier has a 15-12 lead on Kenmore West. West returned the second-half kickoff for 95 yards; Frontier blocked a punt and returned it for a score.

3:32 p.m. Riverside, as it did in the first half, looked to have a blockbuster play as Millender caught a slant pass and made some great moves and used some great speed for what woudl have been a 53-yard score, but it was called back on an illegal block in the back penalty -- the play still went for a first down. Riverside, however, had another penalty push it back and it punted. Jamestown takes over at its 20 with 3:29 left in the third.

3:37 p.m. UPDATE: Burgard leads, 14-0, at the end of three quarters.

3:41 p.m. We are at the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER with Jamestown still leading at Riverside, 7-6.

3:44 p.m. UPDATE from Sweet Home: Panthers now lead Lafayette, 20-6, in third quarter. Thanks to the Bee's Pat Nagy for answering my call :-).

Jamestown went for it on fourth-and-9 at the Riverside 16 but a pass went incomplete after a nice defensive hit by Parker just as the ball arrived.

3:47 p.m. Riverside calls a timeout with 8:46 left in the game fourth-and-a long 1 at its 49.

3:49 p.m. Riverside converts on a great catch by Willie Jefferson.

3:51 p.m. UPDATES: Burgard now up, 20-0, after a Shamari Cheney run with 9:21 left in the third. ... Sweet Home leads, 26-6, with a minute left in the third.

3:53 p.m. Riverside forced to punt on fourth-and-13 at the Jamestown 48; Jamestown takes over at its 28 with 5:54 left. A pretty heavy rain has started here.

3:55 p.m. Jamestown calls a timeout with 3:47 left to play facing a second-and-10 at its 45. Both teams have one timeout left.

3:57 p.m. Riverside calls its final timeout after stuffing a run; Jamestown has fourth-and-5 at the 50 with 2:58 left.

4:05 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Jamestown 7, Riverside 6.

A zany end here, with Jamestown fumbling a punt snap, but then making an interception as Riverside was driving for a score. I was videoing a lot of the late action, so my apologies for the lack of updates.

With Jamestown facing fourth-and-5 at the 50, its punt snap in the rain was mishandled by senior Ne'Kyle Taylor, who couldn't get a kick off. Riverside was in position for a game-winning drive as it took over at the Jamestown 42 with 2:54 to play.

On first down, Riverside ran D'Yontae Parker, who went left and got out of bounds to set up a second-and-8 at the Jamestown 40.

On the next play, Riverside went with a pass, but Jeremiah Cormack's heave to the left hung up in the rain and -- storybook alert -- Taylor was able to get under it to make the interception. That gave the ball to Jamestown at its 14 with 2:33 to go; Campion ran for a first down, a face mask penalty on Riverside followed, and the Red Raiders were able to run out the clock.

Here's the key interception by Taylor, as I (and the iPhone) saw it, and as Jamestown radio and Time Warner Cable called it (both were sitting to my right in the no-open-window press box):

UPDATES: Burgard leads, 26-0, with 5:08 left in that game. ... Kenmore West leads, 22-15, late in the fourth. ... More updates after interviews.

4:23 p.m. Gotta love it when the rain picks up just in time for postgame interviews. :-)

FINAL from Prep Talk blog contributor extraordinare TML1000: Kenmore West beats Frontier, 22-15. ... FINAL from All High thanks to reporter extraordaire Aaron Besecker: Burgard beats Eden, 26-0. ... UPDATE from Bee reporter extraordinare Pat Nagy: Sweet Home leads Lafayette, 34-6, with three minutes left. ... Time to update the bracket page ...

Here's Besecker's video report from Burgard's victory.

FINAL from Nagy: Sweet Home 36, Lafayette 12. ... FINAL from Williamsville thanks to a text from Iroquois' Brad Bowen, who was out injured today and relayed Milt Latimer's update earlier: Williamsville East 28, Iroquois 27. Whoaaa. Killer comeback for the Flames.

That completes our final fours and our 20-team field for the Section VI semifinals.

* * * Check out our Saturday football scoreboard here * * *

6:45 p.m. Back at the office doing a bunch of stuff -- very notable that Canisius wins at Ohio's Walsh Jesuit, 47-44, this afternoon. Walsh Jesuit drops to 6-3 on the year; impressive win on the road for the Crusaders going into next week's home showdown with St. Francis. The Red Raiders, by the way, routed Cardinal O'Hara, 35-6.

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As always, we want to hear from you about any games you saw: Let us know what you thought of the players, teams -- even the concession stand -- in the comments section below.

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Also, if you will be at a game and are interested in supplying updates to the Prep Talk blog, email me with your name and cell number at and I'll get in touch -- or you can just email me updates if you've got one of those fancy phones. We don't need every play or even every possession -- just scoring plays and the score after each quarter and anything else that would cause you to blow up a fellow fan's phone with a text/email. I'll definitely give you a shoutout here, as I have the last few weeks, for helping pass the word along during the Friday Night Live and Saturday Afternoon Live blogs.

---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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