Here we go -- it's the start of the Section VI football playoffs. Stay tuned to the blog all night for all the updates, video clips and more.
Our polls received record vote numbers this week as we asked who will win the Section VI championships. The picks are Clarence, Sweet Home, Depew, Southwestern and Randolph. Fittingly, the closest race was in Class B.
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7:03 p.m. Here we go. I'm in the press box at Depew's Constantino Complex after stopping by Amherst earlier.
7:09 p.m. First UPDATE of the night comes from Alden PA man Kevin Okiec -- the Bulldogs have taken a 7-0 lead on Lew-Port with 10:50 left in the first quarter.
Another one: PrepTalkTV video reporter Aaron Besecker reports Joe Licata has hit Kevin O'Connell for a touchdown and a Williamsville South 7-0 lead on Grand Island with 9:05 left in the first. Coaching/media standout Sean Bruso reports that it was 40 yards.
7:17 p.m. Dakota Peel makes an interception for Alden and he later runs in for a 4-yard touchdown and a 14-0 Alden lead with 7:41 left in the first. Kind of expected there since Alden routed the Lancers during the regular season.
7:21 p.m. Bruso and Besecker reporting from South that O'Connell is out of the game with what looks like a significant shoulder injury after he delivered a hit on defense.
7:28 p.m. Alden's lead is now 14-7 as Josh Daul hits Marc Morreale for a 13-yard score with 3:08 left.
7:30 p.m. We've kicked off here as Lackawanna kicks off to Depew and the Wildcats start on their 35.
7:36 p.m. Depew's first drive results in a TOUCHDOWN thanks to a huge third-down conversion on third-and-14 from the Depew 31 in which junior Aaron Ertel hit wide-open senior Sam Sallaj down the right sideline to move the Wildcats to the Lackawanna 13. Three plays later, Ertel kept it for a 1-yard touchdown run and a 6-0 Depew lead over Lackawanna with 8:06 left in the first quarter.
7:40 p.m. UPDATES: Grand Island gets an interception but its drive fails; GI's next drive features a 20-plus-yard run by Pat Gallagher is a long one but a field goal is missed; GI's Mark Lydle blocks a punt by South quarterback Joe Licata; 7-0 lead for South to end the first quarter.
GI then ties it up at 7-7 on a 7-yard TD catch by Gallagher with 11:50 left in the second quarter.
Alden leads, 14-7, after one quarter.
7:46 p.m. Will South goes up, 14-7 on a 32-yard pass from Licata to Billy Jaccobi.
7:46 p.m. Lackawanna comes back with a TOUCHDOWN on its first drive as junior quarterback Christian Smith keeps the ball on an option set up and runs to the right side and cleanly into the end zone for a 12-yard score with 3:14 left in the first quarter. Nice drive for Lackawanna that started on its 33 and featured a conversion on third-and-1 at the Lackawanna 42 and fourth-and-1 at the Depew 19. The extra point is blocked and we are tied at 6-6 at Depew.
7:54 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER with Depew and Lackawanna tied at 6-6.
UPDATES: Alden up, 21-7, with 7:19 left in the second quarter after a Ryan Sosnowski 4-yard run and a Richards kick.
McKinley is up, 14-0, at halftime. Reports from Joe Popiolkowski have a 23-yard TD catch by Jonathan Flanagan in the first quarter; Dajuan Rutledge scored on a run midway through the second that was followed by a two-point conversion.
Here are highlights from Popiolkowski -- an Amherst interception followed by Flanagan's touchdown:
8:06 p.m. UPDATES: GI scores on an 8-yard pass to make it 14-14. ... Grover Cleveland leads Allegany-Limestone, 20-0; thanks to former longtime Grover boys hoops coach Earl Schunk for that one. ... Orchard Park took a 3-0 lead and is now up, 9-7.
Buddy Ammerman scores on a 17-yard run for South to give the Billies a 21-14 lead.
OP's lead now 16-7 after 65-yard pass with 11:30 left in second quarter; that thanks to Prep Talk Nation member bullsfan, a big hoops commentator.
8:15 p.m. Catching up here: Lackawanna's Shayne Daley makes an interception to stop Depew's drive -- which had advanced to the Lackawanna 36 -- after the Steelers' score; Lackawanna punts; Depew puts together a long drive which started on its 5 and reached the Steelers' 24, but Sam Sallaj was stopped short on a fourth-and-10 after making a catch and Lackawanna took over at its 16 with 1:23 left in the first half.
8:19 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Depew and Lackawanna tied at 6-6.
8:24 p.m. Latest update from Will South is that the Billies have a 24-14 lead at halftime thanks to a late second-quarter field goal.
Will South highlights here -- including TDs for both teams, GI's blocked punt and apparently the play on which Kevin O'Connell was injured -- thanks to video reporter Aaron Besecker:
8:26 p.m. UPDATES: Besecker just checked in from Clarence, where the host Red Devils have a 14-0 lead on Lockport early in the third quarter (10:30 left). ... OP now up, 30-7, with six minutes left in the second quarter thanks to a 45-yard touchdown run by Okoya Anderson.
8:35 p.m. Depew kicks off the second half here and Christian Smith returns it to the Lackawanna 38.
8:39 p.m. Lackawanna punts on its first possession; Depew takes over at its 17.
UPDATES: McKinley leads, 24-0, at halftime. ... Alden up, 28-7, on 14-yard run by Sosnowski with 9:35 left in third. ... Clarence takes a 21-0 lead with 4:59 left in the third quarter after a Michael Gelz 11-yard touchdown run.
8:44 p.m. Depew punts; Lackawanna gets a nice return by Keith Taggard and it starts at its 34 with 6:30 left in the third.
UPDATES: Clarence up, 28-0, on another Gelz touchdown, this one for 36 yards with 1:31 left in the third. ... South takes a 31-14 lead on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Licata to Stasiak with 9:50 to go in the third.
8:49 p.m. Depew takes over at its 24 with just over three minutes left in the third after a Lackawanna punt. ... UPDATES: Clarence up 28-0 heading to the fourth. ... OP up, 30-7, at half.
8:54 p.m. Daley with his second INTERCEPTION of the game as two rushers converged on Ertel and he threw an ill-advised pass to the left side where Daley easily caught it with no Depew receiver nearby. Lackawanna takes over at its 33 with 1:22 left in the third.
UPDATES: Clarence up, 35-0, after a Sean Wolf touchdown with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter. ... Alden up, 35-7, with 3:50 left in third after Sosnowski 45-yard catch from Tyler Stoldt. ... South up, 37-14, after 72-yard pass from Licata to Stasiak.
8:57 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, still a 6-6 tie for Depew and Lackawanna.
On the first play of the fourth, Depew gets an INTERCEPTION right back as a pressured Smith's pass is nabbed by Tyler Stachowski to give the Wildcats the ball at its 40 with 11:50 left in the fourth quarter.
9:01 p.m. Depew three-and-out; Lackawanna takes over at its 26 wtih 10:01 left in the game.
9:10 p.m. UPDATES: Alden up, 42-7, early in fourth ... FINAL SCORE: Clarence beats Lockport, 35-0. ... South up, 37-14, heading to fourth.
Watch highlights and listen to Clarence coach Tom Goddard's reaction after the Red Devils' big win, thanks to video reporter Aaron Besecker:
9:11 p.m. Lackwanna punts; Depew punts; Steelers take over at their 47 with 3:34 left.
9:15 p.m. Lackawanna TOUCHDOWN as Christian Smith hits Shayne Daley on a slant from the right side across the middle and Daley outran the secondary, just diving in and breaking the plane as he was tackled near the goal line. The Steelers lead, 12-6, with 2:06 left in the game; Lackawanna calls a timeout before the conversion.
Here's the go-ahead touchdown, thanks to video reporter Joe Popiolkowski:
Lackawanna's Smith is stopped just short after a zany run away from the defenders.
9:21 p.m. Report that Lew-Port's female kicker Meaghan Murphy hit a field goal; Alden leads, 42-10, with 5:22 left.
9:29 p.m. Depew fumbles on fourth-and-1 at the Lackawanna 26 with 34.3 seconds left; Lackawanna takes over with 28.8 seconds left.
9:31 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lackawanna beats Depew, 12-6.
Here's our wrapup from Lackawanna's big win, produced by Popiolkowski:
FINAL: Will South wins, 43-14. O'Connell suffered a shoulder injury which knocked him out of the game and which would be a huge loss for the Billies however long he is out.
Here's Besecker's report from Will South's victory, including Licata's take on O'Connell's injury:
FINAL: Alden wins, 42-10. ... Southwestern is up, 42-0, on Gowanda going to fourth. ... I'm very busy for next hour or so, will pass on updates when I can.
10:07 p.m. Filed story for first edition. Whew.
Lackawanna will head to Pioneer next week. Pioneer beat Medina, 24-16. Lackawanna won at Pioneer during the Class B South regular season.
Orchard Park's final was 51-7 over visiting Williamsville North. Listen to the Quakers' reaction, thanks to photographer John Hickey:
Quite a busy night here as we got the playoffs started. Here's my audio wrapup for Friday.
Here's how the /updated bracket-matchups look.
I'm headed to Riverside Saturday afternoon for their game with Jamestown, and I'll have updates from the other four contests. See you then.
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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 email@example.com 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.
After covering the Lackawanna at Depew Class B quarterfinal tonight, I'll be on hand for the Jamestown at Riverside AA game tomorrow.