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Friday Night Live with PrepTalkTV: Depew beats Lancaster, 19-16, in final minutes (watch the winning TD here); NT wins T-NT, 35-0

It's an interesting night as we get the final week of the Section VI football season started. Communities will gather for rivalry games while most of the league games being played tonight will have some sort of impact on completing the sectional playoff field.

We will have PrepTalkTV team members on hand at the T-NT and Lancaster-Depew games; I'll be stopping in at both of those games and perhaps another while I'll be providing updates from all over Western New York all evening. So stay tuned, or check back and hit up that refresh button.

5:30 p.m. Plenty of pageantry on hand here at Clint Small Stadium as the T-NT ceremonies begin with the senior cheerleaders and players being honored in a pregame program. Streets nearby are closed off to account for the large crowd, the red-and-blue supporters of the Lumberjacks are filling up the visitor bleachers while there are plenty of fans in Tonawanda Warrior maroon in the large home bleacher. 

5:58 p.m. A great National Anthem -- and in typical fashion at Tonawanda games -- a freight train roars by the elevated track just south of the stadium midway through the song.

5:59 p.m. Nice touch as Rick Casata and Larry Bodie -- members of the all-time All-WNY team we selected a few years ago -- were honorary captains.


6:04 p.m. The T-NT game has begun as it has the last few years as NT scores on its first drive. It moved the ball fairly easily before Dan Montesanti took a pitch to the left and scored a 21-yard TOUCHDOWN. The run failed and NT has a 6-0 lead with 9:29 left in the first quarter.

6:09 p.m. First down for Tonawanda.

6:12 p.m. Tonawanda punts and NT takes over at its 20-yard line.

6:14 p.m. This matchup of a AA school with a ton of players on its sideline and a B school with maybe 11 reserves is personified in a Tonawanda defensive back. No. 9 Cody Wankasky, a junior who can't be taller than 5-foot-5, but he's in the mix on all the plays, throwing his body at guys like the much more mammoth Dan Montesanti (6-1, 215 senior).

6:15 p.m. Tonawanda gets good pressure on Joe Montesanti, playing quarterback, which forces an intentional grounding penalty, a loss of down and forces an NT punt. Tonawanda takes over on its 35 with 3:38 to play. Nice job early by Tonawanda.


6:27 p.m. That was quick. NT takes over after a punt and soon after Joe Montesanti keeps the ball on an option run to the right and he goes 69 yards for the TOUCHDOWN on what is the final play of the first quarter. Rob Wikierski adds a two-point run for a 14-0 lead for NT.

6:33 p.m. Tyler Hughes with an interception of a Joe Montesanti third-down pass and Tonawanda takes over at its 23 with 8:10 left in the second quarter. Hughes followed that up with a 20-yard first-down run to the Tonawanda 43.

6:35 p.m. A fumbled shotgun snap is scooped up by senior Luke Zacher and returned 20 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. The two-point conversion pass fails and NT leads 20-0 with 7:40 left in the second quarter.

7:04 p.m. At HALFTIME, NT leads Tonawanda, 20-0.

Here are some highlights from the first half thanks to video reporter Lauren Mariacher:

I made my way down to the field for the final minutes of the first half and was right next to Mariacher as Tonawanda executed a great screen pass play on third-and-17 from its own 47 to get to the NT 17 with 2:22 left in the half -- Warrior fans were fired up after that one. However, on the next play, Joe Montesanti picked off a pass at the goal line and returned it to midfield, where the Lumberjacks' drive fizzled in the final minute.

It was tough making my way through the crowd -- there are a ton of people here, I'd guess 3,000 or 4,000. I'm going to be headed East -- depending on how the trip goes I may stop by and see Alden at Maryvale (just kicking off) before finishing up at Depew at Lancaster. I had to get my car out of Tonawanda's grass area where they let me park quickly -- I was parked behind where NT was setting up it's de facto locker room area at the half.

UB's marching band, which it bills as "The Thunder of the East," was to perform at halftime (they arrived in a motorcade of several buses during the first half. I'm typing at the gas station at Grove and Delaware St. just a block or two from Clint Small, and I can hear the band doing its thing.

7:09 p.m. That was quick - just got a text update from Alden PA man Kevin Okiec: the Bulldogs have taken a 7-0 lead at Maryvale 49 seconds into the game.

7:45 p.m. Arrived at Maryvale to update the blog. I've been listening to Depew at Lancaster on WXRL 1300 AM with local high school football media megastars Rich Kozak and Sean Bruso teaming up on a very entertaining broadcast.

Depew took a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard run by Anthony Emmanuele with 6:50 left in the first; that came on the Wildcats' first drive. Lancaster stopped Depew on third down and forces a punt late in the first quarter. Redskins take over at their 4 with 14 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Just got another text update from Okiec as I'm within view of the bleachers here at Maryvale -- but I can't see the scoreboard. Thank goodness for the text: Alden leads, 21-7, with 5:06 left in the second quarter after a 25-yard run. I'm going to try and get some video late in the half.

7:56 p.m. I don't think this actually counts as me going to a game -- I walked in as Alden kicked an extra point to go up, 28-7, with 46 seconds left in the second quarter. I headed back to the car and the Kozak-Bruso radio cavalcade.

I should be getting a text update on the touchdown I just missed in seconds! :-)

8 p.m. Sure enough: Okiec just zapped me the score a few minutes ago.

Lancaster has tied it up with Depew on a TD run by junior quarterback Ryan Radke followed by an Alex Debbins extra point for a 7-7 game with 9:16 left in the second quarter.

8:06 p.m. Depew has a bad punt snap go through the end zone for a SAFETY for Lancaster, which leads, 9-7, with 7:25 left in the first half.

8:15 p.m. Depew recovers a fumble on Lancaster's next possession and takes advantage of the field position with by going in for a touchdown and Depew leads Lancaster, 13-9, 4:58 left in the second quarter.

8:23 p.m. I'm going to sit tight and listen to the game and provide updates until the half before heading over.

8:28 p.m. FINAL SCORE from T-NT: North Tonawanda 35, Tonawanda 0.

Here's Lauren Mariacher's video report from the T-NT game:

8:30 p.m. UPDATES: I heard "Touchdown Maryvale!" from my car and Okiec's text says it was a Bilal Clay 1-yard run with 5:04 left in the third, but I just saw an Alden celebration in the end zone -- sure enough, the text reports a 50-yard touchdown by Dakota Peel for a 34-14 lead with 3:45 left in third ... now another TD by Alden ... Whew.

It is HALFTIME at Lancaster with the Redskins leading Depew, 16-13, after a huge play to end the half.

With Depew up, 13-9, and on the verge of another score, Geoff Franger intercepted a pass in the flat and ran 95 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. Debbins added the extra point for its 16-13 lead. It was absolute bedlam in the press box -- you could hear the home box rooting for Franger to "GO! GO!" and Kozak's radio call was a trip with all the noise. Great stuff.

I just got called out by Bruso on the radio because I'm not there!

Check out Joe Popiolkowski's video of that Franger touchdown.

UPDATE from Prep Talk blogger extraordinaire Milt Latimer, who had someone call me to tell me that Iroquois had a 25-0 lead over Hamburg after three quarters. ... Scott Kindberg of the Jamestown Post-Journal reports that Southwestern is up, 35-0, over Wilson with 8:40 left in the second quarter and he got word from Jamestown that the Red Raiders have a 14-3 lead over OP.

I'm off to Lancaster.

9:11 p.m. Hello from the very full press box at Foyle-Kling Field. Bruso said my seat was saved. There's a sign that says "MacKay" on it. Nice! I'll take it.

UPDATE from Lackawanna: EDEN LEADS LACKAWANNA, 20-6, to start the fourth quarter. Thanks to Steelers hoops coach Tim Foley for that update.

9:16 p.m. Depew has taken over with 2:12 left in the third quarter at its 33 with Lancaster still up, 16-13.

9:20 p.m. UPDATE from Lauren Mariacher -- now Eden's lead at Lackawanna is 20-14 with 7:45 to play. ... FINAL SCORE: Alden 48, Maryvale 21.

9:28 p.m. Depew gets a big play, an interception in their end zone by Sam Sallaj; Wildcats take over at their 20 with 8:35 left.

9:33 p.m. FINAL SCORE: Iroquois 31, Hamburg 0. Thanks to Milt for that one. ... Lackawanna fumbles on a late drive and Eden takes over with 2:51 left.

Lancaster stops Depew, forces a punt, and takes over at the Lancaster 38 with 6:32 left.

9:36 p.m. UPDATE from Lauren: Eden makes an interception at its own 5 with one minute left. Whoa. ... Update from noted blogger Malt Blathermore! Medina up on Albion, 36-14, with just under eight minutes remaining in the fourth.

9:42 p.m. WOW. Depew's Aaron Ertel hits three passes on the Wildcats' drive, the last a slant pass over the middle to Joe Miller for a 46-yard TOUCHDOWN with 1:36 left in the game. The extra point goes wide right and Depew leads Lancaster, 19-16.

9:49 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Depew 19, Lancaster 16. WOW.

Here's the winning touchdown from video reporter Joe Popiolkowski:

Interview time; I'll have more updates from other games as soon as I can get them on here.

Here's Joe Pops' complete wrapup of the game:

10:31 p.m. Sorry for the delay; had a little wait for interviews, then did some PrepTalkTV-ing.

FINAL SCORES: Eden 20, Lackawanna 14. That's huge.

Check out the reactions after Eden's win, thanks to video reporter Lauren Maraicher:

Also big in the B playoff picture: Medina 44, Albion 14.

Dan McGrath told me Depew will be the No. 2 seed in Class B behind No. 1 Alden.

The wins by Amherst, Will South and Iroquois mean that Lafayette takes the fourth and final playoff spot in Class A South.

Randolph wins the D East division title with a huge win over Portville.

OP comes back to beat Jamestown and take second place in AA South; No. 3 will be Frontier; No. 4 will be Jamestown.

Pioneer wins at East Aurora, meaning that B South will have three teams (Pioneer, Lackawanna and Eden) all in the playoffs at 5-1. Pioneer reports that they have won the division on tiebreakers.

* * *

As always, we want to hear from you if you were at any games. Tell us about the players, teams -- even the concession stand.

---Keith McShea

Week Seven walkthrough (and a casting call for game updaters from Prep Talk Nation)

Time flies when you're having fun. One week to go until the playoffs.

Bragging rights and playoff berths will be on the line all over Western New York as five rivalry games are held while the field of 40 Section VI postseason teams is finalized.

On both nights we are interested in knowing what is going on in key games ASAP -- while we do our best, we can't be everywhere :-).

If you will be at a game that even remotely affects the playoff picture and are interested in supplying updates, email me with your name and cell number at and I'll get in touch. 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. 

I'll be at the end of the Depew at Lancaster game on Friday and I'll be on hand for the entire Riverside at Kenmore West game on Saturday.

I'll definitely give you a shoutout here for helping pass the word along during the Friday Night Live and Saturday Afternoon Live blogs. Alden PA man Kevin Okiec graciously provided updates from the Bulldogs' big game at Alden last week.

This week's polls ask who you think will come out on top in some key races. The polls are also available, as always, at our high school home page.


Here are the full schedules for Friday and Saturday.

The Intense Milk Game of the Week is Saturday's 10 a.m. rivalry game between Grover Cleveland and Lafayette heard at WJJL (1440 AM) or through this link.

The game is being billed as the final football game between rivals. According to WJJL play-by-play man/Harvard Cup historian Rich Kozak:

"The traditional battle between the Presidents and the Mighty Violets is the last true rivalry game remaining in the City Schools. For the past nine years, the game has also been played for the Mineo & Sapio Cup for Pride of the West Side donated graciously by 1964 Grover grad Mike Peiro of Mineo & Sapio. The Athletic Department also awards the Paul Missana MVP award at the conclusion of the game in honor of the former Grover Cleveland Coach and Harvard Cup Hall of Famer."

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

---Keith McShea

AA North playoff picture in better focus (updated)

Since our initial playoff breakdown of AA North was disputed by some (thank you!), including during last night's live chat) we had further consultation with Section VI, blogger extraordinare Milt Latimer, a bunch of charts and stuff (and seven cans of Diet Coke).

And here is our updated take on the playoff picture in AA North: 

Kenmore West (4-1): Clinched spot, can win division title by beating Riverside.

Lockport (3-2): Clinched spot.

Williamsville North (3-2): Clinched spot.

Riverside (3-2): A win not only gets them in but earns it the division title.

A loss means they are likely out and NT is in.

How likely? The only scenario that Riverside can make the playoffs with a loss is if they lose to Kenmore West in a close game (four points or less) AND Lockport or Williamsville North beats the other by a lot (16 points or more). (See explanation below).

North Tonawanda (3-3): Makes it if Kenmore West beats Riverside by more than a field goal OR the margin of the Lockport-Will North game is less than 19 (same explanation below).

Niagara Falls (2-3): Out no matter what.

* * *

Why have Lockport and Will North clinched spots? And how can Riverside advance with a close loss?

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head. If two teams are tied, it's easy. If there are three (or more) teams tied, head-to-head only works if one team has beaten both (or all) of the others.

The next tiebreaker is point differential, as defined to me by Section VI chairman Ken Stoldt as a team's total point differential in all of its league games. There is a maximum differential of 20 points (if you win by 20 or more, you only get plus-20; if you lose by 20 or more, you only get minus-20).

The teams' point differentials entering the final week:

Williamsville North is +34. Lockport is +33. Riverside is +17. NT is finished at +6. NFalls is -26.

[Note: I had Lockport and Riverside's numbers both off by one because we at The News had Riverside's 23-16 Week Six win listed as 23-17. Sorry. Yikes.]

The loser of Will North-Lockport will be 3-3, will have beaten NT (3-3) and Niagara Falls (likely 3-3), will have lost to Riverside (3-3) and will own a strong point differential. Any scenario results in the winner of Will North-Lockport clearly making the playoffs and the loser making it on tiebreakers.

If Riverside loses, it is tied with NT, very likely Falls and the Lockport/North loser, all at 3-3. None of those teams have beaten all of the others, so point differential is used. 

Riverside's best-case point-differential after a loss (losing by one) is +16. Will North's worst-case point-differential (losing by 20 or more) is +14. Lockport's worst-case point-differential is +13.

If Riverside loses, NT is in and Riverside is out as long as Riverside loses by five or more (giving Riverside a +12, which would be less than Will North or Lockport's worst-case); OR Lockport beats Will North by 17 or fewer (giving Will North a +17 or greater); OR Will North beats Lockport by 16 ore fewer (giving Lockport a +17 or greater). Those +17 or greaters for Will North/Lockport would be better than Riverside's best-case scenario in a loss (+16).

Here's why: The Will North/Lockport loser would win the No. 3 spot based on winning the point-differential tiebreaker. Then the head-to-head tiebreaker comes back into play among the remaining tied teams, with NT taking No. 4 since it beat both Riverside and Falls.

A scenario of a close Riverside loss and a big margin of victory between Lockport and Will North would make Riverside the No. 3 team based on point differential; the Lockport/Will North loser would be No. 4 because the head-to-head tiebreaker comes back into play (the Lockport/Will North loser beat both Falls and NT).

(If there is an unthinkable tie in point differential, the Section VI handbook says the next tiebreaker is total points allowed. Since the tiebreaker would be between two teams, I sure hope it would rever to head-to-head).


Why is Niagara Falls out? Because the only win it has over a team it might be tied with at 3-3 is over Riverside (Falls lost to North, Lockport and NT). If Falls beats Hutch-Tech, there will definitely be at least a three-way tie at 3-3. There's no possible scenario in which Falls' head-to-head victory over Riverside benefits them. Falls' maximum point differential is -6 (if it beats Hutch-Tech by 20 or more) so it loses out on any point differential tiebreakers.

* * *

If this is not correct, email me. But break it to me softly.

---Keith McShea

Live chat Oct. 13: AA North point differentials, regionals at All High, golf, soccer, basketball (!) and several citings of 'cockamamie'

With one week to go in the Section VI regular season, the playoff picture is almost complete, the football polls are still a little fuzzy here and there and the rest of the fall sports' postseasons are just around the corner (golf has had its league championships over the last few days).

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. 

I promise I'll get to your question or comment -- 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. 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.

---Keith McShea

How The News voted: Week Six

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 Four and Week Five. Here's this week's ballot:


1. Sweet Home (6-0) [last week's ballot: 1] -- Hard not to think about Sweet Home-Aquinas IV after watching both teams put on very impressive performances Saturday.

2. Clarence (6-0) [2] -- The Red Devils are on a seriously impressive roll. How is someone voting for Will South ahead of not only Sweet Home, but these guys? 

3. Orchard Park (5-1) [4] -- They move up based on ...

4. Williamsville South (6-0) [3] -- ... a close call for the Billies until the late going, which followed a two-point win at Iroquois. The Iroquois win I thought was bigger than the two-point score, but the win over Lafayette was smaller than the 17-point margin. Iroquois' loss at Amherst, Lafayette's troubles with other teams lead up to something I referenced last week -- the conventional wisdom of AA being stronger than A (except, of course, in cases of a two-time defending state champion, the current No. 1). With OP's size, depth and talent, I'd have to think it would do much better than Iroquois or Lafayette.

5. St. Francis (2-4) [5] -- 2-0 vs. WNY. The Aquinas results provide further evidence that the Red Raiders should be seeded ahead of St. Joe's and Canisius right now. Next three: at St. Ignatius, at O'Hara, at Canisius.

6. St. Joe's (2-4) [6] -- 1-1 vs. WNY. Big loss to a team from Ohio. Can we all agree that Ohio football is better than New York football? Yes. So, as in other cases, our thinking is that Cleveland Heights would do fine against other teams in this spot.

7. Canisius (4-2) [7] -- 2-1 vs. WNY. Based on their being outplayed the last two weeks, I can't believe I suggested they could be the No. 2 overall team in the state two weeks ago. Another key comparison game has Aquinas taking on Cathedral Prep next week. Bold prediction: Aquinas by three touchdowns.

8. Kenmore West (5-1) [9] -- Frontier's mini-fall moves them up. That rout of Will North looks better and better with each Spartans win. AA North is ridiculous this year and it just might get ridiculouser. Riverside (3-2 league) visits Blue Devils (4-1) Saturday in a great finale while Lockport (3-2) hosts Will North (3-2), Niagara Falls (2-3) is at Hutch-Tech (0-5) and NT (3-3) is rooting for tiebreakers. Whoa.

9. McKinley (4-2) [10] -- I'll call them a clear No. 3 in Class A, which is why they've got this spot. Loss to Will East was a close one in Week One. Sorry Flames, I still really like how the talented Macks slugged it out with Sweet Home in that first half last week.

10. Frontier (4-2) [8] -- Would have liked to see a bigger win over Lancaster, but we'll keep them on the ballot based on the win over Jamestown and thumpings to Clarence and OP that we're thinking all other contenders for this spot would receive as well.

Next team in is probably Jamestown, or maybe Riverside by a chain-link over Williamsville North (which also has a nice win over Williamsville East) since the Frontiers beat Will North head-to-head, and another chain-link over Lockport.

Now, no disrespect to Amherst (yes, it's not bolded. Only teams considered for the poll are bolded :-) ). However, the Tigers should certainly be considered a step behind the aforementioned teams (and probably some others). It is confounding how pollsters give the Tigers a huge amount of credit (No. 7 this week?!?! Huh?) for beating an unranked (and unvoted for last week!) Iroquois team in 2OT. The Tigers' four other wins have come against teams that are a combined 3-18. At No. 7 they are four small steps away from a team (Will South) that it lost to, 45-8, at home. I can keep going ...


1. Southwestern (6-0) [1] -- Battered, bruised, champions, winners of 36 in a row.

2. Depew (6-0) [2] -- Looking for 7-0 if they can win at Foyle-Kling. Should be a fun night.

3. Randolph (6-0) [3] -- Still blowing teams out. Class D fans, remember me keeping the Cardinals here this week despite the Steelers' big home win over Burgard. I just think Randolph deserves that respect, and I think they're that good.

4. Lackawanna (6-0) [4] -- Steelers are rolling. Class B playoffs are going to be madness.

5. Alden (6-0) [5] -- With their schedule this is where they max out. Moving up is certainly possible -- in the postseason.

6. Burgard (4-2) [6] -- They don't deserve to drop for losing at my No. 4, just like its other loss was at our No. 2.

7. Cardinal O'Hara (5-1) [7] -- Hawks can turn heads the next few weeks: hosting St. Joe's and St. Francis before heading to Steubenville, Ohio. They will win at least one of them.

8. Cheektowaga (4-2) [9] -- The Warriors still went OT at Depew. East got the heave-ho from this ballot for being a large school, so the Warriors take their spot, thankyouverymuch.

9. Grover Cleveland (5-0) [10] -- Presidents also move on up and I have them a chinstrap ahead of ...

10. Fredonia (5-1) [NR] -- ... the Hillbillies, Pioneer and Silver Creek.

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

Trying to paint the Section VI playoff picture

After reviewing arduous work of Hall of Fame Prep Talk blogger Milt Latimer and conferring with Section VI chairman Ken Stoldt, here's what's up with the Section VI playoff races entering the final week of the regular season.

We'll start out with some basics, which will make us all feel good because of the mindbenders you'll be reading soon.

Eight teams make the playoffs in each of the five classes (Class AA, A, B, C, D).

Classes AA, A, C and D each have two divisions. The top four teams in each division will make the playoffs. Class B has three divisions and we'll get into that later.

Helpful companions for this fun/crazy/headache-inducing process:

* our standings page, which we have already updated with the weekend's results as well as the teams which have clinched playoff spots.

* our season schedule page, which has the full Week Seven schedule.

* our team-by-team week-by-week schedule/results pages which lets you know exactly how the head-to-head matchups went (this link goes to the AA North page -- fittingly so, but more on that later -- but there are links to all leagues down the left side of the page).

* the Section VI football handbook, which lists the tiebreaker procedures. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition, including in three- our four-way ties (only if one team has beaten all of the rest). The second tiebreaker is "point differential," which you'll hear mentioned quite a bit. A team's total point differential is based on league games only; teams recieve a maximum of plus-20 points or minus-20 points in big wins/big losses.

OK. Deep breath. Clear mind. Calm soul. Full Diet Coke. Here we go:


* We're going to start with the AA SOUTH: Clarence (5-0) has clinched the division title while Orchard Park (4-1), Frontier (3-2) and Jamestown (3-2) have all clinched playoff spots. That is the likely seedings order as well; the only way it changes is if Jamestown knocks off visiting OP and Frontier loses to Bennett.

Wow, this is easy!

As a fellow mascot fan likes to say, "not so fast my friends."

* In AA NORTH, things are as wacky as that division has been all season.

Kenmore West (4-1) and Lockport (3-2) have clinched playoff spots. Riverside (3-2) and Williamsville North (3-2) win and they're in. North Tonawanda (finished at 3-3) and Niagara Falls (2-3 heading into a likely win against 0-5 Hutch-Tech Friday) need some help.

The Riverside at Kenmore West game at 2 p.m. Saturday is for the division title. If Kenmore West wins it is 5-1; if Riverside wins, it is 4-2 with wins over any team it will/could be tied with (KW, Lockport and Will North). If Ken West loses, it's 4-2 mark gives it second place (and a home playoff game) for the same reason -- it owns wins over Lockport and Will North, one of which will be 4-2.

Will North is at Lockport on Saturday afternoon. Will North can make the playoffs even if it loses since it has beaten NT and Niagara Falls ... but if Ken West beats Riverside, then we're looking at a four-way tie that would come down to point differential.

The NT picture: If Riverside beats Ken West, NT is out. However, if Ken West beats Riverside, that opens some doors for NT (since it has beaten Riverside and Falls) and point differential comes into play. The bigger the potential loss for Riverside, the better for NT. Falls needs even more help.

From Milt: "Clarence wins division and gets homefield throughout playoffs -- figuring out who to scout is a nightmare. ... .Lockport is in in all scenarios but can’t win the Division. If Riverside wins, Lions won’t host a playoff game. ... Riverside is virtually in the playoffs, depending on if they lose by a lot to Ken West. Any kind of a close game gets them in playoffs based on tie breaks. ... Williamsville North has good chance to make playoffs, even with a loss. ... If Ken West and Hutch-Tech win, NT is in. ... NT will be hoping Riverside loses by a big margin. ... Niagara Falls must win and hope for big losses by Lockport and Riverside to gain point differentials.


Very similar pictures in both divisions here.

* In A NORTH, Sweet Home (5-0) has clinched the title, Williamsville East (4-1) has clinched second and McKinley (finished at 4-2) has clinched third.

Grand Island (2-3) wins and it's in -- GI is at Kenmore East (1-4). If GI loses, Starpoint (2-3) could possibly get the spot with a win at Will East. 

* In A SOUTH, Williamsville South (5-0) has clinched the title, Amherst (4-1) has clinched second and Iroquois (3-2) has clinched third.

Lake Shore (2-3) wins and it's in -- the Eagles host Amherst. If Lake Shore loses, Hamburg (1-4 at Iroquois) loses and West Seneca East (1-4 at Will South) loses, Lafayette (finished at 2-4) is in the fourth spot because beat Lake Shore head-to-head. Hamburg and WSE need to win by big point differentials and get some help.

From Milt: If Hamburg wins, Lafayette is out as it loses on a three-way tiebreak. ... Hamburg must win at Iroquois and 1) make up 16 points on Lake Shore and 2) have Lake Shore lose. ... If Lake Shore loses, they’ll need Hamburg to be part of a three-way playoff, as Lafayette lost to Hamburg. ... Even if Hamburg wins, it will depend on margin of win for Lake Shore and Hamburg. Lake Shore has 6 point advantage right now. ... West Seneca East must beat Williamsville South, hope Hamburg beats Iroquois, hope Lake Shore loses, and they need to make up 14 points on Hamburg (so Hamburg must have narrow win).


As you may have read at the Section VI site, the the eight Class B teams will be selected this way: The three division winners, plus the three second-place teams, plus the two best third-place teams. For the playoff bracket, the top three teams will be seeded 1-2-3, the second place teams 4-5-6 and the last two spots 7 & 8.

The only thing that matters in determining the playoff spots are each team's league record. Tiebreakers will determine the order of each division; after each division is set, a separate tiebreaker will be used to determine the third-place qualifiers.

The simplest part is that all three division titles have one spot clinched: Alden and Depew have clinched their divisions while Lackawanna has clinched a spot.

We'll go one division at a time, simplest to most complicated.

* In B SOUTH, Lackawanna has clinched a spot at 5-0 and wins the division title with a win. Eden (4-1) and Pioneer (4-1) are in good shape. Eden plays at Lackawanna while Pioneer finishes at East Aurora; both on Friday night.

If Pioneer wins, it's in. If Eden wins, it's in.

In that scenario, B South would have three teams at 5-1 because no other division has any team capable of finishing 5-1 in third place; that also would mean that Central and North would by vying for the one remaining third-place spot. 

If both Pioneer and Eden lose, Pioneer is in because it would take second place in the division at 4-2 by virtue of its head-to-head win over Eden; Eden would be in a strong position at 4-2, but there are teams in the North and Central capable of going 4-2 and then we're talking tiebreakers.

From Milt: Lackawanna needs to make up some point differential on Depew to get at least the No. 2 seed and be home throughout the playoffs. If Lackawanna loses, it could be third in the division. It would lose three-way point differential to Pioneer and head-to-head with Eden. At 5-1 in League, they’d be 7th seed. ... If Lackawanna loses, Pioneer (with a win) gets first in a three-way playoff. If Pioneer loses to EA, they would still have a good point differential over B North teams. ... Eden has a good Point differential right now. But, they could miss playoffs if they lose to Lackawanna, Cheektowaga beats Burgard, Medina beats Albion and Lew-Port wins. Lew-Port needs to make up 19 points, which could be easy in a win and lose scenario.

* In B NORTH, Alden (5-0) has clinched the top spot. One of the biggest games of the weekend will have Albion (3-2) playing at rival Medina (4-1) Friday night. If Medina wins, the Mustangs are in as the second-place team. Lew-Port (3-2) plays at Newfane on Saturday, so a Medina win and a Lew-Port win puts Lew-Port into the third-place mix. 

An Albion win and a Lew-Port win would mean there would be three teams at 4-2 vying for one spot (second place) and possibly two (third place).

From Milt: If Medina loses to Albion, they could be out of playoffs at 5-2 overall. If there is a three-way tie break, either Albion or Lew-Port takes No. 2 and it looks to favor Lew-Port right now. Medina would then lose third place to Albion in head-to-head. If Medina loses to Albion, they would need Albion to win point differential and take second, as they have head-to-head over Lew-Port for third. ... Albion needs to beat Medina, and then hope. Lew-Port would either have to lose or only beat Newfane by less than 16 points. If Albion loses the three-way tie break, they get third at 4-2 (head to head over Medina). But, 4-2 might not get them into playoffs as wildcard. If Burgard is third, tie break procedures likely would favor Burgard. ... If Lew-Port beats Newfane by more than 16, it is assured of at least third, but there they'd need to win point differential. L-P needs to take No. 2 seed: root for Albion and take care of Newfane.

* In B CENTRAL, Depew (finished at 6-0) has clinched first place. Burgard (4-1) plays Cheektowaga (3-2) at Riverside at 2 p.m. -- the winner earns second place. If Cheektowaga wins, Burgard enters the mix of third-place teams.

If Cheektowaga loses, it would need both Albion and Lew-Port to lose and join the Warriors at 3-3 in the third-place club, then win the third-place tiebreaker.

A Cheektowaga loss would ensure that the third-place team from B South would make the playoffs (even if both Eden and Pioneer both lost, Pioneer takes second place in B South on head-to-head, and Eden's 4-2 mark would be the top record from among the third-place teams).

From Milt: East gets last place, but other B Central teams games against them figure into their records (kinda strange). ... Depew likely needs either Alden to lose or Lackawanna to win (or lose) by a small margin to get overall No. 1 or 2 seed. ... Burgard currently has a huge point differential advantage over other potential third-place teams, so they’ll be in the playoffs.


Finally, an easy one. It's all set as both divisions concluded league play last week.

* C NORTH: Grover Cleveland (4-0), Wilson (3-1), Cleveland Hill (2-2), Gowanda (1-3).

* C SOUTH: Southwestern (5-0), Fredonia (4-1), Salamanca (3-2), Allegany-Limestone (1-4).

There are some crossover games between the divisions this week (including Wilson at Southwestern) which could possibly repeat themselves in a few weeks.


We know half of the teams -- we'll know the other half after Friday night's action as all teams conclude their seasons under the Friday Night Lights.

* In D EAST, there's a great showdown Friday night as Portville (6-0) hosts Randolph (6-0); both teams have clinched playoff spots with the winner earning the division title. The remaining two spots will depend on the outcome of Cattaraugus/Little Valley (3-3) at Frewsburg (4-2) and Pine Valley (3-3) hosting Forestville (1-5).

* In D WEST, Silver Creek (6-0) has clinched the top spot and Maple Grove (5-1) has clinched second with Sherman/Ripley (3-3) at Chautaqua Lake (4-2) and Westfield (4-2) at Maple Grove deciding the last two spots.

From Milt: Frewsburg -- beat Cattaraugus/Little Valley and get No. 3 seed, lose and enter three-way tie break with Pine Valley and Catt/LV. ... Pine Valley wins and they’re in playoffs (see Frewsburg). ... Catt/LV will have to win, hope Pine Valley wins by 20 and hope procedure goes their way. They need Pine Valley to win tie break for third and then get head-to-head with Frewsburg for No. 4. ... Sherman could sneak into playoffs at No. 3 or 4 seed if a few things happen. They’ll need to beat Chautauqua Lake, Westfield would either have to lose or beat Maple Grove by 12 or more (yes, it’s a strange scenario). In a three way playoff, Sherman would need Westfield to take No. 3, giving them No. 4 (head to head over CL). If Chautaqua Lake wins three-way tie break, Westfield gets No. 4. Sherman's six-point win over Clymer hurts, as Westfield and Chaut Lake won by 20.

---Keith McShea

Monday homeroom quarterback: Week Six

Believe it or not -- one week to go in the Section VI regular season.

Be sure to review our weekend coverage before voting in the poll below (everything is at the high school home page -- the poll is also posted there as well). Scroll down the blog to check out great photos, two running blogs as well as the Week Six wrapup edition of PrepTalkTV

We'll be analyzing the playoff picture throughout the week, but noted Prep Talk Nation member Milt Latimer has already done the homework for the zany AA North race -- find it at a comment in the Saturday Afternoon Live post.


Let us know what you thought of the weekend in the comments section below.

---Keith McShea

Images from Week Six

The News' photographers were out in full force this weekend, with great shots from several of Week Six's top games. Check out the work of James P. McCoy, Mark Mulville and John Hickey in the Friday night and Saturday photo galleries. Or jump to a specific game:


--West Seneca West-West Seneca East


--Sweet Home-Grand Island

--Kenmore East-Kenmore West

--Williamsville North-Niagara Falls


Video: PrepTalkTV stays very busy in Week Six

Week Six had a ton going on, including impressive performances by the two teams that have met in the last three Class A Far West Regionals. Check it out -- and plenty more -- in PrepTalkTV's wrapup:

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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: Aquinas routs Canisius, 40-16; Sweet Home wins big at GI

After all that went down during Friday night's action, we could be in store for a fun Saturday. 

I'm starting the day at Grand Island, which is hosting Sweet Home in a matchup that always seems to be entertaining (the game is on WGR 550 AM). Afterwards I'll head to Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca, where the Crusaders are hosting Rochester power Aquinas in a 3 p.m. start. I might leave early depending on how this first half goes.

2:01 p.m. We've kicked off.

2:23 p.m. Sweet Home has a 6-0 lead. On third-and-goal from the 9, Jordan Johnson rolled right and patiently waited before passing to the right side to Nick Spidell, who made a nifty move and then took a hit as he broke the plane. Steve Stapleton's extra point kick was wide left. We have just over a minute left in the first quarter.

2:26 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER with Sweet Home leading Grand Island, 6-0. GI faces fourth-and-23 at its 13.

2:31 p.m. GI's Nate Benoit makes a great save of a bad snap to avoid a safety and get away a punt, but Sweet Home took advantage of the good field position.

On third-and-1, Ralph Neasman turned his first-down run into a TOUCHDOWN run by scooting through a nice lane to the right, bouncing off a tackler to gain the right sideline, then got a good block and did well to fend off a tackler with one arm while reaching the ball across the goal line for the score. On the two-point conversion try, Johnson passed to the left flat to K.J. Zinermon, who had great blocking and tunnelled in to the end zone. With 10:19 left in the second quarter, Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 14-0.

2:44 p.m. Another short possession for GI, which had two passes dropped and then turned the ball over on an interception by Nick Spidell of Sweet Home, and another scoring drive for Sweet Home. 

Spidell has starred today -- he took an inside handoff after going in motion from right to left, then sprinted to the left side and outran the defense to the left pylon for a 21-yard TOUCHDOWN with 5:46 left in the second quarter. The two-point conversion is missed when Johnson's pass sails out of bounds. Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 20-0.

2:54 p.m. Another TOUCHDOWN for Sweet Home as Mikal Coleman burrows in out of Sweet Home's tight "Big Bird" package for a 1-yard score with 45.9 seconds left in the second quarter. Stapleton adds the extra point and Sweet Home has a 27-0 lead at Grand Island.

3 p.m. It is HALFTIME and Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 27-0. I'm heading to Canisius' game, especially with a 20-minute half here (at least) for senior day. 

3:38 p.m. Hello from Canisius' Stransky complex, where Aquinas just took a 16-10 lead as I walked in.

UPDATE I got en route from John Hickey at Williamsville North: North leads Niagara Falls, 21-14, at halftime. When I got out of the car, Sweet Home had just intercepted Grand Island's first possession of the second half.

3:49 p.m. Aquinas adds a 26-yard FIELD GOAL by Eric Terhaar in the final minute of the second quarter and the Little Irish lead Canisius, 19-10.

An interesting situation here as an Aquinas fan with a cowbell (which was discussed in this week's chat!) was approached by a West Seneca police officer in an effort to have her move her location in the Canisius bleachers -- just to the right of the press box in front of me. The fan, wearing the 74 of Jarron Jones and I'd have to guess it is his mother, moved down to the front row and is continuing to cowbell it up. Some Canisius adult fans/parents -- including one with a cowbell -- yelled at her to go to the other side of the field, where mostly maroon-clad Aquinas fans have filled up the visiting bleachers. Ahh, the joys of high school sports.

3:53 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Aquinas leading Canisius, 19-10. Canisius' last-minute drive didn't go far, similar to their previous drive. Quarterback Travis Eman is under serious pressure while the Little Irish have cut down Canisius ball carriers in the backfield a few times.

UPDATE via WGR's online broadcast: Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 34-6, entering the fourth quarter.

4:10 p.m. We've kicked off the second half here with Aquinas receiving the kickoff.

UPDATE from Sal Constantino of Niagara Falls: North leads, 27-14, with seven minutes left.

4:13 p.m. Aquinas with a great start to the second half after a great play. Mike Messina took a reverse handoff, running left to right and around the side for a 56-yard TOUCHDOWN. Before the play, I believe the Aquinas quarterback went out to the wide reciever spot to the right and exchanged with a wideout. After the shift, Messina came running in motion from the left. Nice play. Terhaar adds the extra point and Aquinas has a 26-10 lead with 10:22 left in the third quarter. That drive was only three plays.

4:17 p.m. Canisius has a sign of life on its next drive as Mercer Timmis breaks out a 59-yard run, weaving his way down the field, but on the next play, a first down at the Aquinas 27, the Little Irish come up with an interception by Chris Bostick -- who made a great play and will take over at their 1 wtih 8:09 left in the third quarter.

UPDATE from photographer Mark Mulville at today's big rivalry game: Kenmore West leads Kenmore East, 14-6, at halftime.

4:22 p.m. Aquinas forced to punt from deep in its territory, a bad snap leads to a poor punt and Canisius takes over at the Aquinas 27 with 6:17 left.

4:27 p.m. UPDATE from Prep Talk blog Hall of Famer Centercourt: Wilson 27, Newfane 14.

We have a timeout here with 2:40 left in the third quarter -- Canisius had first and goal at the 7 but has moved backwards since then as Aquinas has been all over the Crusaders. It is now fourth-and-goal from the 22.

4:30 p.m. Aquinas takes over at its 22 with 1:50 remaining in the third. On fourth down Travis Eman's pass went incomplete after he was hit as he threw -- more pressure from Aquinas.

FINAL from Grand Island: Sweet Home wins, 34-6.

4:34 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Aquinas leads Canisius, 26-10. Aquinas has a first down at the Canisius 41.

4:43 p.m. Canisius got the ball back at its 24 with 8:13 left by stopping Aquinas on a fourth down, but needing a quick scoring drive, the first play was disastrous. Eman ran to the right on a keeper but was stuffed by the Aquinas defense and fumbled -- sophomore Jake Guy got a hold of the ball and ran it about 18 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. The extra point by Terhaar gives Aquinas a 33-10 lead at Canisius with 8:04 to play. 

4:50 p.m. Canisius' next drive ends with a punt, which was returned well by Aquinas to start at the Canisius 21, and they soon went in for another TOUCHDOWN. Messina runs in the left side from 4 yards out and Terhaar adds another kick to give Aquinas a 40-10 lead over Canisius with 4:07 left in the game.

Canisius scored on its first two drives but did not score after that.

4:59 p.m. Canisius adds a late touchdown as backup quarterback Chris Jugovic hits Theo Russell for an 18-yard score. The extra point misses. Aquinas leads Canisius, 40-16, with 15.8 seconds left.

5:02 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Aquinas 40, Canisius 16.

Third impressive win for Aquinas over a Monsignor Martin school this year (home vs. St. Joe's, at St. Francis) and second straight big loss for Canisius. 

I'm heading down for interviews and then back to One News Plaza.

* * * Check out our scoreboard from today's games. * * *

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As always, we want to hear from you about the games you saw. Tell us what you thought of the teams, the players -- even the concession stand -- via 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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