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.
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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taggedHigh school football | McKinley | Sweet Home