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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. * * *

* * *

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


Canisius | Grand Island | High school football | Sweet Home
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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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