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How The News voted: Week Nine

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, Week SixWeek Seven and Week Eight. Here's this week's ballot:

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Sweet Home (9-0) [last week's ballot: 1] -- Will short week and short lineup mean the end to long win streak?

2. Clarence (9-0) [2] -- Domination of Kenmore West another statement win. Can't wait for Friday's finale with ...

3. Orchard Park (8-1) [3] -- ... the Quakers, who offered their own domination/statement with a shutout of Jamestown.

4. Williamsville South (9-0) [4] -- South players wore Billies blue and their mohawks to Sweet Home Saturday. They get a up-close look at them Thursday night. 

5. St. Joe's (4-5) [6] -- 3-1 vs. WNY. Really No. 5a. See below.

6. Canisius (7-2) [7] -- 3-1 vs. WNY. Really No. 5b. See below.

7. St. Francis (3-6) [5] -- 3-1 vs. WNY. Really No. 5c. ...

OK. Pretty impossible to rank these three.

Canisius moves up after beating St. Francis -- although I thought after the impressive Walsh Jesuit win in Ohio that the Crusaders would post a bigger margin of victory, especially when they needed it for seeding purposes. One could argue that if the game is at St. Francis, the Red Raiders win.

But move Canisius ahead of St. Joe's? No sale. What is it about 50-24 that you don't understand?

If Akeel Lynch is still playing for St. Francis, they probably win at Canisius Saturday, maybe even like they did at St. Joe's. But in an impossible selection among these three, we chose to overlook the big win at Joe's because Lynch isn't around anymore allowing the more recent wins by St. Joe's (over Canisius four weeks ago) and Canisius (over St. Francis Saturday) to guide us. What a headache. :-)

The good news: Saturday gives us Canisius at St. Joe's, next Thursday gives us the winner vs. St. Francis at The Ralph. Whewwwww.

8. Jamestown (5-4) [8] -- Despite loss at OP, last week's logic still applies: Red Raiders won at Riverside, which won at Kenmore West, which beat Frontier, all in Week Eight, to put them atop the heap of second-tier AAs.

9. Kenmore West (6-3) [9] -- Big loss to Clarence. Join the club.

10. McKinley (6-3) [10] -- Thought I might move the Macks if they followed through on the potential I saw in the first game against Sweet Home by not making as many mistakes. But in a rerun they kept making mistakes and lost in much the same fashion.

Just outside the huddle? With all these consolation games, I'm not sure I can tell. Maybe Riverside ... or Frontier ... or NT ... or Lockport ... or Starpoint ... or Will East ... or Lafayette.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Southwestern (9-0) [1] -- Remember last year's drama with Eden at The Ralph? Maybe more this year?

2. Lackawanna (8-1) [2] -- Not a bad road to The Ralph: Win at Depew, win at Pioneer much more emphatically than you did in the regular season.

3. Alden (9-0) [4] -- Last year, we (myself included) doubted the Bulldogs and they showed up at The Ralph. Looks like we shoulda paid attention to that.

4. Randolph (9-0) [3] -- Slightest of slides because Alden's performance warranted a move up; I also thought Randolph would beat Maple Grove by more than it did.

5. Fredonia (8-1) [10] -- Very impressive road show at All High. Trying to remember why they didn't get enough poll credit for taking No. 1 right down to the end. Oh yeah, part of it was that the week before they had that OT blip against A-L.

6. Depew (8-1) [6] -- Beat Medina in a consolation game, not that it impacted their place here that much.

7. Burgard (6-3) [5] -- Tough finish after a great year for the Bulldogs, who appeared almost as if they played like they were psyched out due to the Darren Sanders injury.

8. Cardinal O'Hara (5-4) [8] -- Losses are to Canisius, St. Joe's, St. Francis and Ohio's Stuebenville. The Hawks deserve to be ranked.

9. Silver Creek (9-0) [NR] -- Speaking of deserving to be ranked, the Black Knights probably think this is overdue. They have the chance to really rub it in at Thursday's championship kickoff at The Ralph.

10. Pioneer (7-2) [7] -- Is Lackwanna rolling so well now? Or does Pioneer deserve to slip even further? Hmmm. We kept them here and bumped Grover -- our doubts about Grover were that a more complete team would be able to beat them, which is what we think happened with Fredonia. The shows at the Ralph will help educate us in the ways of B vs. C vs. D, so there could certainly be some shuffling with teams not at The Ralph next week and perhaps down the road.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below.

Also, visit here Wednesday for a live day-before-The-Ralph chat with yours truly at 8:30 p.m.

---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.

@KeithMcSheaBN | [email protected]

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