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How The News voted: Week Four

Every week a panel of voters participate in The News' large and small school football polls.

Here's our shot after three weeks of action.

For reference: Week ThreeWeek TwoWeek One and the preseason poll.

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Orchard Park (4-0) [last week: 1] -- Super Saturday starts with Quakers' homecoming game at noon.

2. St. Francis (3-1) [2] -- Super Saturday ends with Red Raiders' hosting St. Joe's at 7.

3. St. Joe's (3-1) [3] -- This Super Saturday stuff is lining up as if we planned it like a made-for-TV ESPN event or something because the two games include the top four teams on our ballot, these Marauders (impressive out-of-town display in Pa.) and ... 

4. Clarence (4-0) [5] -- ... the Red Devils (who seemed in a different league than Lancaster during a rainy, 20-0 win Friday).

5. Canisius (2-2) [4] -- We did consider not moving Canisius down, based on our standard everyone-would-lose-to-that-opponent-too rule. However, all 58 points in the first half -- even at Erie, Pa., power Cathedral Prep -- was not something that was expected.

6. Sweet Home (4-0) [6] -- These Panthers like close calls, following a close win at Frontier with a close homecoming win over Starpoint. Or, perhaps, as quarterback Jordan Johnson told me (and everyone watching PrepTalkTV), Sweet Home's opponents are better than we think.

7. Williamsville South (4-0) [7] -- Billies rolled past Iroquois, welcome West Seneca East Friday, and all of a sudden that season finale against Amherst has a different feel.

8. McKinley (3-1) [9] -- Week Five's ridiculous amount of good games includes another solid one as the Macks go to Starpoint.

9. Jamestown (3-1) [NR] -- We had a feeling last week that Red Raiders might be better than Lancaster. Now we're saying it's more than a feeling. We'll find out Saturday. That 31-14 loss at OP is far from terrible. The opponents aren't the greatest, but they've posted big wins over Falls, Wheatfield and West Seneca West.

10. Kenmore West (3-1) [NR] -- AA North, as it has historically, seems to be a significant step behind the South, but we'll go with this offensive firepower over what we saw from Lancaster (and yes, we did take into account the rain).

South Buffalo conspiracy theorists want to know where Bishop Timon-St. Jude and South Park are. Timon's 4-0 start has come against two local small schools and two middle-of-the-road teams from outside the area (Timon just crushed Wilson Magnet, which was crushed by McQuaid, which was crushed by Canisius; Timon also crushed St. John the Baptist, which was crushed by Canisius last year). We like what the Tigers are doing, very much, especially without Adam DiMillo the last two times out, and we certainly thought about them, but we don't like them enough right now to put them ahead of teams like Jamestown or Kenmore West. Timon takes on another small school this week in Springville, an intriguing game but one that might not help them crack our top 10 -- a venture that will ultimately rest in how the Tigers do against the MMA's "big three."

South Park knocked off ranked-all-season Amherst, but we can't vote for a Sparks team that owns a loss to Hamburg. The Tigers, with the way they went 3-0, really seem like a team that might be worthy of getting back in the top 10, but it would probably take quite the performance in Week Seven at South to do it. North Tonawanda, with its lone loss a close one to McKinley in Week one, might be a better choice than all of these.

 

 

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Alden (4-0) [1] -- We couldn't have come up with a better Week Five lineup if we tried. Super Saturday is one thing, but on Friday we get these Bulldogs against ...

2. Depew (4-0) [2] -- ... the Wildcats? What a weekend.

3. Cheektowaga (3-1) [3] -- I had them here last week based on a close opening loss at Depew and the major win at Lackawanna, and the Warriors played the part with a blowout of Tonawanda. 

4. Randolph (4-0) [5] -- Man, are the Southern Tier chatters gonna give it to me Wednesday about Southwestern losing :-). 

5. Lackawanna (3-1) [6] -- We'll keep the Steelers here but definitely thought about ...

6. Cleveland Hill (4-0) [7] -- ... the high-scoring Golden Eagles.

7. Maple Grove (4-0) [8] -- Tremendous Week Five extends all the way to the top of the D's, where the Red Dragons play at Randolph.

8. Silver Creek (2-2) [9] -- Black Knights lose at Maple Grove, which one would think would cause a drop (or more of a rise for MG), but welcome to life in the crowded small school poll. Black Knights continue to bolster the D portfolio as a whole with that season-opening rout of Dunkirk. 

9. Pioneer (4-0) [10] -- Latest close win came against Dunkirk this week.

10. Fredonia (4-0) [NR] -- We've got Cleve Hill rated higher based on the points they're putting up -- including in a rout of Gowanda, a team that the Hillbillies had to come from behind to beat this week.

A Week One loss to what has proven to be a solid Springville team keeps Salamanca out after their big win over Southwestern, which -- whoa -- when's the last time this ballot didn't include Southwestern? Frewsburg -- with a two-point loss to Randolph -- might actually be the No. 11. St. Mary's gets a nice win over Cardinal O'Hara but there's too much small school depth right now for that to earn -- as it may have in many past years -- a vote.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below, let us know via Twitter or facebook (addresses below), or join the live chat Wednesday evening (which starts live-video-style at 8).

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

buffalonews.com/high-schools     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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Football | High school football | Poll
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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 | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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