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PrepTalkTV: Week Eight

The first week of the playoffs was filled with exciting overtime games and upsets. Here's our latest PrepTalkTV episode:

Here are our previous episodes: Week SevenWeek SixWeek FiveWeek FourWeek ThreeWeek Two and Week One.

You can watch additional videos from Friday night at Prep Talk Live

More sports and seasons are documented in PrepTalkTV episodes are on our video page -- click "PrepTalkTV" there for the archive.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Section VI football semifinal schedule

Here is the Section VI semifinal lineup for Week Nine (Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29). 

When times and dates are official the games will be added to our main scoreboard pages.

Class AA

2N-Niagara Falls at 1S-Orchard Park (Fri. 7 p.m.) 
2S-Jamestown at 1N-Kenmore West (Sat. 2 p.m.)

Class A

2S-Bennett at 1N-Sweet Home (Sat. 1:30 p.m.)
2N-North Tonawanda at 1S-Williamsville South (Fri. 7 p.m.)

Class B 

4-Depew at 1-Cheektowaga (Fri. 7 p.m.)
3-Pioneer at 2-Alden (Fri. 7 p.m.)

Class C

2S-Southwestern at 1N-Fredonia (Fri. 7:30 p.m. at Dunkirk)
4N-Akron at 2N-Cleveland Hill (Sat. 2 p.m. at Depew) 

Class D

3-Frewsburg at 2-Randolph (Fri. 7:30 p.m.)
5-Portville at 1-Maple Grove (Fri. 7:30 p.m.)

Class DD

No game this week.

DD final: Chautauqua Lake vs. Clymer, 3:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at Ralph Wilson Stadium

Monsignor Martin

Regular season concludes in Week Nine:

Bishop Timon-St. Jude at St. Joe's, 2 p.m. Saturday
Canisius at St. Francis, 7 p.m. Saturday

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Review live blog from Week Eight Friday

Go to Prep Talk Live for all of Saturday's updates, observations and scores.

Below is a review of Friday night's running blog.

Who will move on? Follow (and provide) the #preptalkscores

Welcome to the high school football postseason. 

The Section VI playoffs begin tonight. To get you ready, here's an overview from Mary Jo Monnin and a poll-based prognostication guide by me, and my observations in our PrepTalkTV video preview

When the ball gets kicked off, help us keep track of it all at our Prep Talk Live page.

On a night featuring several intriguing matchups, I'll be at the Class B quarterfinal of Lackawanna at Depew, which is a rematch from last year's playoffs (Lackwanna won). On Saturday, Mary Jo Monnin will be at the AA quarterfinal of Lancaster at Kenmore West at 2 p.m. while I'll be at the big Monsignor Martin matchup of Bishop Timon-St. Jude at Canisius at 1 -- perhaps I'll try to catch the end of another game.

The easiest way to get right in the action -- Friday or Saturday -- is to join the live blog on the Prep Talk Live page through your smartphone. 

Another method that has been very successful has been Twitter, where we encourage you to tweet updates along with the hashtag #preptalkscores -- that's the quickest way for us to share the information through the live blog (tweets with that hashtag will automatically show up). You can also certainly still tweet those updates to @bufnewspreptalk and @KeithMcSheaBN

You can also email to or add updates to our Prep Talk blog Facebook page.

Our Prep Talk Live page includes a live chat, video, photos and scoreboards that will be updated throughout tonight and Saturday afternoon. Note: Typing in will also get you to Prep Talk Live. See you there.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

More cool notes & quotes from Bennett (& web radio link)

Sometimes you have a ton of notes and quotes after doing interviews that you can't possibly fit them all into a story. And sometimes you actually have time to gather them all up and throw them on the blog.

Here's today's feature story about the Bennett football program.

And here's a whole lot more from Bennett coaches and players:

First, here's the internet link for tonight's live radio broadcast, which will be done by the Intense Milks crew. The recording of the game can be heard at 2 p.m. Saturday on WJJL (1440 AM), which is broadcasting Niagara hockey tonight. 

Bennett assistant and former St. Joe's coach Bob O'Connor:

"I knew I'd be on a sideline somewhere. I've found a home here with these guys. I like these kids. They're fun to be around. Getting everybody to practice all the time -- that's what put us in the playoffs."

* * * 

O'Connor helped the Bennett program last season out by raising funds for helmets and other necessities through some former St. Joe's players.

"I tapped a couple of Joe's guys and we raised about $10,000 through former players. We bought helmets, and we got more from the city this year. We're trying to expand the programs to the point where we don't have to cut any kids, so no matter how many kids want to come out, we can suit everyone up.

"That was the problem the city always had in the past. They didn't have enough equipment for guys. You never want to turn away a freshman, you hate to cut young kids that want to play the game.

On the differences between St. Joe's and Bennett:

"One of the big thing certainly was there was more discipline at St. Joe's, private school kids are used to more discipline in the school itself. In the city, it's getting the kids to discipline themselves to show up at practice. The kids that didn't come last year are here every day and that's been the change this year.

On the similarities between St. Joe's and Bennett:

Continue reading "More cool notes & quotes from Bennett (& web radio link)" ยป

PrepTalkTV previews Week Eight as the playoffs kick off

I have a feature on Bennett running as part of The News' Football Friday, while Lauren Mariacher has an update on the successful debut season for the combined Roy-Hart/Barker program.

For a whole lot more, here's our PrepTalkTV preview as we break down Week Eight and the start of the Section VI playoffs.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

Live chat (Oct. 19): Video in first quarter, quarterfinal queries, quash quarterfinals? (no way), quantifying Ken West and other items

We're chatting tonight at 8 p.m., and we're starting with a video chat.

I'll be joined by fellow News Sports Reporter Lauren Mariacher as we answer your questions on camera, then I'll go back to the traditional chat and get to your questions and comments there. The video portion of the chat can be found below and will also be available on the home page.

There is much to discuss, including just one week left in the football regular season, the polls, our ballot and my Prep Talk column from today's paper.

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 in the chat -- 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 more hectic.

* * *  

* * *

Here are our past chats of the season: last week (Oct. 12)Oct. 5Sept. 28Sept. 21 (our video chat debut), Sept. 14Sept. 7 and our preseason chat (Aug. 31), which also includes links to all of of the chats from 2010-11.

As always, if you have a question but you won't be able to make the chat, post one in the comments section here, email me, Tweet it or post it on Facebook and I'll do my best to address it.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

PrepTalkTV Plays of The Weekend for Week Seven

Here are the Plays of the Weekend for Week Seven, the final week of high school football's regular season.

Watch video highlights below and vote in the poll:

1. 'How To The House: North Tonawanda quarterback Patrick Angelhow took this one 43 yards to the end zone as the Jacks beat rivals Tonawanda 40-14 in the 102nd T-NT game.

2. Back Up Steps Up: After Williamsville South's quarterback Trent Ferguson went down, backup quarterback Tyler Piasecki came in to help lead a come-from-behind effort. South was trailing, 14-7, when Piasecki hit senior Billy Jacobbi for this 43-yard pass play to the 1-yard line, where Falzone ran in with 6:03 left in third quarter to tie the game at 14-14. South beat Amherst 30-22.

3. South Slam: Amherst back Justin Burke didn't have a chance to do anything on his feet after this catch and he can thank Williamsville South lineman Jonathon Castronova for that.

4. A Little Too Late: Amherst's Brandon Borden caught this 35-yard bomb from Justin Twarog late in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough for the Tigers.

5. South Band Steals Show: Technically this isn't a "play," but this band deserves some press. The Williamsville South band came onto the field during halftime and had fans jumping out of their seats with excitement.

More great plays: Here are the Plays of the Weekend for Week One, Week TwoWeek Three, Week Four, Week Five and Week Six.

PrepTalkTV will be on the sidelines again this weekend to catch more exciting plays during the first week of playoff action.

--Lauren Mariacher


How The News voted: Week Seven (with playoff polls for you)

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

Here's our shot as we head to the playoffs following a weekend which didn't have a major impact on our ballot.

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


1. Orchard Park (7-0) [last week: 1] -- Not much changed at all on our ballot, so we'll try and spin things forward to the playoffs. When people ask me who I think will win games, I usually say, "What does my poll say?" Which makes these guys a big favorite in AA. 

2. St. Joe's (5-2) [2] -- I would hope reasonable people can agree that this year's St. Joe's team is very good and very talented. Which tells you at what kind of level Ohio football is at (Marauders lost down in Steubenville).

3. St. Francis (4-3) [3] -- I would hope reasonable people can agree that this year's St. Francis team is very good and very talented. Which tells you at what kind of level Ohio football is at (Red Raiders lost at home to St. Ignatius, 21-20, in OT).

4. Jamestown (6-1) [4] -- Red Raiders backed up my poll placement of them ahead of Clarence with a solid victory. That win put Jamestown in the other side of the backet as OP, and this poll says they'll meet the Quakers at The Ralph.

5. Clarence (5-2) [5] -- They lost in Jamestown, but I put Jamestown at No. 4 last week for a reason, that reason being I like the way they've been playing so much that I think they'd beat other teams here, especially if they road-tripped it to Jamestown. This poll says the Red Devils win in the quarterfinals over a Niagara Falls team that has surged of late, but has it surged enough that it is that much better than the Wolverines team that lost at Clarence, 35-0, in Week Three? The poll also says we're looking at another two-fer of OP/Clarence, with OP in a position to avenge last year's sweep with one of its own.  

6. Sweet Home (7-0) [6] -- As has been the case all year, we haven't seen the results nor the performances to put them higher. Panther teams tend to raise their game around this time of year. This poll still has them as the top seed just ahead of the ...

7. Williamsville South (7-0) [7] -- ... Billies, who displayed a tremendous will as a depleted team came back to beat Amherst on Friday. The brackets cooperate with this poll, which forecasts a rematch at The Ralph.

8. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (6-1) [10] -- When it comes to this portion of this poll, a 10-0 victory at Randolph is definitely a quality win, despite the large school/small school stuff. I still like what I saw from TImon against the Akeel Lynch Show, which is so good it nearly took down an Ohio superpower. Yes, I liked them enough to nudge them past ... 

9. Canisius (3-4) [8] -- ... the Crusaders. How many people would have said that Timon would be ranked ahead of Canisius when it was time for the teams' meeting? That meeting is Saturday at the Stransky Complex in West Seneca. I saw St. Mary's have little trouble with Cardinal O'Hara. Timon had little trouble with O'Hara. Canisius had a 16-14 halftime lead over O'Hara, enough to move them down.

10. Kenmore West (5-1) [9] -- I was surprised to see from last week's poll that I was voting for these higher than most. Blue Devils are still a potent group, and, oh-by-the-way, they've won six straight after losing their opener to the No. 1 team in the land. This poll says they win their opener before hosting Jamestown in the semifinals.

Many disagree obviously, but I don't think you can vote for North Tonawanda over the Blue Devils for a few reasons, including NT's opening loss to McKinley (which just lost at Grand Island in a head-scratcher game -- but props to GI for that finish); the lack of Sweet Home on NT's schedule; the 7-0 win over Starpoint was solid but Starpoint is a team that did lose to Lockport. There are no results one can point to that say that Class A is, on a whole, on par with AA this season. One of the few other examples of AA-A matchups is Sweet Home going down to the last second to survive with a win at Frontier, a team that just routed Hamburg and was thumped by Lancaster, Clarence, OP and Jamestown). You can even throw in West Seneca West beating playoff-bound rival WSE last week. 

Who would be next on the list? Tough one. Niagara FallsStarpoint? McKinley?

Amherst? The Tigers looked to me to be on their way to a big win at South. Justin Burke was running strong. Justin Twarog was making good decisions with his arm and legs. Marquis Artis seemed to be everywhere (and hitting hard) on defense. A penalty or two knocked South back to a first-and-long near midfield in the third quarter, just after Trent Ferguson went down, and ka-blam -- Tyler Piasecki makes a long completion to set up the game-tying score and Amherst struggles with turnovers the rest of the way. It didn't look like Amherst was ready to win that kind of big game. But maybe it takes a loss like that to teach them: Tigers at NT could be a fun one. 

What about Bennett? The Tigers hosting a playoff game right behind the school at All High is pretty cool as Starpoint visits Friday night. Another one that should be fun.


1. Alden (7-0) [1] -- This poll (which is exactly he same as last week's) says the Bulldogs repeat. We'll see. We're glad that, while the brackets might look crazy to some, the playoff seedings worked out that Alden (No. 2 seed) is in the opposite side of the bracket as ...  

2. Depew (6-1) [2] -- ... the Wildcats (No. 4 seed), keeping intact the chances of the two teams which have been at the top of this ballot, and the polls, all season long of meeting at The Ralph. The Wildcats will have to do something it couldn't do last year in order to do so, however (beat visiting Lackawanna).

3. Cheektowaga (6-1) [3] -- Of course, the Warriors (No. 1 seed) would love another shot at Depew after suffering its lone loss inside the blue track in Week One. But will both teams get that shot? A very solid Albion team visits Friday.

4. Maple Grove (7-0) [4] -- The poll says they're the favorite in Class D, but the road should be fun to watch.

5. Fredonia (7-0) [5] -- The poll says the defending champs are the favorite in Class C, although we're interested to see what the C Southerners bring this weekend. That might alter our outlook a bit. 

6. Lackawanna (6-1) [6] -- Coach Tardif and the upperclassmen have an easy speech: So we're going on the road against a team that has been ranked as a top two small school all season? No big deal, we did it last year and went to The Ralph.

7. Pioneer (7-0) [7] -- The poll says that the Panthers (No. 3 seed in B) are a step behind our top three on this ballot. That's why they play the games, starting with a rematch with an always-stingy Eden squad that just routed a Springville team that gave most of the division (including Pioneer) a hard time. Panthers beat Eden, 17-0, three short weeks ago, the start of an impressive three-game shutout streak. 

8. Randolph (5-2) [8] -- Didn't think a tough, 10-0 home loss to a ranked large school was any reason to move them down at all. The poll says the No. 2 seed in D gets another shot at Maple Grove at The Ralph, but the bracket and the polls say that the Cardinals won't get there unless they can beat the ...

9. Frewsburg (5-2) [9] -- ... Bears (No. 3 seed in D), who are probably hungry to prove that two-point at Randolph was a longgggg time ago. And it was (Week One).

10. Cleveland Hill (6-1) [10] -- Moving your home playoff game to a different field? Yup. If that sounds strange, this might sound even stranger: the move of Saturday's quarterfinal against Westfield to Depew should benefit the Eagles big-time. The Golden Eagles -- and QB Daryl Spencer -- have some speed and some moves, but all I remember seeing in their second half against Fredonia was a bunch of slipping and sliding.

Who's next? A bunch of s-words, the first two of which could certainly win the C title: Salamanca, Southwestern, Silver Creek and St. Mary's.

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)

PrepTalkTV: Week Seven

Week Seven gave us rivalry games, a completed Section VI playoff picture and a really cool band (!). Here's our latest PrepTalkTV episode:

Here are our previous episodes: Week SixWeek FiveWeek FourWeek ThreeWeek Two and Week One.

You can watch additional videos from Friday night at Prep Talk Live

More sports and seasons are documented in PrepTalkTV episodes are on our video page -- click "PrepTalkTV" there for the archive.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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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 |