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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, and every week we tell you how The News voted.

The News is one of 10 voters on the large and small school polls. 

LARGE SCHOOLS

1. Orchard Park (4-0) [1] -- I thought that perhaps the unexpected struggle at Frontier might lead to a slide, but they're still on top overall (except again, for one misguided soul) and here. OP surged late to win, and Frontier has proven a very stingy out before -- I remember a similar eyebrow-raising game for OP at Frontier when Jeff Tundo was running the ball.

2. Canisius (4-0) [7] -- The win at Walsh Jesuit is worthy of a reward. This was where we thougth about putting the Crusaders after an impressive showing against McKinley, but their close call with St. Mary's wouldn't let it happen. Also, the McKinley comparison games show the Crusaders deserve to be ranked ahead of Sweet Home; and their season-opening home rout of McQuaid sure looks nice after McQuaid battled Aquinas in a close one this past weekend. The other three wins do more than enough than make up for the St. Mary's win. Said it on the chat Sunday night: This is the ONLY team worthy of even being in the discussion of No. 1 vote. And I give them the top seeding in the Monsignor Martin Association over ...    

3. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (2-2) [2] -- ... the Tigers, who posted a strong shutout at Wilson Magnet with Adam DiMillo having returned to the backfield. Still think they've been written off too quickly by many pollsters. They play their first (!) home game Friday, welcoming in St. Mary's in a good one.

4. Sweet Home (4-0) [3] -- Panthers were routing McKinley, then held on to survive a McKinley comeback. 54 straight wins vs. WNY, with the remaining regular season schedule (Niagara-Wheatfield, Williamsville North, Starpoint) not exactly imposing. 

5. West Seneca East (4-0) [4] -- Trojan Territory is a fun place to be these days. Seriously thought about putting them higher. A bigger press box might have gotten them there. KIDDING. Not kidding about putting them higher. Yes, I said that. They might be better than my No. 4 team. Can the playoffs start sooner in Class A? Please? 

6. Lockport (3-1) [5] -- James Chambers delivers the individual performance of the year with seven TDs against Niagara Falls. He had two long TD runs against OP, remember. The guy is for real. I think the Lions are for real. The AA North title is likely decided Saturday when Lions visit Kenmore West. 

7Jamestown (4-0) [6] -- Very impressive dispatching of West Seneca West, and along with OP not winning in a rout, the chatter for the Week Six OP trip to Jamestown on Friday night has gotten louder. First things first, however, and that's a trip to Frontier against the pesky Falcons.

8. St. Joe's (4-0) [8] -- Wins over Wilson Magnet, Bennett, St. Francis and Cardinal O'Hara. Said it many times: I like the Marauders, but wins over those four will only get you so far, ballot-wise.

WaitWhat? Someone is still voting Joe's No. 1? I wonder what the color of the sky is in their world. I'm going to go with maroon.

Talk about that schedule getting serious in a hurry. On Friday night, the Marauders step it up about 10 notches with a trip to Aquinas.   

9. McKinley (2-2) [NR] -- Throw a scare into Sweet Home? (Again?) That deserves some props. We certainly put them a notch above the best of the rest ...

10. Williamsville East (3-1) [NR] -- ... which is led by the Flames, in our opinion. They played West Seneca East tougher than Will South, they've got a closer win over Will North than McKinley (thus McKinley's spot at No. 8), and the win over Iroquois is solid as well. In two weeks, Flames are at South in what should be a great game in the district.

Who's next? We mentioned that South needs to be put behind East. West Seneca West might deserve to be No. 11. Grand Island might be as well -- their schedule, which still isn't enough to have us put the Vikings ahead of the likes of McKinley or Will East, has a trip to Williamsville North next, followed by winless Niagara-Wheatfield before finally a finale against a top 10 team when it plays McKinley at Riverside. Frontier's tough stand against OP and win over Clarence make it the next AA South team to talk about (over Clarence and Lancaster). St. Francis is the best 0-4 team. Hutch-Tech is next.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Alden (4-0) [1] -- No. 1 hosting No. 2 on Friday night. Awesome. Again. 

2. Depew (4-0) [2] -- No. 2 heads to No. 1 on Friday night. Awesome. Again.

3. Cheektowaga (4-0) [3] -- Racking up some serious points. Still had to go OT to beat Burgard, so definitely a No. 3 and not in the same conversation as the two teams with a date on Friday night. 

4. St. Mary's (3-1) [5] -- The Canisius game holds a little greater weight as we've moved the Crusaders up the large school ballot, and ...

5. Cleveland Hill (4-0) [4] -- ... these Golden Eagles went OT at Akron and had a battle with Wilson, creating enough doubt for us to slide them down a spot. 

6. Pioneer (4-0) [6] -- Rolled up a big win down in Olean Saturday night.

7. Maple Grove (4-0) [7] -- No. 1 in the state in Class D. If they keep rolling in what is an otherwise very tough, very competitive division, they could move up this ballot before the playoffs.  

8. Burgard (3-1) [8] -- Hard-fought win at Maryvale Friday night, OT loss to Cheektowaga, rout of Lew-Port in Week One looks nice after L-P beat Class A South Park on Saturday (great highlights in PrepTalkTV Sunday and on our video page of both Burgard's win and Lew-Port's win this week).

9. Maryvale (2-2) [10] -- Close loss to Burgard, but we're keeping them on the ballot. B West deserves it.

10. JFK (3-1) [NR] -- Bears have a season-opening loss at Fredonia and a season-ending date with Cleve Hill and wins over Akron and Wilson that deserve recognition. 

Next up? Maybe 4-0 Eden. Maybe the next-best of the tough-to-tell-who's-next Ds (Chautauqua Lake, Portville, Frewsburg, Randolph). Maybe Salamanca after crazy OT loss to Southwestern (have we learned to never count them out?). Maybe East, which understandably got worn down by Alden. Maybe Lew-Port. Maybe Lackawanna, which could make me talk more about how crazy B West is if they make noise against Burgard this weekend. 

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 Thursday evening at 9.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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

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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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