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How The News voted: Week Three

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 (3-0) [1] -- This is easy. Except for one misguided soul.  

2. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (1-2) [2] -- Yes, I'm still keeping them here. Too many pollsters are writing the Tigers off due to their injuries. They lost big to Aquinas just like anyone else other than OP would (actually, Timon played Aquinas much tougher in Rochester than St. Francis did at home in Week One). Standout running back Adam DiMillo returns this week as Tigers return to Rochester to face the Wilson Magnet team that St. Joe's beat in Week One. After that, it's five straight league games.  

3. Sweet Home (3-0) [3] -- Nice win at AA Kenmore West on Saturday to add to those over North Tonawanda and Kenmore East. I did think about them at No. 2 but it wasn't as tough a choice as some of the headache-inducing choices below. The combined record of their three opponents is 2-7. Win over Ken West (28-6 on road) not much more impressive than Jamestown's (27-8 at home). 

4. West Seneca East (3-0) [6] -- Win over South Park in the city helps move them up my ballot while others (Clarence, Jamestown) dropped. Notable: WSE won at home against Will East, which I thought would win some games -- and Will East beat 2-0 Iroquois this past week. WSE gets another great home game against a tougher team from that district in Williamsville South.

5. Lockport (2-1) [8] -- This poll is starving for statement wins. Lockport delivered one with 38-8 domination of a Hutch-Tech team that yes, is winless, but played Iroquois (2-1) and Kenmore West (1-2) tough. From what I saw in the opening loss to OP, not to mention a 31-6 rout of a solid Starpoint team, I definitely like them here. 

6Jamestown (3-0) [5] -- A nice gutty win in the fourth quarter at Lancaster (29-22), but I thought they'd handle the Redskins like they did their first two opponents (big wins over Kenmore West and Niagara Falls). West Seneca West dominated Lancaster two weeks ago. This is where the poll starts giving me a headache.

7. Canisius (3-0) [NR] -- Looked great in routing McKinley, but it should be noted that it was a very mistake-prone McKinley. The three-point win over St. Mary's two weeks ago leads to consistency/credibility issues (which is why I did not have them in the top 10 last week). Take away that confusing St. Mary's game and they're top five, maybe top three, maybe top two. Did I mention this poll is giving me a headache? 

8. St. Joe's (3-0) [7] -- Just when you think a game is going to help you figure things out, St. Joe's routs St. Francis in the first quarter, St. Francis takes advantage of some errors to make it a game in the final 30 seconds of the half, and then turnover-after-turnover-after-turnover-after-turnover prohibit St. Francis from coming back in a scoreless second half. My head is really throbbing now. 

9. Williamsville South (2-1) [10] -- Looking forward to Friday night at WSE. Billies have bounced back from Timon loss with two wins, but it's tough to tell how good they are -- they own 35-20 win over Hamburg (which picked up first win over Lake Shore this past week) and a 42-14 domination of lineup-messed-up Bennett. Does anyone have some Advil?  

10. West Seneca West (2-1) [9] -- I kept the Indians in here after a big loss at OP, but most every team would meet that same fate, especially teams to be considered for this spot. As I mentioned before, they dominated Lancaster, which gave Jamestown fits, which is another thing that is helping (or not helping) my poll headache.

WSW stays in over St. Francis, McKinley and Grand Island, which is 3-0 against teams that are 2-7. ... Williamsville East and Kenmore West might be next. ... Clarence drops off my ballot after the loss to Frontier that was precipitated by the season-ending injury to Mark Armstrong. The Red Devils were up, 17-0, before their QB went down. For those saying that Timon's injuries should affect their poll standing, there's a big difference here: Clarence lost at home to unranked Frontier. Timon finished off their win over South, played Ohio power Steubenville very tough (21-7 loss) and hung in there into the second half at Aquinas. ... For what it's worth, I think Hutch-Tech is the best 0-3 large school.

SMALL SCHOOLS

1. Alden (3-0) [1] -- Ahh, easy choice. My headache may be subsiding. 

2. Depew (3-0) [2] -- Another easy choice. Definitely feeling better. And just two Fridays until these guys head to Alden.

3. Cheektowaga (3-0) [3] -- Nice win over Lackawanna -- although I'm not sure how good the Steelers are, and part of that is Amherst's fault, more on that later. 

4. Cleveland Hill (3-0) [4] -- They hang on for the OT win at Akron, and the win over Maryvale doesn't have the same sizzle, again, that's Amherst's fault, but we like them here.

5. St. Mary's (2-1) [6] -- Authoritative small-school win over Cardinal O'Hara (40-18) following their very nice effort against Canisius.

6. Pioneer (3-0) [9] -- Like the tough home win over East.

7. Maple Grove (3-0) [8] -- Certainly the D team to beat after always-tough win over Randolph. Might have a claim on two or three spots higher than this one, but after three weeks we're not ready to go there. The rest of D is tough to figure -- certainly might deserve more teams here. One of them is Chautauqua Lake and former MG assistant Dan Greco, who host the Red Dragons this week. 

8. Burgard (2-1) [5] -- Routed Lew-Port (which just beat Amherst), lost in OT to Cheektowaga, beat Springville on a Hail Mary. Playing Cheektowaga tough helped keep them in the top 10.

9. Akron (2-1) [NR] -- After two big wins, OT loss at home to Cleve Hill, which makes them very worthy of a spot.

10. Maryvale (2-1) [7] -- With Amherst loss to Lew-Port, the Flyers' rout of Amherst now doesn't look as great to us. Also lost to Cleve Hill and won at Tonawanda. Class B West now has presented seemingly solid wins by all of its teams other than Lackawanna and Tonawanda.

Next up? Tough to tell who should be next on the D list, but Chautauqua Lake, Portville, Frewsburg ... while Randolph and Silver Creek aren't far behind. Could be Salamanca, whose 3-0 mark is good but we're not sure what's up with C South so far. Eden is 3-0 but two have been squeakers against teams that aren't close to making this list (althought Springville has played squeakers against three good teams -- could be the best 0-3 small school). East is in the conversation after a two-point loss at Pioneer. We might need several weeks to figure out how good Lew-Port, Amherst and Lackawanna are.

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 | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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