By Keith McShea
WHAT a Week Two. Upsets, near-upsets, close games, big games, record-breakers and more. It's a rare thing to have a shakeup like we should have just two polls into the year.
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, which are published each Tuesday in the Sidelines section of the Scholastic Spotlight.
My ballot, usually is fairly strongly rooted in where last year's teams finished up. Here are last season's final polls as well as last year's "How The News voted post" for the final 2012 rankings.
Here are our two top 10s:
1. St. Joe's (2-0) [Last week: 2] -- Utterly dominated Clarence, but this is more about Week One's win over St. Anthony's, one of the best programs in the state. That win, and the way they've gone about their business, have earned the Marauders this spot. They have explosiveness in several spots on the field, hyper-explosiveness in Nigel Davis, a young, quality QB.
If there's no St. Anthony's win on the resume, then I'd find it extremely difficult to put them ahead of their pals the ...
2. Canisius (1-1)  -- ... Crusaders, because -- never mind the preseason hype -- losing 3-0, on the road, and in the rain, to arguably the best program in the state over the last decade is no great shame. Saturday the Crusaders open at home against a Walsh Jesuit team aiming to exact revenge after losing at home to Canisius last season. Major bounce-back opportunity.
3. Jamestown (2-0)  -- Was surprised Kenmore West was hanging in there on Saturday, but apparently Jake Sisson kept passing ... and passing ... and passing. Definitely a top three team, worthy of consideration for No. 1, but wins over Niagara Falls and Kenmore West should not deserve a nod over a win over St. Anthony's or a 3-0 loss at Aquinas.
Sidenote to last week's column. Maybe pair Jamestown up with Canisius next year? I know they have serious senior standouts this year, but it's worth throwing out there.
Sidenote regarding this weekend's schedule: In the Buffalo area and didn't see Sisson's record-breaking performance at Ken West. Well, the Game of the Week Friday night has the Red Raiders meeting up with another 2-0 team in South Park, on center stage at All High Stadium.
4. Sweet Home (2-0)  -- A ho-hum big win over an overmatched A North opponent. We've seen that a few times over the last decade. Arguably you could put others ahead of the Panthers, but their championship pedigree deserves respect.
5. Frontier (2-0)  -- Certainly a team you could think about ahead of Sweet Home after routs of Clarence and Niagara Falls, but we'll take it one week at a time. Like this week, when the Falcons fly up north for a superb matchup against another team that might deserve a higher ranking ...
6. Lockport (2-0)  -- ... in the Lions, who defied expectations after senior QB Bronson went down by providing a stunner of a win at OP. Frontier at Lockport, 2 p.m. Saturday. Lockport's opening 7-0 squeaker against Starpoint does weigh them down a bit, poll-wise.
7. West Seneca East (2-0)  -- Did I mention teams that might deserve a higher ranking? Nice win at Dome followed by utter dismantling of Lake Shore. Unfortunately for the Eagles it's not that big of a surprise; unfortunately for the Trojans it doesn't help their poll status.
8. Lancaster (2-0) [NR] -- Opening win at Ken West, followed by big-time rout of West Seneca West team that lost at home to OP, 18-0. Yes, yet another team where I can hear voices lobbying for a higher spot.
9. South Park (2-0) [NR] -- Big-time road win at Iroquois was a statement. That followed a fending off of Hutch-Tech. Quite the matchup at All High Friday night against No. 3 on this ballot.
10. Orchard Park (1-1)  -- Orchard Park. Tenth on my large school ballot. Holey farts.
Next: Several teams we certainly think are quite good, but haven't earned a spot over those listed above: Grand Island (2-0) [9th last week], very solid win at NT; Williamsville South (2-0), very solid rout of Will North; Williamsville East (2-0), solid and expected rout at Amherst; St. Francis (1-1), pretty expected win over Edison; McKinley (2-0)expected big win at Riverside.
We've got a new paragraph for a new tier of teams: Hutch-Tech (1-1), close loss to South Park, win over Hamburg, which played GI close; Kenmore East (2-0), quality win over Starpoint, which lost Evan Majewski to injury; Starpoint (1-1) still gets some credit for playing Lockport tough; North Tonawanda (1-1), routed Lake Shore, lost to GI.
Time for a new paragraph for 0-2 teams that might be better than the teams in the preceding paragraph: Kenmore West, maybe the best 0-2 team in WNY for hanging with Lancaster and then leading Jamestown in the third?; Bishop Timon-St. Jude is 0-2 against killer competition and has a claim on that distinction as well; maybe Iroquois does too with two top 10 losses at home to Sweet Home and South Park.
1. Alden (2-0)  -- I thought they were done watching a fantastic drive and two-point conversion by Eden, but the Bulldogs escaped because they grabbed a hold of the end of the game and made it theirs. Really impressive final drive, one in which Brian Stoldt didn't even throw a pass. Host a solid Hutch-Tech team Friday.
2. Depew (2-0)  -- Two very impressive weeks in a row. Head to Springville Friday. Next week, Week Four, is the one you're wondering about: Alden at Depew.
3. Randolph (2-0)  -- Cardinals 94, two opponents 7.
4. St. Mary's (2-0)  -- 70-7. Two big wins. Meetings with the "big" boys of MMA could be fun.
5. Cheektowaga (1-1)  -- Took care of business against Bennett, 20-0, which is one more score than ...
6. Burgard (2-0)  -- ... Burgard beat the Tigers by in Week One. Bulldogs with a big-time road win at Albion (48-0).
7. Cleveland Hill (2-0)  -- Very nice home win against old buddy Akron.
8. Fredonia (2-0)  -- Hillbillies 97, opponents 14. Nice game Friday night as they welcome in Salamanca.
9. Eden (1-1) [NR] -- Raiders opened it up (!) to get back in it with Alden. Really impressive stuff, they deserved the win ... up until that last 1:44 when a championship team did what champs do.
10. Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake (2-0)  -- Such the rude hosts after Nichols goes and drives all the way down there. Week Four, next week, is the one you're wondering about: Randolph at Maple Grove.
Next: Akron (1-1), Medina (2-0; Mustangs 92, opponents 20), Salamanca (2-0, can leapfrog some folks with a big game at Fredonia Friday), Lackawanna (2-0 after nice road win at Clint Small opener), Lew-Port (2-0 including a large school win over Niagara-Wheatfield).
Another paragraph for another tier: Pioneer (1-1 after win over Olean); Springville (1-1, close loss at Eden, squeaker against Dunkirk); Portville (1-1 with 13-0 loss to MG/CL); Bennett (0-2 but two two of the best small schools -- any season); Southwestern (2-0); Olean (0-2 to Depew and by three to Pioneer); Dunkirk (0-2 to Alden and by one point to Springville); Cardinal O'Hara (1-0, had bye week; we love the tough schedule of Eden, South Park, etc.).
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taggedFootball | High school football | How The News voted