By Keith McShea
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.
And here our versions of this week's top 10s:
1. Canisius (5-2) [last week: 2] -- Performances against elite No. 1 team in the state (3-0 loss to Aquinas) and two Ohio teams (shutout of Walsh Jesuit, Friday's down-to-the-last-second-FG-being-1-foot-short loss a Cardinal Mooney) have to be respected. They have to.
The Crusaders deserve this spot just ahead of ...
2. Jamestown (7-0)  -- ... the Red Raiders. The Jamestown team that I thought I was voting for all season, the one I was calling for to be moved up in the state poll, the one that I have had in a top three with Canisius and St. Joe's all season, the one that scored 50 points every week in sometimes staggering fashion ... that team wins at OP by two touchdowns.
Yes, they won, yes, they deserved it. But there is plenty left to wonder about after Friday night. If it's a regular season game that means something, maybe OP kicks the PAT and they go to overtime. Orchard Park scored 27 points in the fourth quarter (!). And this was co-No. 6 OP coming into the game, not No. 2 or No. 3. That said, OP looked very, very good, making you wonder how they lost at home to Lockport.
Loved the game, loved the big plays on both sides. Jamestown deserved it with the two-point conversion stop. I just think Canisius' level of play, cited above, is a slight notch higher.
There's a reason we do this poll thing every week. Pre-emptive strike to the whiners whining about a team which lost being moved past a team which won: Line these two teams up, and I'll take the team whose starting defense hasn't given up a touchdown all year, which, of course, includes Aquinas, Walsh Jesuit and Cardinal Mooney.
3. Sweet Home (7-0)  -- 58-22 over the Class A Central champion, which was undefeated and which is the No. 3 seed in Class A playoffs. Sweet Home being Sweet Home. Despite all the turnover this year, they are dangerous, well-coached, multi-dimensional, talented and looking very good in what is the more-than-remarkable pursuit of consecutive title No. 7.
4. South Park (6-1)  -- They've got playmakers all over the place and fly around on defense. All year, this ballot has forseen this team and the team ahead of them meeting up down the road. Now the road is pretty short.
5. Orchard Park (5-2)  -- Goltz can pass. And run. Desean Walker is a load. Defense made big plays in the fourth to put them in position to beat Jamestown. Things might have started shakily for Quakers, but they sure looked like the familiar power in maroon Friday.
6. Kenmore West (5-2)  -- Lost close one to Lancaster in Week One. Played with Jamestown into the second half in Week Two. Five straight wins since, including a decent win at Clarence, breakthrough home win over Frontier and Saturday's utter domination of a Kenmore East team which has had a good year. Turns out my misgivings about voting them behind Frontier last week (you can look it up!) were for reals. My bad (chest tap).
7. St. Joe's (5-2)  -- Not certain on how many bodies are still ailing for the Marauders. But a 14-9 win over a St. Mary' team that doesn't have Nick Vallone requires a significant drop (no offense to the Lancers, but they were coming off a four-point win over Hutch-Tech). More than a little uncertain with what the Week Seven Marauders are like. It's clear what I thought of the Week Two/Three Marauders.
But I won't sleep on these guys, and don't you either. I have a feeling they're just resting up (smartly) and maybe even being sneaky and playing possum in preparation for the trip to the Stransky Complex on Nov. 2. We'll find out a little more Saturday, when Timon visits coming off a quality win over Will South.
Again, there's a reason we do this every week. I just saw OP put forth a great game against a great opponent. Ken West is rolling. Based on that, I'd take that AA duo over a team that beat St. Mary's by five.
8. Frontier (5-2)  -- On again, off again. Lose at Ken West. Win big at Lancaster. Lose to Hamburg. Hamburg has played teams tough, but that loss is a poll-dropper. I was reluctant to vote these guys ahead of Ken West last week. Again, my bad (chest tap).
9. Grand Island (6-1) [NR] -- Someone go find last week's me and slap me in the face (I hear a roar of volunteers from the Lancaster area for some reason :-) ).
I didn't have GI in the poll, which is OK, but I didn't even mention them last week. I had McKinley at 9 and Lancaster at 10 ahead of South and North. It's ridiculous that I didn't mention GI. My bad (chest tap). My chest is starting to hurt already with all of these.
The Hamburg won over Frontier might have some saying that GI should be ahead of Frontier based on its Week One win at Hamburg. It being Week One, I'm not ready to make that move. I may be wrong (did plenty of that this week).
Anyways, based on what happened to McKinley on Saturday and how GI played Sweet Home three weeks ago, along with the Vikings very solid win over Williamsville North Saturday, GI deserves to be put ahead of the ...
10. McKinley (6-1)  -- ... Macks, who certainly still deserve a spot, just ahead of Lancaster. Both the Macks and Lancaster beat Niagara Falls.
The school that should change its nickname drops out for all-football related reasons despite the tremendous win at Depew (don't blame me, blame Grand Island -- and Frontier; it's hard to place Lancaster two spots away from Frontier after the blowout two weeks ago). And by the way, in case you're wondering if that's the truth, Ruth, I was the only guy voting for the Red & Black last week.
1. Alden (7-0)  -- Looks like a visit to PrepTalkTV was all the Bulldogs needed to win a game by the margin we thought they should win by (for only the second time this year :-) ).
2. Randolph (7-0)  -- Portville can play football. Randolph dismantled them in the first half. Weekly occurence.
3. Cheektowaga (6-1)  -- Open playoffs against Eden at home. There will be a lot of talk about last year at practice this week, when it opened the playoffs against Springville at home. And lost.
4. Burgard (6-1)  -- Host Pioneer. Like all the B games, could be interesting.
5. Cleveland Hill (7-0)  -- Move up a spot, along with team-I've-thought-needs-to-be-attached-to-them, after Depew's big loss.
6. Fredonia (7-0)  -- See No. 5.
7. Depew (5-2)  -- Wow, did anyone outside the school that should change its nickname expect that kind of rout of the Wildcats? Gotta move them down, reluctantly.
8. Bennett (4-3)  -- Look a this: They visit the team ahead of them on this ballot in what might be Friday's best quarterfinal.
9. St. Mary's (4-2)  -- My reservations about what's up with St. Joe's are clear, but that kind of score solidifies the Lancers' spot here after I thought they were sinking fast.
10. Pioneer (5-2)  -- Keeping them here despite a loss to Eden in a game that Eden really needed and Pioneer didn't. Next up: Maple Grove, Eden, Salamanca, Akron.
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taggedFootball | High school football | How The News voted