It is a Super Tuesday in high school sports today with major matchups and championships in baseball, softball, boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse. If you are at a game and getting your Tweeter on, make sure to tweet to #preptalkscores.
I'll be spending the afternoon and evening at the Section VI girls lacrosse championships at All High Stadium. We'll also have reporters at the Monsignor Martin boys lacrosse championship and the Georgetown Cup baseball semifinals.
While I'll have updates from those games, tweets to the hashtag #preptalkscores will also automatically show up in the live blog below. So if you are a game tonight and you're updating via Twitter, be sure to include that hashtag. I'll have periodic tweets updating the girls lacrosse finals at @KeithMcSheaBN, but most of my play-by-play updating will come in the live blog.
Check out today's full schedule on our scoreboard page, where you can check back throughout the evening for updated scores and highlights.
See you out at the games, in the blog and on the tweeter. :-)
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Note: Super Tuesday is so super-full of high school playoff action that we're covering, that my Prep Talk column & the Power 10 will appear in Friday's paper instead of its traditional Wednesday. That actually will be a better fit for the Power 10 since the pool of teams will be whittled down by then.
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Postgame show from the Section VI girls lacrosse championships:
Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri, sophomore Allie Stewart and junior goalie Karli Pawlak:
Hamburg coach Katy Ryan and senior Amanda Obenshain:
A later addition I overlooked on my phone originally -- because it's quote far away. It's video of Frontier's final possession in the A game, on which a free position was stopped by Emily Pawlak in the final seconds.
The best part about the clip is watching Lancaster coach Julie Buccieri on the far right of the Redskins' sideline. Early on a foul is called, and let's just say she's not thrilled -- then she ends up watching the final play by herself far down the sideline while coaching the defense.
(Be sure to blow up the video to full-screen for a better look.)
If it's the last Saturday of August, it must be Scrimmage Saturday, and we must be on our way to seeing as much football action as we can.
We'll be bopping around Western New York today -- as we have the last two years -- to catch as much football as we can in a limited time.
Disclaimer/explainer: Regular visitors to the blog know how much I love it when fans cite scrimmages as evidence for one team being better than another during the regular season, especially when it comes to the discussion of our polls. Just because I'm interested in all of the scrimmages (and getting to as many as I can), and learning about teams and players, they are still scrimmages. Once the season starts, I don't want to hear about them. :-)
If you're out and about like we are today, we want your reviews and breakdowns of what you saw. Keep it in context -- try and notice which first-team units are out there and what the teams are trying to do. Be sure to comment here our on our Facebook page, tweet us at @KeithMcSheaBN or send an email.
8:34 a.m. We are on our way. I met up with photographer Mark Mulville at One News Plaza and we're headed to Cheektowaga for our kickoff.
Eden, Springville, Tonawanda and West Seneca East are visiting Cheektowaga. We're planning a quick stop before heading nearby to Cleveland Hill.
9:22 a.m. Great start to the day for us -- and for Eden. The Raiders, known for their ground-and-pound-and win formula, threw for two touchdowns against Cheektowaga -- including one on the first play of the scrimmage! -- and added in another touchdown as we were leaving.
We were on hand for some warmups before things got started, with Tonawanda coach Rob Gross asking his team, quite loudly, "What's this half-speed!? Why are we doing anything half speed?!"
After a fairly lenghty prepractice address by the officials, we got started as the head referee said, "Rock and roll, Scott," to Cheektowaga coach Scott Zipp.
And early misstep by Cheektowaga against Eden prompted a "Do your job!" admonition from an assistant coach to a player.
On the other half of the field, West Seneca East scored a TD against Tonawanda.
And let's go to the video:
Above is our first play of our season as West Seneca East got things off and running against Tonawanda.
Talk about a great start for Eden. This is their first play as their offense went against Cheektowaga.
A nice run for Eden.
9:30 a.m. Just about to pull in to Cleveland Hill. (Reminder for any hey-buddy-keep-your-hands-on-the-wheel fans: Mulville is driving).
9:37 a.m. iPhone update from Cleve Hill, where they haven't started due to Silver Creek being late. This may screw up some of our travel plans. We'll see.
9:48 a.m. Official addresses teams: "Next week it starts for real, today's for fun."
10:24 a.m. Back in Mulville's Honda heading north to Lockport. It's a super bummer that Cleve Hill was behind because we're a half hour off the ideal schedule I had set up for the day. That's alright. Every game (and every assignment) isn't going to go as planned and you've got to make those key adjustments, right?
On the bright side, we saw the first-stringers for all four teams at Cleve Hill. The defenses ruled the first round as a fired-up Silver Creek unit bottled up Burgard and the Cleve Hill defense kept Cardinal O'Hara out of the end zone.
Daryl Spencer had a nice sack for a big loss for Cleve Hill on defense, then looked very good with some rollout completions on offense. Zeddie Williams, who should be the feature back after the graduation of older brother Zach, looked solid out of the backfield for Silver Creek. Burgard also had some very solid run stops.
Here are the top videos from Cleve Hill:
10:36 a.m. It's a long trip to Lockport. We're just on to Transit from Millersport & the I-990. Six top programs in action up at Emmet Belknap Intermediate: St. Francis, Sweet Home, North Tonawanda, Williamsville South, Grand Island and the host Lions.
Trying to plot out a backup plan -- a main stop for us is Orchard Park, which is hosting Canisius in a scrimmage that started at 10.
11:02 a.m. Got to Lockport in time to catch the tail end of Jordan Johnson of Sweet Home leading the offense against Will South. Johnson and Sweet Home looked to be moving the ball fairly effectively -- he had a touchdown pass to the far left side of the field called back on a penalty. We didn't see a ton of Sweet Home against Will South but we saw a few more plays against Lockport.
Williamsville South and Grand Island were paired up on the other end and there were some hard hits, including a busted play for South that almost resulted in a hit on coach Kraig Kurzanski, who was in the customary coaches' spot behind the huddle.
St. Francis finished strong on defense against Grand Island and then paired up with North Tonawanda. I caught the second half of that pairing, with NT making some nice stops on defense.
Here's our best video from Lockport:
11:31 a.m. We're on the road again, heading south and hoping to fit in a stop at Riverside but that might not be a great decision with OP are key final stop.
11:37 a.m. Just talked to PrepTalkTV partner Lauren Mariacher at Canisius. The first-stringers are done there -- she has video and interviews from there so I might not go down there. I think we'll head to Riverside.
11:40 a.m. Just checked in with Lauren again. Canisius and OP will be on the field for another hour, so Mark and I are going to squeeze in a visit to Riverside, which is hosting McKinley, Bishop Timon-St. Jude and Maple Grove.
Even if we stay just a few moments, we'll be able to get some video, photos and some looks at the teams. Right now we've seen 14 teams in three stops.
With Scrimmage Saturday, it's certainly about quantity, not quality.
11:54 a.m. And JUST when we think we've come up with a great plan, we pull into the Riverside parking lot and pass a kid wearing orange-and-black carrying his shoulder pads out.
"That's not a good sign," says Mark.
It wasn't. The Riverside field was empty.
The kid was from McKinley. Arghhhhhhh.
If I wrote what I'm feeling right now, I'd get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Maybe two.
Off to OP. Arrrrrrgh. Sigh.
1 p.m. We caught the very end of the Canisius scrimmage at Orchard Park, did some interviews and filmed an intro for PrepTalkTV. Lauren Mariacher is working on that and it'll be posted later today.
I'm headed back to One News Plaza to get some more videos and details posted before heading out to evening scrimmages at Iroquois and Amherst.
More updates to come ...
3:02 p.m. Here is the finished PrepTalkTV product (now starring on the buffalonews.com home page):
3:49 p.m. I've posted a bunch of video here, and I'll have more to come from the six-team Lockport scrimmage as well as some from my next two stops -- Iroquois and Amherst.
4:26 p.m. Hello from the awesome back field setting at Iroquois.
5:40 p.m. Note to football coaches and athletic directors. If you want Prep Talk hanging out at your scrimmage for a long time, have it at night :-).
Got a good long look -- along with the Prep Talk blog's "Milt Latimer" -- at Lackawanna, Frontier, Iroquois and Niagara-Wheatfield, seeing all of their first-strings go at in in their second go-round of '1's.
Lackawanna was very impressive with Keith Taggart leading the way not only at running back but on defense. Some big hits there.
Niagara-Wheatfield sure looked the part, sporting uniforms which looked ready for gameday, right down to every player's pulled-up red calf socks with a black Falcon logo on them. Coming off a winless season and with a new coach in Tim Hagerty, the program looks like it has a little spark. The sideline was extremely into the final offensive session against Iroquois in the first go-round.
Iroquois and Frontier both had good spurts in their session against each other, some nice run stuffs and scoring drives. Frontier got a spark on its offensive series after it made a change at quarterback.
It looked like a productive scrimmage for all four teams.
Here are the video highlights, which were included the best stuff I saw all day:
With six stops and 20 teams seen, now I'm off to Amherst for the final stop of the day.
6:25 p.m. Arrived at Amherst, which is hosting West Seneca West, Kenmore East and Hutch-Tech.
7:09 p.m. Saw some nice play at Amherst's Dimp Wagner Alumni Field, where it appeared that the hosts were the top unit -- not too surprising based on last season and the Tigers' returning experienced players, but certainly impressive nonetheless. Amherst is very fast, and they showed it off on both sides of the ball against a West Seneca West unit that made a few unforced errors, including some turnovers on offense. The Tigers had one player sprint from the backside to chase down a run, and also sped to big gains off of short passes.
Hutch-Tech had some nice run stops and moved the ball better than Kenmore East did in their two series.
And check this out -- I call it a day and walk off the field, and as I walk out of the gate, I run into Tonawanda coach Rob Gross. He was the first coach I saw this morning, and the last coach I see as I leave. Can't make this stuff up.
I think that gives us a very strong finish to our Scrimmage Saturday -- looks like we're ready to go for next weekend.
Hello again from All High Stadium for another spectacularly sunny day for the Section VI lacrosse championships -- yesterday it was the girls, today it's the boys.
Today's tripleheader begins with an excellent Class C matchup between Amherst and Silver Creek at 3:30 p.m. (it's one I wrote about in Tuesday's Scholastic Spotlight). Then it is the Class A final between Orchard Park and Clarence at 5:30 and the Class B final has Niagara-Wheatfield takes on Hamburg in a scheduled 8 p.m. start.
3:54 p.m. First chance for an update after setting up here; Silver Creek has a 2-0 lead with 2:53 left in the first quarter.
The first goal was by eighth-grader Sherman Williams, who came in from the right side to convert a pass by Frank Brown wth 6:16 left; Blake Curry then scored off a very nice cross-cage transition pass from Jon Jimerson with 4:08 left.
4 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Silver Creek leads Amherst, 4-0.
Silver Creek added two more goals in the final three minutes as their famously high-powered offense is certainly doing its thing. Zach Williams converted a pass from Curry with 2:46 left; Silver Creek got a full-field breakaway on a play in which Amherst had a mixup as the official winded the clock -- and Curry went in alone and scored.
4:04 p.m. Silver Creek starts strong in the second quarter with a goal thanks to a fantastic effort by Zeddie Williams, who picked up a failed clear by Amherst, zig-zagged his way through at least three defenders before finding Frank Brown open on the left side of the cage for the goal 49 seconds into the quarter.
Amherst responds less than a minute later with its first goal as Evan Theilman converted a back-of-the-cage pass by Clifton Jackson with 10:14 left in the second for a 5-1 Silver Creek lead.
4:13 p.m. Silver Creek got one back quickly by Zed Williams just eight seconds later to make it 6-2, but Amherst came back with a two-goal surge to cut it to 6-4. Ed Doherty scored on an unassisted rush from behind the left side of the cage with 6:56 left, then 22 seconds later Jackson burst from the left side to the right and scored on about a 10-yard shot.
4:20 p.m. Amherst came within one as Ted Tiftickjian converted in close off a pass by Doherty with 4:24 left in the second quarter, but then Silver Creek flashed more offensive prowess with two quick goals.
Zed Williams scored on a low-slung shot from the right side off a pass from Zach Williams with 3:48 left, then Zed followed with a outstanding play to set up a Brown goal. Right off a faceoff win by Zack Williams, Zed Williams ran the ball across the front of the goal about 15 yards out, and, as he appeared to head to pull the ball back out, he no-look, backhanded a pass to Brown at the left side of the cage for an 8-5 lead with 3:33 left .
4:22 p.m. Amherst gets an extra-man opportunity and cashes in immediately as Theilman scores from about 10 yards straight out after Jackson fed him the ball soon after the whistle restarted play. Silver Creek's lead is 8-6 with 2:12 left in the second.
4:26 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Silver Creek leading Amherst, 10-7.
Fun finish to a fun quarter. Amherst cut the lead to one (8-7) less than a minute after its previous goal as Dane Bentley created a nice play by feeding Theilman, who was in motion from behind the left side of the cage and he scored with 1:13 left in the quarter.
The Black Knights again flashed their offense thanks to more faceoff work by Zack Williams, who won two straight that led to a pair of goals. Just nine seconds after Amherst cut the lead to one, Zack Williams won the faceoff, sprinted out and found Frank Brown on the left for a 9-7 lead. Another faceoff win and another six seconds later (whoa), Zack Williams created a tic-tac-toe goal that was finished nicely by Sherman Williams for the 10-7 lead with :59 left in the half.
4:41 p.m. Amherst with a great start to the third quarter with two goals to cut the Silver Creek lead to 10-9. Doherty scored on a rebound and Dane Bentley scored 1:27 later with 9:11 left in the third.
4:48 p.m. Silver Creek takes a timeout with 5:07 left in the third; they have an 11-9 lead after a goal on a long, hard shot by Zeddie Williams with 6:02 left.
4:49 p.m. Black Knights score quickly after the timeout as Zack Williams picks up a ground ball and fires a long pass to Jon Jimerson on the right doorstep for a 12-9 lead.
4:54 p.m. Tough to keep track of all of this action :-) Amherst keeps staying close, Silver Creek keeps flashing the offense to stay ahead. The Black Knights' lead is 14-10 heading into the final minute of the third.
4:56 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Silver Creek leads Amherst, 14-10.
5:04 p.m. Amherst calls a timeout with 8:00 left to go and the score still 14-10 in favor of Silver Creek.
5:11 p.m. Silver Creek doing a great job here in the fourth and now leads, 17-10. They've had a few more flashy goals, but they've also had some lenghty, smart possessions, and its defense has stepped up with some body checks, stick checks and freshman goalie Connor Graves just came up with a fine save.
Zeddie Williams went on a solo charge to the goal with 5:24 left, somehow scoring as he fell to the turf while being slashed. Frank Brown added his fifth goal with 3:56 left in transition off the Graves save, and Sherman Williams scored off a great long feed from Brown with 3:23 left for the seven-goal lead.
5:14 p.m. Silver Creek calls a timeout with 2:06 left and holding its 17-10 lead.
5:20 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Silver Creek 17, Amherst 10.
The Black Knights win their third straight Class C title.
The postgame show:
6:07 p.m. We have our first timeout in the A final, taken by Orchard Park. The game is scoreless with 5:57 left in the first quarter. Both teams have exchanged turnovers for the most part with no good chances of note.
6:17 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Orchard Park leads Clarence, 2-0.
Orchard Park scored twice in a 2:17 span, both on unassisted goals. Tim Wagner went from left to right and scored on about a 10-yard shot with 5:48 left in the first; Austin Goltz followed with a charge from the right side and scored while spinning and falling to the turf while being fouled.
Clarence has had a few shots, all but one of them going wide of OP goalie Nick Owens.
6:23 p.m. OP calls a timeout following a failed clear with 9:46 left in the second quarter. Quakers lead, 3-0, after a nice play with Wagner up high and feeding forward to Goltz, who came in from the left side and scored on a high shot just under the crossbar.
6:33 p.m. Clarence calls a timeout with 4:12 left in the second quarter.
Clarence scored its first goal moments ago as Tom Zimmermann converted a pass from Charles Warkenthien with 7:30 left in the first quarter; OP leads, 3-1.
6:38 p.m. OP goes ahead, 5-1, after two goals within a minute. Connor Hicks speeds to the cage and whips a shot that Clarence goalie Zach Johnson got a piece of but trickled in with 2:57 left; Goltz with another goal, his third, as he goes flying to the cage and scores with 2:03 to go in the second.
6:42 p.m. Moments after an incredible point blank save by OP's Nick Owens, Clarence gets one past him on an unsettled play as Dave DeCirce picked up a loose ball off a missed pass and fired it in -- and at a great time, with just 2.9 seconds left in the half.
At HALFTIME, Orchard Park leads Clarence, 5-2.
7:02 p.m. Great start for the Red Devils, scoring twice in the first 3:35 of the third quarter to come within 5-4 and get its crowd fired up.
Warkenthien scored off a pass from Nick Gay just as an extra-man opportunity had come to an end with 9:24 left; a fast break with Alec Dietsch displaying some nice speed before finding DeCirce at the left side of the cage -- his up-and-down fake gave him a goal with 8:25 left in the third.
7:11 p.m. HELLO. We've got a tie game at 5-5 AT THE END OF THE THIRD QUARTER.
As it did in the second quarter, another huge, late goal for Clarence as Cooper Wittig sprints from the left side and unleashes a long shot from about 12 yards out that skids low into the goal with 4.4 seconds left.
Can't remember the last time I've covered a Class A final fourth quarter in which the score was tied to start. Might have to go back to an OP-Hamburg classic at UB Stadium in the early 2000s, which was when Hamburg was an A and which was won by OP in OT. Here we go.
7:17 p.m. Here we go indeed. Clarence now LEADS, 7-5, with less than 10 minutes to go.
Wittig scored as he streaked down the middle and scored off a pass by Gay with 10:47 left. After a Jack Lally faceoff win, Warkenthein came on a strong solo effort from behind the cage on the right side and whipped around and scored with 10:06 left.
Reminder: OP has won 16 straight Section VI Class A titles.
7:23 p.m. Injury timeout with 6:07 left as OP's Trevor Vargo is down on the turf. Clarence leads, 7-5.
7:28 p.m. Orchard Park calls a timeout with the ball and 3:42 left with Clarence still leading, 7-5.
7:33 p.m. Clarence timeout with the ball and 1:31 left. They ran more than 30 seconds off before the timeout.
7:35 p.m. Another timeout by Clarence with 1:00 left after running some more clock off.
7:38 p.m. Another timeout with 19.6 seconds left.
7:41 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and it is a STUNNER: Clarence 7, Orchard Park 5.
Sixteen-time defending champ OP goes down.
The postgame show:
8:36 p.m. Niagara-Wheatfield has an early, 3-2 lead on Hamburg with about three minutes left in the first quarter.
The Clarence win over OP has created an extra story for me to write so the updates won't be as plentiful here for the B game. My apologies. I will update at least at the quarters.
8:40 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Niagara-Wheatfield leads Hamburg, 3-2.
9:04 p.m. Niagara-Wheatfield used a four-goal run to take an 8-3 lead before Hambug got one back with 4:19 left in the quarter.
At HALFTIME, Niagara-Wheatfield leads Hamburg, 8-4.
9:57 p.m. Sorry for the delay. Exciting second half while I've been writing. Wheatfield leads, 9-8, with 1:11 left in the game.
10:05 p.m. WOW. We're going to OVERTIME tied at 9-9.
Wild finish with Hamburg tying the game with 32.9 seconds left in regulation as Pat Nowak scored off a pass from Max Maxwell.
Hamburg had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but after one shot was blocked at the defense, a shot by Maxwell with the clock winding down was stopped by N-W goalie Rob Eisenbart. Awesome save.
Four minutes on the clock.
10:10 p.m. Niagara-Wheatfield WINS IN OVERTIME, 10-9, as Cory Becker picked up a loose ball at midfield, then sped to the cage and -- with Hamburg roving goalie Thomas Liponi retreating after the turnover -- scored to give Niagara-Wheatfield the win 48 seconds into overtime. Wow.
Here's video of the winning goal, and my apologies that it isn't clearer. I ran down into the stands to get a better angle (in front of that girder you see in other shots), but the game-ending play happened so fast -- it was too fast for me to adjust the focus to take the glare of the lights away. My bad (chest tap).
It's the first title for Niagara-Wheatfield since 1986.
The postgame show:
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10:59 p.m. Whoa. What a night. The B game going to OT was a tense thriller that we hadn't really seen here in two days of championships.
Sidenote: Clarence had a pretty good night, huh? Lacrosse team knocks off OP, baseball is champions for third straight year, softball team is back in the final. Throw in football and boys soccer titles (Mike Silverstein coaches both boys soccer and boys lax) and the Red Devils have had quite a year.
I'll be getting additional info up here.
The scoreboard page has statistics from all of the games here tonight as well as all of the other action on a busy, important day in high school sports.
All three boys finals will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsNet on Thursday.
Hello from All High Stadium in Buffalo for the Section VI girls lacrosse championships. Class B gets us started with Lake Shore and Hamburg; Class C follows with six-time defending champion Amherst trying for a three-game season sweep of East Aurora at 5:30; at 8 p.m. six-time defending champion Lancaster takes on Frontier in the Class A showdown.
Great venue for all sports -- and it's a wonderful weather day for the action. Should be a great two days here as the boys championship tripleheader is tomorrow.
3:43 p.m. Lake Shore is off to a quick start, as Lauren Scanlan has three goals and the Eagles have a 4-1 lead with 20:13 left in the first half.
3:45 p.m. Another Scanlan goal, off a nice feed from Vivian Curry, makes it a 5-1 lead for Lake Shore.
3:49 p.m. Two quick goals from Hamburg cut it to 5-3, but another Scanlan goal on a breakaway makes it 6-3 Lake Shore with 16:04 left in the first half.
4:01 p.m. Timeout on the field with 11:01 left in the first half -- the players left their sticks in their places on the turf; ostensibly it is a water-break timeout mandated by officials. It is certainly a hot one here. Lake Shore has teh ball and its 6-3 lead.
4:03 p.m. A great feed from Curry from the right side, a great catch by Scanlan cutting down the middle, and she scores her sixth goal as Lake Shore goes up, 7-3, with 10:08 left in the first half.
4:05 p.m. Solo rush from the right side of the cage for Hamburg's Amanda Obenshain -- her second of the game -- make it 7-4 with 8:59 left in first.
4:07 p.m. Lake Shore answers that with a Curry goal inside to make it 8-4 with 7:56 left in the first half.
4:12 p.m. Obenshain takes a very nice feed from Taylor Wolff on the left doorstep of the cage and she scores to make it 8-5 with 4:08 left in the first half. That came just after a nice save by Lake Shore goalie Kachine Lay.
4:13 p.m. A draw control win and another goal by Obenshain, who made a few dodges in front of the cage before scoring and we're at 8-6 Lake Shore with 3:38 left in the first.
4:18 p.m. Big goal late for Lake Shore, who had been pressuring Hamburg but goalie Lauren Courteau came up with four nice saves in the final two minutes. Shelby Stevens then came up with a big steal of a Hamburg clear; she passed to Scanlan, who found a slashing Alie Jimerson for a nice catch and score for a 9-6 lead with 11.4 left.
4:22 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Lake Shore leads Hamburg, 9-6.
Obenshain went down with an injury with 5.2 seconds left and was writhing on the field for a few moments before trotting off the field.
Lake Shore seems to be overpowering with Scanlan playing a big part of draw controls and the offense, but Hamburg continues to keep hanging around.
4:38 p.m. Curry comes back with her third goal to answer one by Obenshain; Lake Shore leads, 10-7, with 22:08 left.
4:42 p.m. Curry on a clear breakway from midfield -- she sprints to the cage and fires an overhead shot under the crossbar to make it 11-7; 30 seconds later Scanlan makes a great catch of a feed, then whirls in front of the cage to score for a 12-7 lead with 19:45 to go in the game.
4:44 p.m. Obenshian up the middle after a penalty and Hamburg pulls within 12-8 with 18:23 left.
4:45 p.m. Official-mandated water break with 18:18 left in the game and Lake Shore up, 12-8.
4:54 p.m. Hamburg got a great goal from Megan Mikolajek, who went coast-to-coast after a steal deep in the Hamburg end. ... but Curry scores two straight to push the Lake Shore lead to 14-9 with 14:18 left.
4:58 p.m. Lake Shore scores again as Scanlan fires it in for her eighth goal -- the lead is now 15-9 with 11:57 left and Hamburg takes a timeout.
5:03 p.m. Obenshain scores her seventh goal in front to make it a 15-10 lead for Lake Shore with 9:21 left.
5:04 p.m. Curry comes right back -- a familiar theme there for Lake Shore. She goes to the goal, has her shot stopped but she scoops up the rebound and fires it in for a 16-10 lead with 8:55 left.
5:08 p.m. Officials timeout for a water break with 6:22 left.
5:12 p.m. Hamburg cuts it to 16-11 with 5:56 left on Mikolajek's second goal.
5:13 p.m. Hamburg back to within four as Obenshain scores her eighth goal to make it 16-12 with 4:23 left.
5:15 p.m. As has happened many times today, Lake Shore comes up with a big goal just when Hamburg is thinking of making a game out of it. Kiersten Kennedy scoops up a loose ball on a turnover by Hamburg, goes to the goal and her backhand shot trickles over the line to make it 17-12 with 3:21 left.
5:18 p.m. Amanda Patrone scores on the doorstep for Hamburg to cut it to 17-13 with 2:30 left. Lake Shore's Melissa Haring was down on the play due to cramping. She remained down through an official timeout before walking to the bench.
5:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lake Shore 17, Hamburg 13.
Lake Shore wins its first sectional title. Interview time for me.
And the Class B postgame show:
6:04 p.m. The Class C game is underway and Amherst, expectedly, jumps on top of East Aurora on an Ivy Timlin goal less than two minutes in.
6:06 p.m. EA ties it up on a Addie Ohler goal with 21:32 left in the 25-minute half.
6:12 p.m. Hmmmm. EA, which lost twice to Amherst during the regular season, gets another Ohler goal to take a 2-1 lead with 16:49 left.
6:15 p.m. EA scores again, with Victoria Budzyn scoring after a foul call right in front. EA takes a surprising 3-1 lead and Amherst calls a timeout with 15:13 left in the first half.
6:24 p.m. Amherst gets one back as Alana Rockoff wheels around from the right side to the left and scores to make it 3-2; that's followed by an officials timeout for a water break with 10:20 left in the first half.
6:29 p.m. Moments after a big save by EA's Rachel Hallnan, Katie Daminski scooted coast-to-coast, accelerating nicely in the Amherst half before scoring to push the Blue Devil lead to 4-2 with 7:32 left in the first half.
6:33 p.m. Alanna Rockoff scores 85 seconds after Sara Bischof and Amherst has tied it at 4-4 with 5:33 left in the first half; timeout EA.
6:38 p.m. Rockoff scores on a free shot in front -- moments after a yellow card was issued to an EA player after a collision -- to give Amherst its first lead of the game at 5-4 with 3:43 left in the first half.
6:40 p.m. Sophie Nieschur circles the cage, comes around the right side, waits a step against her defender and wheels and scores for a 6-4 lead.
6:43 p.m. After a nice save by EA goalie Hallnan, a scramble results in Sara O'Brien left open in front of the cage and she converts a pass to make it 7-4 Amherst with 1:12 left in the half.
6:46 p.m. At HALFTIME, Amherst leads East Aurora, 7-4.
Nice surge by Amherst to score the last five goals of the half; the last three came after the yellow card was issued to EA.
7:09 p.m. Amherst has kept rolling in the third quarter, scoring the first four goals to take an 11-4 lead with 18:42 left. I'm starting to write my story. Three games in one story and the Class A game is an 8 p.m. start, which puts us in a little deadline danger.
7:22 p.m. EA gets on the board but Amherst answers shortly thereafter as Ivy Timlin scores her fourth goal of the game to give the Tigers a 12-5 lead with 12:08 left.
7:26 p.m. A highlight goal from EA's Ohler, who goes coast to coast and finished it off by jumping to the left of the cage and shooting across her body to score at a very tough angle. Amherst's lead is 12-6 with 9:55 left.
7:33 p.m. EA gets two quick ones to cut it to 12-8 with 4:11 left. After Ashley Friess scored, Nikki Schneider scored right off the draw control win to cut the lead to 12-8.
7:39 p.m. Myriah Magaris with a goal off a free position shot for Amherst to make it 13-8 in the final minute.
7:40 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Amherst 13, East Aurora 8.
Seventh straight title for the Tigers, first for coach Kristy Grossman who took over for Janet Battaglia this year.
The Class C postgame show:
8:19 p.m. The Class A game has started with some great play -- by the goalies. Lancaster's Brooklyn Schilling and Frontier's Mia Wagner have exchanged saves on the first two trips by each team. Wagner then stopped two straight free position shots from near point-blank range. Whoa.
8:26 p.m. After some more great defense, Sarah Lorusso sprints in alone on a fast break and scores to put Frontier up, 1-0, with 14:14 left in the first half -- that's 10 minutes-plus of scoreless play, and it was very good stuff, not what you would automatically think of a scoreless start.
8:32 p.m. It is 2-0 Frontier as Ashley Bandt-Hunter loses the ball after a check, but then scoops it up and scoots to the goal to score on an overhand shot with 9:49 left in the first half.
8:38 p.m. We definitely have a situation here. Frontier's Lorusso scores again to give Frontier a 3-0 lead over the seven-time defending champions with 6:10 left in the first half. Lancaster called a timeout after the goal.
8:43 p.m. BIG goal for Lancaster as Alexis Ruggiero, a freshman midfielder, scores on a free position shot with a bounce shot that is the first to get by Wagner. Lancaster cuts the Frontier lead to 3-1 with 3:01 left in the first.
8:45 p.m. A big draw control violation gives the ball to Lancaster, and they capitalize as Brittany Delano scores to make it 3-2 with 1:54 left in first. Great surge here late in the half by the Redskins.
8:50 p.m. Frontier with several chances deep in Lancaster territory in the final minute, but Schilling made two big saves, one on a free position shot and one on a bang-bang pass play, and another free position shot went wide.
8:52 p.m. At HALFTIME, Frontier leads Lancaster, 3-2.
The low score is not a surprise considering the team's two meetings this year. Lancaster won both by scores of 5-4 and 9-5.
9:18 p.m. Working on my story so updating when I can.
Frontier made it 4-2 with 18:52 left on a transition play by Bandt-Hunter, who went coast to coast and fired it in after accelerating near the cage. The Falcons just made it 5-2 on another Bandt-Hunter goal with 12:22 left, prompting a Lancaster timeout.
9:33 p.m. Timeout Frontier with 3:31 left to play. Teams have exchanged goals in the last 23 seconds with Frontier leading, 6-3.
9:41 p.m. HUGE win for Frontier.
We have a FINAL SCORE: Frontier 6, Lancaster 3.
Lancaster's reign as Class A champions ends after six straight titles.
Timon and St. Mary's were scheduled to play on Dec. 23, so the schools are working on finding a new date for that game.
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We're about to kick off Week Three a little early -- but we're a little late.
Tonight's special edition football doubleheader -- due to Williamsville schools' observance of the Yom Kippur holiday -- begins with Williamsville South at Amherst in a top 10 large school battle.
6:06 p.m. The kickoff was to be 6 p.m., but Williamsville South arrived late -- word is that Main St. traffic, which is pretty rough at this time of day, was even worse due to an accident. Funny that a school so close would be late due to traffic.
6:15 p.m. Duke McGuire, who was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame this past summer, is in his traditional spot doing the public address here and has introduced the teams and we're almost ready to go.
6:23 p.m. Amherst receives the ball but doesn't go anywhere; three-and-out and South takes over with 10:19 left in the first quarter at the Amherst 48 after a short Phil Stasiak punt return.
6:28 p.m. Williamsville South scores the game's first TOUCHDOWN as Joe Licata hits Buddy Ammerman on a screen pass to the left and he goes 15 yards for the score. Josh Neuss adds the extra point for a 7-0 South lead with 8:48 left in the first.
6:40 p.m. South takes a timeout with 1:34 left in the first facing a third-and-6 at the Amherst 7; it's South's second drive.
6:42 p.m. Joe Licata's pass is deflected on third down, so Neuss kicks a 22-yard FIELD GOAL to give South a 10-0 lead with 1:29 left in the first.
6:48 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER with Williamsville South leading Amherst, 10-0.
6:56 p.m. We have another South drive, and another South score. Ammerman runs in from 3 yards out on a TOUCHDOWN; Neuss adds the extra point for a 17-0 South lead with 9:21 left in the second quarter.
7:01 p.m. Amherst didn't need this -- Cody Stumpf nicely reels in a deflected pass for an interception to set South up at the Amherst 31 with 9:03 left in the second.
7:03 p.m. On fourth-and-6 at the 27, South calls a timeout; Licata does a mini-scramble, then finds Billy Jacobbi on the right side -- Jacobbi runs about 5 yards for the TOUCHDOWN. Neuss adds another booming kick that is up and good and South leads Amherst, 24-0, with 7:10 left in the second.
Let's go to the iPhone video replay:
7:10 p.m. South's first empty trip of the game just concluded when Ammerman came up short on a fourth-and-3 run from the 32 of Amherst. Nice play by Christian Clark to bring him down and the Tigers take over at their 35 with 4:45 left in the second quarter.
7:16 p.m. Another empty trip by South ends with a not-so-good punt by Licata from the South 11, which sets up Amherst at the South 18 with 1:39 to go.
7:20 p.m. Amherst takes four shots but turns the ball over on downs, two runs and then two incompletions on third-and-6 and fourth-and-6. South took over and ran out the clock.
We are at HALFTIME and Williamsville South leads Amherst, 24-0.
7:48 p.m. The second half has begun, and it's Groundhog Day here as South drives and scores. The Billies started at their own 11.
Here's a big catch by Stasiak to help set up first-and-goal during the 11-play drive:
The drive finished with a 4-yard pass from Licata to Kevin O'Connell on fourth-and-goal. Licata rolled right and threw slightly across his body to find O'Connell in the middle of the end zone. Neuss adds another extra point and South leads Amherst, 31-0, with 7:45 left in the third quarter.
Here's the highlight of that one, sorry it's a little fuzzy:
7:55 p.m. Our Groundhog Day theme continues -- just like in the first half, a quick turnover sets South up with a short field. Amherst fumbled on its first play of its drive and South's Anthony Missana recovered the ball at the Amherst 26 with 7:31 left in the third.
Six plays later, which included a fourth-and-10 conversion when Licata hit Billy Jacobbi on a slant patter to take South to the 6, Ammerman ran in for a 6-yard TOUCHDOWN. Neuss' extra point makes it a 38-0 lead for South with 5:48 left in the third.
8:07 p.m. It is the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER with Williamsville South leading Amherst, 38-0.
This is not what you expect of a game between two teams ranked in the large school top 10. Then again, I feel compelled to note that my ballot was different than the poll. This is when I suppose I should drop one of those "just sayin" deals that have become so popular. I just didn't think Amherst had shown enough to earn a spot in the top 10.
8:12 p.m. Amherst had the ball to start the fourth but lost it on downs; South has the ball and is driving, mostly on the ground. South has second-and-10 at the Amherst 38 with 9:30 to go and counting.
8:18 p.m. South scores another TOUCHDOWN after running its way down the field. Senior Joe Paglicci runs in from 1 yard out for the score while senior lefty kicker Lorenzo Pierini booted the extra point to give South a 45-0 lead with 6:59 left to play.
8:27 p.m. Amherst just displayed some of the speed that had helped them to a good start. On fourth-and-2 at the Amherst 28, senior Cameron Matthews took an end-around handoff to the wide right side and simply sprinted past everyone on the field on a 72-yard TOUCHDOWN. The point-after was a completed pass from sophomore quarterback Justin Twarog to junior Glenn Belton. The score is now Williamsville South 45, Amherst 8 with 4:51 left.
8:33 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Williamsville South 45, Amherst 8.
Just when I thought last weekend was a long -- but fun -- one for football (just scroll down and see), Week Three gets kick-started a day early with some bonus football tonight.
The Williamsville schools are playing their traditional Thursday games due to Friday's Yom Kippur holiday, and this year we're treated to a top 10 large school matchup as No. 2 Williamsville South visits No. 9 Amherst at 6 p.m.
The second game of the night has an intriguing angle as Williamsville East first-year coach Chris McDuffie takes on his alma mater, Williamsville North, and the game is -- get your Northtowns compass ready -- at Williamsville South with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Should be a fun night. It sure was last year, when South quarterback Joe Licata threw for a Section VI record 492 yards in a 62-32 home win over North (check out video highlights from that game). Note: that blog has the yardage total that was originally reported but was later changed.
Here's our poll asking your choice of the weekend's top game (it's also available, as always, at our high school home page.
Our poll to kick off the week brought in about 800 votes as of Wednesday night -- excuse me while I pat myself on the back for that one for providing choices that apparently people dug. Clarence's first win over OP in a decade rightly won the poll, and a whole zero percent picked the none-of-the-above option.
9:03 a.m. We traversed our way through North Buffalo to Cleveland Hill to see Burgard warming up on a practice area and O'Hara and Cleve Hill going at it on the main field (which appears to be getting some upgrades -- newly paved asphalt and concrete is taped off in some areas).
It is sounding more and more like football season with coaches yelling and pads popping.
It doesn't take long for O'Hara coach Angelo Sciandra to find midseason form. After a play didn't go the way he wanted, he exclaimed from behind the line of scrimmage: "Are you kidding me?!!? You've GOT to be kidding me!!"
The parents were ready to go as well. A Cleveland Hill run play against O'Hara invoked cries of "Get him! Get him!" by a mom.
9:16 a.m. After a series between O'Hara's defense and Cleve Hill's offense (in which Joe Pops and his camera almost got run over on the sideline -- twice :-) ), Burgard's defense takes on O'Hara's offense. The Bulldogs looked ready to go, with No. 0 Victor Peoples calling out plays for the defense, which stuffed a few O'Hara plays in the series I watched.
Here's a nice pass breakup by O'Hara (below) -- check out the deft move by Joe Pops to pull the tripod out of the way just in time. This was our first play of the day. Some more good commentary by coach Sciandra as well.
Here (below) Burgard did a good job to bottle up O'Hara standout back Robert Davis (who had some big fans on the sideline):
9:24 a.m. We've seen enough quality stuff (and gotten it on video) to hit the road up to Lockport, which is hosting Sweet Home, North Tonawanda, Grand Island, St. Francis and Williamsville South. Kensington Ave. brings us to the I-290 and we're headed to the 990, Millersport Highway and Transit Road.
9:55 a.m. Arrive at Lockport's Emmett Belknap Middle School, home of the Lions' football field (my first visit). We see the end of the first session and are on hand for a great show between defending state champions Sweet Home and North Tonawanda, which was a blast to watch.
The first session had quarterback and Jordan Johnson moving Sweet Home's offense very well against NT's defense; the second session had NT starting slowly but finishing strong with several scoring plays.
All teams are pretty hyped up to start Scrimmage Saturday -- there were loud pregame hollers going on at Cleveland Hill -- but you got the sense from both defending state champions that this scrimmage matchup would mean more than most.
You can hear the energy in the teams' opening play, as NT players are clapping it up before a tone-setting run by Sweet Home's Ralph Neasman that the sideline loved (above).
After another run by Neasman, check out this great play (above) -- Johnson for his scramble and Coleman for a lot of reasons.
Coleman -- in the backfield -- dispatches with a blitzer to help enable Johnson to get free on a run that he would end extremely solidly in a big collision with an NT defender. But listen and watch Coleman after the play. Sweet Home players were understandably fired up with the big hit, but then Coleman tells them to "take a knee!" as the player is down.
I believe you can hear him off camera telling the player he's going to be alright. The player did get up and walk off under his own power, and Coleman yells to the player, "You good, you good! Told you it was just a stinger!"
After a tough Coleman run up the middle, Neasman took a pitch to the far right (above) for a touchdown.
Sweet Home's next possession started with a Johnson scramble to the left side, followed by Juwan Douglas with a run to the right (above) in which he kept his legs churning.
After a pass to the left, Coleman went in easily for a touchdown run (above), taken from a scrimmages-only camera vantage point (leaning on a goal post on the back line of the end zone).
When Sweet Home headed back near midfield for a new series, coach John Faller hollered at his team, "Let's have some fun ... all those two-a-days ... this is fun. Let's have some fun."
The Panthers' next possession was a quick one as K.J. Zinermon went in motion and caught a pass from Johnson before he dodged some tacklers to speed down the right sideline (and right by me) for a touchdown (above).
Another quick strike by Sweet Home: Johnson heaves it down the right side (above) and Brian Barnes adjusts to the ball and goes in for a touchdown.
NT gets an interception of Johnson (above); Sweet Home obviously had a nice offensive set but NT did get some pressure up the middle and a few sacks on some other plays. We can't show 'em all, of course.
The second session during this rotation was outstanding because while NT's offense came on to battle Sweet Home on one half of the field, fans got to watch University at Buffalo-bound quarterback Joe Licata and the Williamsville South offense take on Lockport on the other.
Licata twice hit Kevin O'Connell on the right side, once to get into scoring range and the second time for the touchdown (below).
Here's the fun second session in a nutshell (below) ...
... Licata completes a long pass on the left side of the field, then Joe Montesanti runs for North Tonawanda on the right side.
NT finds a big hole in the defense for a rushing touchdown (above) that gives Lumberjack players and fans cause for celebration.
Back to the South scrimmage ... Licata hits Phil Stasiak (I believe) for a long completion (above) but there's a fumble at the end of the play.
Here's another two-for-one clip (above) and it's defensive minded as Sweet Home and Lockport both stopped up run attempts by NT and South, respectively.
NT finds another hole in the defense (above) by running to the left for a touchdown.
Afterwards, Sweet Home coach Faller scolded some of his frustrated troops with: "Don't point fingers! Don't point fingers ... unless you're perfect."
The run-and-fun-and-gun Billies of South haven't seemed to change much, as they show here with an nice reverse run for a score.
I'm disappointed I didn't get over to watch two outstanding programs in Grand Island and St. Francis go at it on the practice field behind the bleachers (Joe Pops did with the video camera, however), but there was just too much going on on the main field. As is the case with the entire day, there's just not enough time to catch everyone.
10:57 a.m. Back in the car and ready to move shortly. This was our first chance to actually catch up on the blog, pounding away at the laptop in the car in the parking lot at Lockport.
11:08 a.m. We're on our way to Riverside, where a good group of the Frontiers, Bishop Timon-St. Jude, McKinley and Maple Grove are in action. This will be a relatively quick stop because we need to get out to Canisius' West Seneca field for their scrimmage with Orchard Park.
11:43 a.m. Arrive at Riverside and its newly paved parking lot adjacent to its new facility, which looks great with the four teams in action and a modest group of fans checking it out.
Maple Grove's offense is going against McKinley on one half, with new quarterback Alex Grace completing several screen passes against the Macks. On the other half of the field, Riverside's defense is standing very tall against Timon's offense.
Here's a look:
12:11 p.m. We're off to zip around the I-190 to Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca.
12:27 p.m. We arrive at Canisius' fine facility on Clinton Street, where in a mile or three you go from citylike to suburbanlike to countrylike surroundings.
This scrimmage might have just two teams, but if you're going to check out a two-team affair, you can't get much better than the defending Monsignor Martin champion and one of Section VI's best programs.
When we arrived, the teams were going through rudimentary special teams plays, like punt and kickoff returns without the full units on the field.
It was a good time to catch up on what happened earlier, and word on the sideline (just for the record, it was the Canisius sideline, but all from very reliable sources :-) ) was that the Crusaders had a great early session when the No. 1 offense and defense from both teams matched up.
Canisius had two touchdowns on early drives while it stifled OP's drive, which, sources said, didn't get across midfield while the Crusaders also had at least three takeaways. A standout was Canisius running back Mercer Timmis, a transfer from Canada who had plenty of people talking after some strong runs.
I was pleased to find out that the No. 1s would be going at it again, and Orchard Park fared much better than it apparently did earlier. It moved the ball quite well, including a nice completion by senior quarterback Kyle Witkowski (below).
In the next nine-play segment, Orchard Park had a great start with a few run stops as well as an interception (above).
Canisius showed the offensive firepower it displayed last season when Eman, after hitting a pass across the middle, delivered a deep spiral down the left side and Theo Russell stretched out to reel it in.
OP came up with a good finish to the session as well. It stopped two runs inside the 10 and, on the ninth-play on what would have been a third-down, a linebacker made a nice read on an Eman pass for another interception (above).
In a final series between the top units, Eman hit Russell -- this time for a long touchdown -- just before the close of the scrimmage.
1:39 p.m. After shooting our "stand-up" (TV term) for PrepTalkTV -- which is also referred to by me as my "blabbity-blah," we're heading back to the office where I'll be updating a ton on the blog.
1:48 p.m. We're back at One News Plaza, where I'll update the blog with a lot of stuff while Joe Pops puts the episode of PrepTalkTV together. I'll have that posted here as soon as it's completed.
I'll be heading out two two evening scrimmages (hosted by Iroquois and Amherst) and will have more updates and details later.
4:36 p.m. I'm hitting the road again, hitting Iroquois and then Amherst.
5:19 p.m. Make that Amherst and then Iroquois. It made too much sense to swing by Amherst after driving Joe Pops back to his car.
5:28 p.m. With some good highlights in the phone, I'm off for my lengthy trip to Elma and the Chiefs' scrimmage with Lackawanna and Frontier.
There were some nice plays between Hutch-Tech's offense and West Seneca West's defense on one half and the Kenmore East defense and Amherst offense on the other.
Hutch-Tech scored a touchdown on West Seneca West as I walked into Dimp Wagner Field, then put in a two-point conversion. Amherst scored a nice passing touchdown on one of the first plays I watched; on the next play on that half, Kenmore East's sideline got fired up after its defense knocked the Tigers back for a loss.
Here's how it went down:
5:52 I arrive at Iroquois and, thanks to my trip here last year, I know where I'm going.
I take the dirt road behind the school to near the baseball field, then walk through some high grassy and wooded areas into a clearing and what you could call the Chiefs' practice field of dreams.
I'm told by noted Prep Talk Nation first-ballot Hall of Fame blogger Milt Latimer that there has yet to be a touchdown, and there won't be in my stay there, although there are some solid plays.
Lackawanna's Keith Taggart probably had the play of the day -- he managed to handle a pitch that bounced on its way to him, then evaded tackler after tackler has he advanced well into the secondary.
The Steelers had some effective pass plays in the time I was there, while Frontier and Iroquois both had some nice stops.
Here are the best ones the phone and I captured from the sidelines:
6:59 p.m. After a good discussion about the day's action as well as the upcoming season with Milt, I walk up the hill, drive back up the dirt road, pass Latimer Field, and head back to One News Plaza.
The two evening trips brings us to a total of 22 teams covered across six sites. Whew. That's over a quarter of the teams in Western New York (87). Booyah.
(And 35 video clips! Booyah again.)
If you were at any scrimmages, let us know which ones and what you thought of the action in the comments section below.
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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.