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Live from Scrimmage Saturday: Six sites, 22 teams and one battle of state champs (with video)

It's Scrimmage Saturday for high school football in New York State -- the first day teams can scrimmage against others this season -- and we'll be hitting the road to catch the action.

Cleveland Hill's offense lines up against Cardinal O'Hara as Scrimmage Saturday gets started. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) News Web reporter Joseph Popiolkowski and I are going to visit a few scrimmages today.

Check here for updates of what we've seen; we'll also be putting together an episode of PrepTalkTV about our travels. I'll also post some phone videos of my own.

8:48 a.m. There are a ton of scrimmages today, but our first will be Cleveland Hill, which is hosting Burgard and Cardinal O'Hara at 9 a.m. Then it's up to Lockport for a huge six-team meeting.

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).

I remember Witkowski playing in last season's semifinal loss at North Tonawanda, but the first thing I think of is how he was involved in the hoops play that ended with's Troy Nowak's game-winning buzzer-beater that beat Jamestown last season.

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.

Another Scrimmage Saturday, another walk down the dirt road behind Iroqouis High. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) 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

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More from the Far West Regional softball games

With limited print space, plenty of interesting quotes (and a few notes) didn't make today's story. Here they are:

- Big thanks to Olean Times Herald sports editor Chuck Pollock for the juiciest stat of the night: Mynderse pitcher Courtney Johnson throwing 66 of her 78 pitches for strikes. Of course, the Blue Devils lost, 4-0, but still.

- Pitt-Mendon coach Maureen Kempski celebrated her birthday Tuesday in grand style. Her team looks poised to take a shot at the state title. Winning pitcher Brittany Grage improved to 15-0 on the season with a 0.24 earned-run average. She's allowed just five earned runs in more than 120 innings pitched this season.

- Great job by Kempski and her team for having a printed roster with the team's record, phone numbers and all the other pertinent facts and figures about the team. Section VI coaches: take note.

- As you'll read in the quotes below, Amherst got aggressive on the basepaths late in their game, but it cost them. The Tigers had a player tagged out at home after a passed ball and at third base. Looking back on those outs now may not prevent an entirely accurate picture, however. The Tigers were desperate to score runs and we're trying to make something happen. Hard to fault them for that.

- Remember, state semifinals and final are Saturday down the Thruway in Waterloo. Not a bad drive.

And here's some quotes from Tuesday's action:

Pittsford-Mendon coach Maureen Kempski

On if her team was ready for the next step: “Yes, but they’ve worked really hard and this was their goal at the beginning of the season. Most of these kids have been on my team at least three years. The girls have believed this is their time and they’re working hard. They believe in each other.”

On Amherst’s aggressive baserunning: “I was surprised with the score that they did that. I have a very strong infield. … I think because we had a few mental lapses maybe in the inning before, they thought maybe we’ll jump on them and see if we can rattle them, but with this group, they’re always ready. They believed they could get it and made the plays.”

Amherst coach Mike Chatelle

On going for extra bases:“We always talked about being aggressive, whether it was at the plate or in the field or on the basepaths. They made some decisions and went with them. They ran the bases hard and were looking to take the extra base."

On nerves: “I think we were a little tight, tighter than we’re normally used to. That’s understandable, it’s a different level.”

Olean coach Dan Brooks

On getting a lead: “One of our goals this year is to score first. If we can score first, we feel pretty comfortable. Chelsea has been throwing outstanding during sectionals. If we can score first we settle in a little better.”

On Calabro: “She was working hard, you could see it. She got a little frustrated at times, you could see it in her body language. It was her fastball that got her out of jams tonight."

On the team’s schedule:“Our league prepares us for this. One of the things I decided to do this year was upgrade our nonleague schedule. We played North Tonawanda, we played Kenmore West, we played some outstanding teams. And on top of that our division one [schedule]. The Fredonias, Falconers, Dunkirks, Allegany-Limestones, they’re outstanding. We played the perfect schedule for where we’re at right now. We’ve faced teams like this before. Our league is outstanding and it proves it year in and year out.”

Clarence coach Todd Banaszak

On taking an early lead: “It just gives the pitcher a little bit more confidence. Yeah, I guess you could say it put the team at ease.”

On missed opportunities: “I thought we should have scored more runs. We threatened quite a bit, but we just couldn’t get that big hit.”

On finishing the deal: “The first thing I said when we went to right field [after the game] was we’ve been there three times already, now we’ve got to win it. They’re a good group. They’re focused, they’re intense … hopefully we have all the ingredients to get it.”

Clarence pitcher Jen Sansano

On her defense: “They’re always there. I know the girls are behind me. They’re always stellar in the field.”

On taking an early lead: “It shows that the girls are in the game and they’re just ready to pounce on every team.”

---Jay Skurski

Far West Regional softball: Clarence, Olean win, Amherst falls

Today's three Far West Regional softball games at Niagara Falls begin at 4 p.m. with the Class A game between Amherst and Pittsford-Mendon; the Class B game is at 5 (Olean vs. Mynderse) on an adjacent field with the AA tilt between Clarence and Fairport at 6.

The D (Panama vs. Bolivar-Richburg at 4 p.m.) and C (Westfield-Gananda at 6 p.m.) softball regionals are being held at Scio, about 35 miles east of Olean. We'll pass on results of those games as soon as we hear anything.

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Updates from Reporter Jay Skurski at Niagara Falls:

5:24 p.m. Amherst falls in the Class A game, 6-1.

6:55 p.m. Olean wins in Class B, 4-0, behind a three-hitter and 11 strikeouts by Chelsea Calabro.

8:09 p.m. Clarence wins in AA, 4-0.

---Keith McShea

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Live from Far West Regional boys lacrosse: Irondequoit beats Hamburg, 8-4; Aquinas edges Silver Creek, 14-11; Fairport routs OP, 10-5

I'll be live at today's Far West Regionals in boys lacrosse at Canisius College, while Reporter Jay Skurski will be updating me with the results of the regional games at Niagara Falls High School. Here's my story from today taking a look at the games.

The lacrosse action begins at 3:30 p.m. with the Class B game between Hamburg and Irondequoit; that's followed by Silver Creek vs. Aquinas in Class C at 5:30 and Orchard Park against Fairport in Class A at 8.

Live from Demski. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) The three softball games at Niagara Falls begin at 4 p.m. with the Class A game between Amherst and Pittsford-Mendon; the Class B game is at 5 (Olean vs. Mynderse) on an adjacent field with the AA tilt between Clarence and Fairport at 6.

The D (Panama vs. Bolivar-Richburg at 4 p.m.) and C (Westfield-Gananda at 6 p.m.) softball regionals are being held at Scio, about 35 miles east of Olean. We'll pass on results of those games as soon as we hear anything.

We'll provide updates as soon as we can -- just hit that refresh button.

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For anyone headed to the lacrosse games, I will have raffle tickets that benefit the Tom Borrelli Memorial Fund. Just yell at me when I'm running around after I do interviews or come up to the press box. Tickets are $5 each and your three-digit number gives you an entry in a daily drawing for the entire month of July. 

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3:37 p.m. We're underway with the Class B game at Canisius College - scoreless through the first four minutes. 

3:38 p.m. Two back-to-back big saves early by Hamburg goalie James Maxwell about 4:30 in.

3:41 p.m. Irondequoit's Greg Coholan hits a post -- Hamburg gets a ground ball, recovers after a dropped ball and takes a timeout with 5:32 left in the first.

3:45 p.m. Our first goal of the game is a man-up goal by Irondequoit, as senior Mike Utz slams in a line drive from the left side off a behind-the-cage feed from sophomore Nick Doktor. Irondequoit leads,1-0, with 3:46 left in the first. 

3:50 p.m. Irondequoit has several more chances, but Hamburg checks help send a few of them wide and Maxwell makes a couple of saves, including a one-on-one stop on Utz.

3:51 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Irondequoit leads Hamburg, 1-0.

3:57 p.m. Irondequoit calls a timeout with 8:12 left in the second quarter -- Hamburg turned the ball over but the Bulldogs have played solid defense and Irondequoit hardly has had any shots. Utz is down on the sideline, lying face-first and getting treatment to a hamstring I believe. He gets back up after the treatment and his helmet is back on.

4 p.m. Irondequoit goes up, 2-0, on an unassisted goal by Doktor, who came from behind the right side of the cage, wheeled around and fired past Maxwell.

4:05 p.m. Hamburg's first goal is a cool one as longstick Shawn Needham clears the ball, then takes advantage of the defense failing to come to him, so he speeds in on goal and scores on the near side past sophomore goalie Ryan Jurek for a 2-1 game with 3:34 left.

4:06 p.m. Irondequoit wins the faceoff behind senior Justin Buonomo and calls a timeout with 3:25 left in the second quarter.

4:08 p.m. Maxwell makes a great save, feeds senior defensive middie Patrick Eagen for a clear and Hamburg calls a timeout with 2:30 left in the second quarter. 

4:15 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Hamburg and Irondequoit are tied at 2-2

Hamburg tied the game with 1:13 left after it had a two-man advantage following two 1-minute slash calls. Senior Adam Dings, on the right side, took a pass from senior Ryan Feuerstein and Dings whipped the ball into the left side of the cage. 

Irondequoit had a good chance after winning the next faceoff but Doktor's shot from the right side went off the near pipe.

A high quality game in which the teams seemed to feel each out early in long, patient offensive sets, and key possessions prompting good timeouts from coaches as they try to best manage the game.

4:24 p.m. Ryan Feuerstein wins the opening faceoff of the second half and has a bounce shot from the right side carom up off the far post.

4:28 p.m. On a man-up opportunity that Hamburg was very upset with after a technical push call, Utz rips a shot from the left side after a skip pass (basketball term) from Greg Coholan, a junior middie, with 9:53 left in the third quarter.

4:29 p.m. Hamburg strikes right back to tie the game at 3-3 with 9:01 left as Ryan Feuerstein charges up the center and scores unassisted.

4:31 p.m. Irondequoit takes advantage of a Hamburg turnover and calls a timeout in transition with 7:36 left in the third. Really early to take a timeout in a close game, thinks the press box.

4:33 p.m. Irondequoit takes a 4-3 lead on a great goal by Utz, who scores on a low shot while falling to the turf afer some hard work. 7:14 left in the third.

4:37 p.m. Hamburg ties it at 4-4 with 4:31 left when sophomore middie Ryan Jurek picked up an errant pass through the middle by senior attack Josh Kerr -- right-place, right-time for a one-on-one goal.

4:44 p.m. Irondequoit goes up again, 5-4, with 33.7 seconds left as sophomore middie Ian Brooks scores from the left side off a pass by Coholan, who ran right and passed across to the left.

4:46 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Irondequoit leads Hamburg, 5-4.

4:54 p.m. Big-time goal by Utz, who runs around the restraining box and whips a laser in for a 6-4 lead with 7:39 left in the game.

4:54 p.m. Utz with another laser. Big time stuff here. This one is from the left side off an assist by big junior Emmy Poccia from behind the left side of the cage. Irondequoit leads, 7-4, with 7:12 remaining.

4:57 p.m. The lead is 8-4 after Nick Doktor walks in on an open goal as Hamburg goes to a ride in which Maxwell is out of the goal defending. Big decision there to go to that ride, maybe a game-ender. Timeout, Hamburg with 5:41 left. Hamburg took an earlier timeout -- with 8:48 left in the fourth -- so they are done for the game. 

5:03 p.m. Irondequoit calls a timeout with 2:16 left in the game and the lead appears secure. Hamburg had a man-up opportunity, but a blocked shot helped give possession to Irondequoit and it cleared the ball.

5:08 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Irondequoit 8, Hamburg 4.

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5:43 p.m. We're about to start the Class C game.

5:49 p.m. Silver Creek scores on a strong move to the cage by Cam Seneca, who surged in from the left side for a dip-and-dunk and a 1-0 lead -- which might mark the first time Section VI has held a lead in the Class C regional round. 

5:50 p.m. Aquinas ties it at 1-1 on a goal by senior middie Brendan Hall off a pass by senior attack Austin Gorman from behind the cage with 6:35 left in the first. 

5:52 p.m. Silver Creek up, 2-1, after a nice fast-break finish by Zack Williams off a seal and a pass from Zed Williams.

5:55 p.m. Gorman scores to tie it at 2-2 with 4:34 left in the first. 

5:57 p.m. Silver Creek takes the lead again on a slick sidearm bounce shot by Zed Williams off an assist from Zack Williams with 3:05 left.

5:59 p.m. Aquinas ties it again at 3-3 after a Gorman goal off a feed from Klay Heston with 2:15 left; it adds a goal 16 seconds later when Heston scored off a Gorman feed right off a won faceoff for the Little Irish. Aquinas leads Silver Creek, 4-3, with 1:59 left in the first.

6:05 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Aquinas leads Silver Creek, 5-3. Anthony Bianchi finished a behind-the-cage feed from Gorman with 34.6 seconds left. 

6:28 p.m. My apologies on the lack of updates -- been taking care of a bunch of things. We are at HALFTIME and Silver Creek leads Aquinas, 7-5. 

A super finish for Aquinas, which got a literal last-second shot from Zed Williams to gain a two-goal lead. He picked up a loose ball about 15 yards out and released it with 0.4 seconds left -- the goal beat the horn in an outstanding play for the Black Knights. I just checked the Time Warner Cable SportsNet monitors and the goal was good. Great play for Silver Creek.

Silver Creek owned the quarter, 4-0. Zack Williams scored an unassisted goal with 10:55 left; Levi Jones scored on a solo rush 45 seconds later. With 5:24 left, Zack Williams scored on a great quick-stick catch-and-shoot in traffic right in front of the cage off a pass from John Jimerson, who was behind the cage to the right. That gave the Black Knights a 6-5 lead that it appeared would be it for the half before the horn-beater by Zed Williams.

6:37 p.m. We have started the second half in what is already the best performance by a Section VI team in the history of the Class C regionals. This round has always seen a powerful Penn Yan program toy with the Section VI team.

6:41 p.m. Aquinas quickly ties it up with two goals 33 seconds apart -- first it was Jake Vogl scoring off a feed from Klay Heston; then Heston scored unassisted to tied it at 7-7 with 8:21 left in the third.

6:43 p.m. Silver Creek scores on an unassisted goal by Zack Williams right off the face off with 8:12 left; Aquinas ties it at 8-8 with a Anthony Bianchi goal off another Gorman assist.

6:48 p.m. Two nice plays by Silver Creek give it a 10-8 lead. First, John Jimerson picks off a pass just inside midfield with Aquinas goalie Erich Wischmeyer well out of the goal on a clearing attempt -- Jimerson then finds Cam Seneca, who fired it in the an empty cage with 5:47 left. With 5:15 left, SC scored on an extra-man opportunity as Zed Williams scored on the right doorstep after a fantastic pass zinged through the defense by Zack Williams. 

6:52 p.m. Aquinas cuts it to 10-9 on an unassisted line drive straight out from Heston with 2:21 left in the third.

6:56 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, we are tied at 10-10. Gotta love it. Aquinas tied it with 46.7 seconds left on a goal by Heston from Vogl.

7:01 p.m. We're tied at 11-11 as Cam Seneca scored off a pretty Zed Williams feed with 10:12 left; Aquinas had taken its first lead since the first quarter on a goal by Heston with 10:27 left.

7:02 p.m. Aquinas up 12-11 after Bianchi finishes a Gorman assist in front of the cage with 9:17 left. 

7:03 p.m. Aquinas gets a ground ball in its own end after a nice save by Wischmeyer against Zed Williams -- 8:48 left in the game.

7:06 p.m. Heston scores his sixth goal of the game with 8:06 left -- Aquinas has a two-goal lead for the first time since the first quarter as they lead 13-11.

7:09 p.m. Gorman extends the lead to 14-11 with a goal off a pass from Heston -- there is 5:40 to go. 

7:14 p.m. Aquinas survived an EMO by Silver Creek, which just picked up a ground ball and called a timeout with 2:35 left in the game.

7:17 p.m. A save by Wischmeyer sends Aquinas to the Silver Creek end, where the Little Irish play keep away and their fans shake their milk cartons full of crud to make some noise. We're under a minute left.

7:19 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Aquinas beats Silver Creek, 14-11. Great job by the Black Knights for a best-ever Class C game from Section VI.

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7:57 p.m. We're about to start our final game of the day -- player introductions are going on for the A game.

8:01 p.m. OP starts quickly as senior middie Matt Wilson won the opening faceoff, then put in a rebound for a 1-0 lead less than a minute into the game. Fairport scores on a rebound to tie it when Tim Modesti batted in a ball that he had dropped with 8:04 left in the first quarter.

8:09 p.m. Fairport and goalie Blaze Riorden are staring into the sun, which is setting right behind the OP goal. OP has taken a couple of long-ish shots but Riorden has stopped them.

8:17 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Fairport leads Orchard Park, 2-1. The Red Raiders scored with 6.3 seconds left when they took advantage of a poor clearing attempt and Brendan Saylor came around from the left side of the cage to score. 

8:21 p.m. Fairport went up, 3-1, with 10:38 left in the second after Saylor goes up-and-under on Owens after a great fast-break clear and long pass from Brian Martin. OP cut it to 3-2 with Wilson's second goal of the game, a bounce shot off a burst down the left side with 9:37 left.

8:26 p.m. James Manilla scores an unassisted goal on the left side with 6:55 left in the second quarter and Fairport is up, 4-2.

8:32 p.m. Fairport takes a timeout with 3:23 left in the second owning a 4-2 lead and most of the play. The sun has gone down and the lights have begun to come on here at the Demske Sports Complex.

8:35 p.m. Fairport goes up, 5-2, on a nice play by Martin Manilla, who dodges in front and scores with 2:49 left in the half. That goal sends a Red Raider mascot up and down the sideline here waving a big red flag with a big white 'F' on it. Nice job in the mascot department by Fairport. I don't see any Opie from OP here.

8:37 p.m. OP calls a timeout with 45.6 seconds left -- a call that is being disputed by the Fairport sideline.

8:41 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Fairport leads Orchard Park, 5-2. 

8:53 p.m. Back to the action. OP needs to change the way it is playing if it wants to win this game. I have some typing to do for my story for the paper so the updates might be a little more sporadic. 

9:02 p.m. Fairport up 7-2 with 3:06 left in the third quarter, prompting a timeout by OP. Chris Button scored on an assist by Saylor with 4:45 left; Martin scored as he ran in from the right side off a feed from Martin Manilla. That possession was set up by a nice save by Riorden and a super cleary by Chris Benza to Martin.

Definitely writing my story now. Looks like the first sweep for Section V over Section VI since 2007 and just the second sweep in the last 12 years. 

9:12 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Fairport has an 8-3 lead on Orchard Park. Ben Johnson scored of an assist from Sean Purtill for OP's goal with 1:24 left in the third. 

9:23 p.m. With 5:03 left in the game, Fairport is up, 10-3, and Orchard Park is getting being called for a steady stream of penalties as the Quakers are definitely frustrated with having its season come to and end. 

9:31 p.m. Mass substitutions for Fairport, which is up, 10-4, with 1:24 left after a goal by OP's Trevor Vargo.

9:32 p.m. Fairport doing the St. Joe's "I believe that we have won" chant. Doesn't have the same charm when a bunch of parents do it. Just saying. 

9:33 p.m. Ben Johnson scores for OP with 1 second on the clock. 

9:34 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Fairport 10, Orchard Park 5. Gotta write. 

* * *

Here are some additional quotes from Tuesday's games:

Irondequoit coach Craig Whipple:

"We felt good about the way things were going, and we hit so many pipes … I told the guys to keep shooting. We thought we could get that two- three-goal spurt, and we did.

"We are very proud to be the Western Region champions and it's something our program is very proud of, but our focus has been on a three-game tournament. We're glad to get this first step, we're on to the second and hopefully we can get to that third."

Silver Creek coach Bill Brennan:

"It was a blessing in disguise with that loss (17-6 in last year's regionals to Penn Yan) because we at least had our feet wet and we knew what to expect. We didn't want to take anything lightly to get here. Getting was tough, Eden (in the sectional final) was tough."

Aquinas senior Austin Gorman:

"[Silver Creek is] definitely a lot different from the teams we've been playing in Rochester. They're definitely a box [lacrosse-style] team, with box picks … our defense did an unbelievable job with the picks. Their [zone] defense is a little bit different. It was a high scoring game on both ends … we just had a couple more than they did, but they played great."

* * *

If you attend any of the games, let us know how it went and what you thought of the action.

We'll talk about all the regionals and the Section VI representatives' chances at states this weekend during Wednesday evening's live chat at 9:45.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Olean, Westfield, Panama win softball titles; Timon lax loses, Silver Creek repeats; Section VI girls lax goes 0 for 3

Some updates from today's high school action -- review it all, as well as the Section VI track and field championships at the buffalonews.com high school home page:

Panama beat Pine Valley, 7-2, in the Class D softball final.

Westfield beat Randolph, 4-3, in the Class C softball final thanks to a walkoff RBI single by Rachel Quagliana.

Olean beat Depew, 4-0, in the Class B final for the Huskies' first sectional title.

In the boys lacrosse state Catholic final downstate, Bishop Timon-St. Jude loses, 10-9, at Iona Prep.

Silver Creek held off a furious Raiders' rally to win its second straight Section VI Class C title, 17-16. The game was suspended Friday night due to lightning with Silver Creek leading, 13-9, late in the third quarter.

In the girls lacrosse Far West Regionals at Amherst, Lancaster got off to a quick, 4-1 start in the A game before Pittsford surged back, scoring 12 unanswered goals in a 16-6 victory over the Red Devils. 

In Class B, superpower Canandaigua dominated West Seneca East, 23-4.

Amherst fell in the Class C game to Honeoye Falls-Lima, 18-6.

Friday Afternoon Live from Section VI boys lacrosse (with updates from other finals ... and video)

I'll be live at the Section VI boys lacrosse championships this afternoon and evening at Orchard Park. I'll be getting updates from the baseball and softball action as well. 

The Class A game starts the tripleheader at 3:30 p.m. as defending champion Orchard Park meets Clarence. Up in Niagara Falls, Clarence is also in action in the highly anticipated AA softball final against Williamsville North.

The scene at OP. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News) The rest of the boys lax action includes defending champion Hamburg meeting Amherst at 5:30 in the B final and top-seeded Eden facing defending champion Silver Creek in Class C at 8.

The Class A softball final has Williamsville South playing Amherst at 6 p.m. at Niagara Falls while the Class D baseball final at Jamestown has Pine Valley meeting North Collins at 4:30 p.m. The Georgetown Cup championship series will be set today when St. Francis faces St. Mary's in a game at St. Joe's that was postponed from Thursday.

We'll update as soon as it is possible -- just hit refresh once every couple of minutes.

* * *

3:52 p.m. After the FIRST QUARTER of the AA game, Orchard Park has a 4-1 lead. A few technical difficulties at the start here; my apologies. The OP field is new, but not the press box, but we have a seat and somewhere to type, and I can see all the action -- if I move my head back and forth around the .

A report from correspondent Nate Beutel at softball in Niagara Falls - Clarence took a 2-0 lead over Will North after two innings.

4:06 p.m. OP is having a nice run to take a 7-1 lead with 4:14 left in the second quarter, prompting a timeout by Clarence. 

A good timeout after a very pretty goal by OP, which came just 13 seconds after senior Kevin Kelly scored off an assist by senior Sean Purtill. On the ensuing faceoff, junior Trevor Vargo won it, fed sophomore longstick middie Kole Robinson, who handed ahead to Purtill, who fed Vargo in front of the cage for the goal with 4:14 left.

4:09 p.m. OP now up, 8-1, after a great solo underhanded effort by Matt Wilson -- his third of the game -- after he charged from behind the cage.

4:13 p.m. We are at HALFTIME of the Class A game and OP leads Clarence, 8-1.

4:17 p.m. Update from Niagara Falls: CLARENCE BEATS WILL NORTH IN THE CLASS A SOFTBALL FINAL, 2-0, on a one-hitter by senior standout pitcher Jen Sansano. I set up a separate post for the game for comments.

4:29 p.m. OP's lead is now 9-1 after another pretty passing play that started with a ground ball by junior defenseman Cullen Mangino -- who scooped it up and cleared it across midfield himself. He moved deep into the offensive end and then started a tic-tac-toe play with a pass to the right side of the cage to Purtill, who fed cross-cage to wide-open sophomore Ben Johnson for an easy score with 8:54 left in the third quarter. 

4:35 p.m. OP now up, 10-2, answering a Clarence goal by junior David DeCirce with yet another pretty passing play in transition. A great stick-check by Mangino on the defensive end became a clear that went from Mangino to Gary Davies to senior middie Dan Nesci, who fed Purtill on the right side, who fed back into the high slot (hockey term) to Sean Rimmer for a liner he put past Clarence junior goalie Zach Johnson.

4:40 p.m. Timeout with 2:06 left and OP owning its 10-2 lead.

5:01 p.m. After some frustrating browser/connection problems, we're back. Our apologies. OP's lead is 14-4 after a goal by junior middie Peter Biondi with 3:01 left in the game.

5:05 p.m. OP now up 15-4 with 2:03 left after a goal by junior Brian Kaspzyk.

5:09 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and we have a CLASS A CHAMPION. Orchard Park beats Clarence, 15-5, for its 16th straight sectional title and 19th in the last 20 years.

Orchard Park wins the A championship. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
* * * 

5:46 p.m. We're about to start the Class B game. At the start of warmups, while I was doing interviews at the sideline, the Hamburg and Amherst teams did some serious woofing across the midfield line -- very reminiscient of college football pregame woof-fests. Everyone stayed on their side of the line, so just some good, clean (loud) fun. 

5:48 p.m. First possession for Hamburg but two shots go wide and Amherst hears the ball back on the backup.

5:52 p.m. Adam Dings makes it a 1-0 Hamburg lead on a nice leaping bounce shot with 6:48 left in the first quarter.

5:55 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 2-0, on a similar move as Andy Velazquez comes from the right side across the middle and fights off a defender as he gets his scoring shot off. 

6:01 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with the ball with 19 seconds left in the first quarter.

6:03 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER and Hamburg leads Amherst, 2-0.

6:21 p.m. We're still at 2-0 Hamburg; the teams have exchanged extra-man opportunities, turnovers and hits but no goals.

6:22 p.m. As soon as I type that, Hamburg's Josh Kerr scores off a feed from Ryan Feuerstein -- which came off what the press box says was the 13th turnover by Amherst. The goal was at 4:14 left in the quarter.

6:23 p.m. Thirty seconds later, at 3:47, Max Maxwell comes from behind the goal, beats a defender and scores on a low shot for a 4-0 Hamburg lead and prompts a timeout by Amherst coach Stefan Henn.

6:26 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with 2:37 left in the second quarter.

6:29 p.m. Hamburg adds another. After a save by Amherst goalie Scott Theilman, Josh Kerr picks up a ground ball on the left side and fires it in the top right corner for a 5-0 lead with 1:48 left in the second.

6:32 p.m. Hamburg's late surge in the second was pretty good, but Ryan Feuerstein made it outstanding. With the clock ticking down, he came from behind the right side of the goal and whipped around a shot that went in the goal with just one second left in the half. Hamburg leads, 6-0, with :01 left, which means ...

We are at HALFTIME and Hamburg leads Amherst, 6-0.

6:37 p.m. Update from Niagara Falls in SOFTBALL: Amherst leads Williamsville South, 2-0, after three innings of the Class A final. 

6:44 p.m. We have an update from BASEBALL: Pine Valley beats North Collins, 6-0, to win the SECTION VI CLASS D CHAMPIONSHIP.

6:46 p.m. We have started the third quarter. Hamburg senior goalie James Maxwell just made a nice one-on-one stop at the left doorstep on Amherst senior Bryan Lawson.

6:53 p.m. Hamburg scores on a pretty goal by Josh Kerry from Ryan Feuerstein with six minutes left; Amherst scores on its next possession thanks to senior Jack Huck; Hamburg, 7-1, with 5:35 left in the third. 

6:55 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 8-1, with four minutes left on a nice rush from behind the right side of the goal by freshman Max Maxwell.

7:01 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Hamburg leads Amherst, 8-1.

7:08 p.m. Hamburg goes up, 9-1, with 7:00 left on a goal by Chris Feuerstein, who dodged past a double-team and scored from the right side.

The Hamburg fans were cheering on their defense, which has been outstanding all game. Amherst has had long possessions, but excellent checks have limited the Tigers to a few fairly easy shots saved by James Maxwell.

7:14 p.m. Timeout with 4:50 left and Hamburg up, 9-1. 

7:20 p.m. Timeout Hamburg with 1:13 left; still a 9-1 game.

7:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE and we have a CLASS B CHAMPION. Hamburg beats Amherst, 9-1, for its fourth straight sectional title. 

Hamburg wins the B title. (Keith McShea/Buffalo News)
* * *

7:54 p.m. We have a SOFTBALL update. AMHERST WINS THE CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP. Tigers beat Will South, 3-1.

7:55 p.m. A couple minutes away from the start of the C game between defending champion Silver Creek and top-seeded Eden. Skies are greying but hopefully we don't get in any rain trouble.

8:07 p.m. Silver Creek takes a 2-1 lead on a Levi Jones goal off a nice John Jimerson pass with 8:59 left in the second quarter -- the Black Knights also scored on the opening faceoff as Zack Williams won it and charged right in for the goal. 

The teams split their two meetings this season, with Eden winning on the road,16-12, on April 7 and the Black Knights winning in Eden, 20-9, on May 3.

8:15 p.m. Some big-time back-and-forth going on. Silver Creek is up, 4-3, with 4:21 left on a sweet, low swooping shot by Zed Williams.

8:17 p.m. Like I said, back and forth. Derek Wilder scores off a nice through-the-defense pass by Mike Janker and we're tied at 4-4 with 2:39 left in the first. Looks like we have our best game of the day.

8:23 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Eden has a 6-5 lead over Silver Creek. Neither team has had more than a one-goal lead.

8:30 p.m. The wild back-and-forth swings continue with a Silver Creek spurt -- it leads 7-6 with 10:15 left in the second after a hard shot by Ryan Mitchell.

8:33 p.m. Timeout Eden after Zack Williams sheds two shoves in the defensive end, clears it himself and goes in alone to score on a low overhand shot for an 8-6 Silver Creek lead with 8:37 left in the second.

8:35 p.m. The highlight show continues in a major way. Sophmore John Jimerson took a pass on his own side of midfield, sped towards the Eden goal, and as one defender chased him and anothe rdefender approached, he put on the brakes and did a super spin-o-rama move before charging in a few steps and burying a shot in the top left corner. Awesome. Check it out on Time Warner Cable SportsNet this week. SC leads, 9-6, with 8:09 left in the second.

8:50 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Silver Creek has an 11-7 lead over Eden. What a fun half -- crazy scoring.

Time for me to get some writing done for Saturday's paper.

9:10 p.m. We're back to action, and the teams have kept up their pace with four goals in the opening five minutes. Silver Creek leads, 13-8, with 7:03 left in the third.

9:16 p.m. A slight drizzle started a few minutes ago, and then the officials called for the game to be suspended because lightning was seen in the distance. That's an automatic 30-minute delay. Ordinarily, I'd be a furious reporter right now, but the delay gives me a chance to write my story. I'll let you know of any more details, but we'll be back at 9:46 p.m. at the latest.

It's 13-9 Silver Creek with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

9:44 p.m. A steady downpour has subsided but apparently there has been more lightning during the delay, which has extended the delay. I'm typing a press box atop an empty bleacher.

10:05 p.m. Story is done for the paper and we just saw lightning again -- we've got to be looking at a suspended game that gets finished tomorrow.

10:19 p.m. A blast of thunder and another flash of lightning and ...

Section VI chairman John Faller has notified us that the game will be picked up Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. here at Orchard Park. That's Silver Creek leading, 13-9, with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

10:48 p.m. We've updated our story for tomorrow's paper and we're outta here. After the game was called, there was some serious lightning and thunder accompanied by a serious downpour. All is much calmer now. 

Next lacrosse stop is Tuesday night at the regionals.

* * *

Some postgame interview videos:

If you were at any of the games, let us know how it went and what you thought of the action.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Thursday Evening Live: Lancaster girls, Hamburg boys make lacrosse statements

I headed out to catch some big lacrosse matchups this afternoon and saw two top teams head on their way to statement victories in league play.

I started out at Lancaster to see a portion of the second half of its 10-3 victory over Clarence, then swung south to Hamburg, where I saw the Bulldogs put some distance between themselves in Amherst in the beginning of the fourth quarter in what would be a 13-5 win.

Here are some highlights. Happy squinting.

I'm in the office putting together the High School Extra for Friday's paper. Check the high school home page (link below) for all the scores and highlights.

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

2010-11 boys hoops, here we come: Niagara Falls' Cataract Classic field is set

Yes, the All-Western New York basketball issue just came out.

And yes, this is a post about the 2010-11 schedule.

One of the top early-season showcases is already set: the Cataract Classic at Niagara Falls. Event organizer Sal Constantino emailed the schedule to us today.

As always, a great mix of teams and some great matchups. Here it is:

Friday, Dec. 10
North Tonawanda vs. Lancaster, 5 p.m.
St. Joe's vs. Depew, 6:30 p.m.
Niagara Falls vs. Jamestown, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 11
Wilson vs. St. Mary's/Lanc., noon
V-Charles Finney vs. Amherst, 1:30 p.m.
V-Batavia vs. Williamsville North, 3 p.m.

Williamsville South vs. Canisius, 5 p.m.
Niagara Catholic vs. East Aurora, 6:30 p.m.
V-Aquinas vs. Niagara Falls, 8 p.m.

I sure hope the Pastor-Cooper Tournament is the week before (Nov. 29-Dec. 3) -- that's the way things have gone down the last two years. I've covered a state championship football game on the last Sunday in November and then seen some hoops at Daemen the next day.

We won't have a building-the-schedule post up for a little while yet, but if anyone out there has some confirmed dates, please feel free to add them here or to email me at [email protected].

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

Live from the Federation hockey Division II semifinals: Amherst stuns way into Super Sunday vs. Sweet Home

We're finally up and running. Some technically difficulties here tonight in the Amherst Center.

The first of two Small School semifinals features top seed and defending champion Kenmore East against first-time semifinalist and original eight Fed member Amherst, the No. 7 seed.

First Period

Scoreless through one although Amherst will be on the power play for 53 seconds when the second period begins.

Amherst goalie Sean Smith made some nice saves, especially late with the Bulldogs buzzing during back-to-back power plays. Tigers had a couple decent shots on Mike Davern but Ken East ended period with 9-4 edge in shots.

Until those late penalties, Amherst did good job slowing down Ken East before Bulldogs skaters reached neutral zone. Tigers basically playing version of left-wing lock and standing up Ken East players in neutral zone.

Second Period

Kenmore East scored first just after a power play had expired. Steve Genter's screen shot from the point beat Amherst goalie Sean Smith between the arm and body with 8:53 left.

Continue reading "Live from the Federation hockey Division II semifinals: Amherst stuns way into Super Sunday vs. Sweet Home" »

More from coaches Kensy

Here's some extra info from today's story on the coaching Kensys: Mark at Maryvale and son Chris at Amherst.

The videos were shot during the teams' first meeting this year, which was the first coaching meeting between the two.

Check out how far Mark comes down the sideline here -- it's almost as if Chris senses his opponent and decides to give him some space.

Chris on dad:

Dad on Chris:

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     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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