Hello on one of those quality-but-not-as-much-quantity Saturdays as compared to last night's busy (and eventful) Friday Night ... there are just 14 games today but there are several nice matchups.
Canisius is at St. Joe's, Clarence is hosting Frontier and Cardinal O'Hara is hosting St. Mary's, but we're checking out two-time defending state champion Sweet Home hosting McKinley in a large Class A North matchup and what is anticipated as the Panthers' first real tough test of the season.
2:32 p.m. Our first chance to update -- Sweet Home is up, 7-6, late in the first quarter.
The Panthers looked very state champ-like on their opening drive, which quickly moved downfield and ended with K.J. Zinermon's end-around run from the left side to the right end and a 10-yard TOUCHDOWN. Steve Stapleton's kick was good for the 7-0 lead.
McKinley answered with an impressive, eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with senior quarterback Markell Ingram leaning in off left tackle for a TOUCHDOWN on a sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1. McKinley's two-point conversion run was stuffed by junior Rashaad Rogers.
2:33 p.m. A big play for McKinley turns into a HUGE play for Sweet Home.
The Macks faced a fourth-and-1 at the Sweet Home 29 on an impressive drive. McKinley senior quarterback Markell Ingram put a pass up to the left flat and senior defensive back Kyle Luchey stepped in front of it and went 75 yards for the TOUCHDOWN. The extra point was missed; Sweet Home leads McKinley, 13-6, with 1:10 left in the first quarter.
2:39 p.m. Wow the momentum is changing fast in this one. McKinley came out strong and looked very good, but some mistakes have put Sweet Home ahead, 19-6, with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. On fourth-and-11 from its 25, McKinley had bad snap mishandled by the punter, the ball bounced to the end zone and Rashaad Rogers fell on it for the TOUCHDOWN. The point-after run failed.
2:41 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Sweet Home leads McKinley, 19-6.
2:59 p.m. I was just thinking that if McKinley finds its footing after those mistakes, they could be right in this game. They just might have done that. Sophomore Kwame Duah runs right and scores on a 9-yard TOUCHDOWN. The pass fails and Sweet Home's lead is 19-12 with 5:19 left in the second quarter.
A great pass from Ingram to sophomore Stephon Johnson down the right side on third-and-6 from the McKinley 49 helped the Macks move along. It went for 42 yards -- great lofted pass dorn right side and great adjustment to make the catch just in bounds.
3:01 p.m. Just when you think this game is going to tighten up, Sweet Home stretches it out again. Junior quarterback Jordan Johnson fakes a handoff, then runs it up the middle through the linebackers and then sprints away from the defense for a 75-yard TOUCHDOWN. Johnson hits senior Ralph Neasman on the right side for a two-point conversion pass and Sweet Home's lead is 27-12 with 4:59 left in the second quarter.
3:19 p.m. Sweet Home takes advantage of a possession with just 51 seconds left in the half that came with great field possession after the Macks punted from their end zone. After a penalty (Sweet Home has had a bunch of those), Jordan Johnson faked a handoff on first-and-15 at the McKinley 28, then ran right up the middle for another TOUCHDOWN. Another two-point conversion pass, this one from Johnson to Zinermon -- who made a nice spin-off a few tacklers to gain the end zone -- gives Sweet Home a 35-12 lead with 40 seconds left in the first half.
3:27 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Sweet Home leading McKinley, 35-12.
3:32 p.m. OK. We're outta here. I've been listening to the St. Joe's-Canisius game online at WGR and St. Joe's has a stunner of a 30-12 lead at halftime. WOW.
St. Joe's had a 23-12 lead but added a touchdown on a Chad Kelly pass with 2:34 left in the second quarter.
Another update from photographer John Hickey -- he's at Clarence, where the host Red Devils had a 28-0 lead on Frontier at halftime.
I'm off to St. Joe's, I should be there in plenty of time for the finish ...
4:22 p.m. WOW, WOW, WOW.
We are at the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER AND IT IS ST. JOE'S 44, CANISIUS 12.
Just a stunning score and a tremendous performance by St. Joe's.
I heard St. Joe's score on their opening drive of the second half after a major statement of a drive, then was on hand to see Nick Hall run in for a 21-yard touchdown on their next possession. The St. Joe's defense has been outstanding, pressuring and bottling up Canisius quarterback
4:26 p.m. Canisius gets on the board in the second half with a 10-yard touchdown run by Mercer Timmis. The extra point is good. St. Joe's leads Canisius, 44-19, with 10:13 left in the game.
Update from photographer John Hickey: A final score at Clarence, where the Red Devils beat Frontier, 41-8. Hickey reports that there was a heated discussion between coaching staffs after the game after Clarence went for two on its final touchdown. Just a silly move that could certainly be called classless; there's no need for it and all it can do is welcome criticism.
4:32 p.m. Wow again. Chad Kelly keeps it and runs in for a 23-yard TOUCHDOWN for a 50-19 St. Joe's lead over Canisius with 8:34 left.
4:44 p.m. This one is all but over. St. Joe's leads Canisius, 50-19, with the clock winding under two minutes. Gotta shut down for now. Wow.
4:47 p.m. Check that. Late touchdown for Canisius with 27 seconds left. Joe's leads, 50-26.
6:37 p.m. Sorry -- been busy for a bit but just to confirm that the shocking, stunning FINAL SCORE: St. Joe's 50, Canisius 26.
Back at the office after taking care of PrepTalkTV duties, now writing my story and the shock of the result is still sinking in. Not just that St. Joe's won -- if it was a close game, you could understand that considering the rivalrly. But an absolute crushing? Only the biggest Marauder fans could have really expected that. I've said it before, I'll say it again ... wow. :-)
* * *
Here is our Saturday scoreboard.
Some more wows, both from Williamsville. Will North beats NT, word at St. Joe's was that Will East beat Grand Island but we haven't gotten a call on that one. Nice wins by Burgard and Cardinal O'Hara as well.
Final in from Sweet Home is the Panthers taking it, 41-32. Sweet Home was up, 35-18, heading to the fourth. The Macks scored a safety then a touchdown to come within nine (35-26), and then the teams traded touchdowns for the final score.
* * *
Here is the Week Five wrapup episode of Prep Talk TV.
One note -- we went to "production" right after the St. Joe's game and didn't know about Williamsville North's win over NT at the time. I certainly would have mentioned that at the end; my apologies about that.
* * *
* * *
As always, let us know what game you saw and what you thought of the action, from the teams to the players to even the concession stand.