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Who's going to the Dome?

Section VI sent four teams to the Carrier Dome for the state championships last year. Four teams will try and repeat the feat this weekend.

See you here tonight as we bring you the games to you from Rochester via Prep Talk Live.

---Keith McShea

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

Research material: State football semifinals

Around this time of year, we bop around the Web doing a lot of research and then pass on the links to you. Here's where our research of our state semifinal football preview took us. The preview appears as part of Football Friday.

First and foremost, of course, is the link to Prep Talk Live, where I'll have coverage of all four Section VI teams' games this weekend along with Mark Mulville's kick-butt photos.

Here are the basics:

* The Section V football site has plenty of basic info as well as the lineup of the entire state football tournament.

* Here's our history of Section VI football in the state tournament, which includes last year's tremendous results as well as all previous years, from the regionals to the state finals.

* Section4football has great overall history of the state, including the two Section IV teams that are taking on Section VI teams this weekend.

* We again will be live from Rochester's Marina Auto Stadium, where this link shows you what I can attest to first-hand -- that the stadium, for the third straight year, remains a work in progress. The picture of the work being done on the luxury box isn't too far from the appearance of our indoor/outdoor press box. Hey, as a colleague of mine says, it's not shoveling coal. There is electricity and a place to work, even if the entire press box is to one side of midfield. But it is far from an ideal venue for a state semifinal. 

* Here are this week's state rankings, part of the gallons of info available at the outstanding Road To Syracuse site administered by Moriello of the state sportswriters association.

Going class-by-class ...

Continue reading "Research material: State football semifinals" ยป

Fall sports head to state final fours

If you haven't seen them already, check out Pete Simon's front-page story on Grover Cleveland boys soccer and Mary Jo Monnin's wrapup of all of the non-football teams searching for state titles this weekend.

So who comes home with a plaque?

As always, let us know how and why you voted in the comments section below.

---Keith McShea

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

More from Randolph's Class D win

ROCHESTER -- It was an impressive defensive effort for Randolph in its 14-6 victory over Dundee of Section V in the Class D Far West Regionals tonight at Marina Auto Stadium. More so considering the Scotsman had scored 76 points just two weeks ago in winning Class D in Section V. It was the third time Dundee had scored at least 70 points in a game this season.

Here's some stats that didn't make it into the game story ... Randolph gained 14 first downs to just six for Dundee. ... Total plays were 53-39 Randolph. ... Time of possession was 29:49-18:11, also in favor of the Cardinals. ... Defensively, Brandon Durnell led Randolph with nine tackles (six solo), two tackles for losses, a forced fumble and a sack. Matt Hettenbaugh (who rushed 29 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns) had five tackles and a big fumble recovery. Ben Fluent had three tackles for losses and two sacks. Brady Morrison had two tackles for losses and one sack.

A couple coaching strategies also paid off for the Cardinals. Instead of kicking off to Dundee senior tailback Steve Webb, who entered the game with nearly 2,000 yards and 32 touchdowns, Randolph just used squib kicks. The strategy worked, as the Scotsman had just 7 kickoff return yards on three chances.

Here's a few leftover quotes that also didn't make the gamer:

Head coach Pat Slater

On the defense: "Defense did pretty good didn't they? [Defensive coordinator Brent] Brown put the kids together and the kids just came out and they played hard."

On giving up a touchdown on the first drive: "It takes time to adjust to speed in the game and for the kids to settle down. They found a weakness quick and they exploited it real fast."

On the support his team is getting: "We're excited. The community is all here. Everybody's ready to go. It's just great."

Hettenbaugh

On the defensive gameplan: "That's all got to go to coach Brown. He spends I don't know how many hours each week just studying every team. He's got it down to a tee."

On the offensive line: "Our offensive line did a really good job tonight. We worked on it all week long. We knew these guys were big, but our guys did a real good job just opening up little creases so we could just get 4 yards a pop."

---Jay Skurski



Prep Talk Live's Class D replay: Randolph edges Maple Grove, 21-20

Check the Prep Talk Live page for outstanding photography from The News' Mark Mulville.


What did you think of the game? Let us know in the comments section below.

---Keith McShea

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

Who's going to win Class D football?

Last year the Section VI champion won the state title? Before Maple Grove can try to repeat as a state champion, it has to do so as a sectional winner. Can they do it?

As with all of our polls, we want to hear how and why you voted. Let us know in the comment space below.

Be sure to vote in all of the polls: Class AA, Class A, Class B and Class C

---Keith McShea

WGR's full schedule of Friday night games

WGR's Web site states it will be broadcasting the following games on Friday nights:

Friday: East Aurora at Iroquois
Sept. 11: Williamsville North at North Tonawanda
Sept. 18: Depew at Maryvale
Sept. 25: Sweet Home at West Seneca East
Oct. 2: Orchard Park at Lancaster
Oct. 9: Iroquois at Williamsville South
Oct. 17 (Saturday): Kenmore East at Kenmore West

A quality lineup of games, and it's definitely cool to see high schools going primetime -- especially on a station where they high school sports talk has been quarantined to one hour on Saturday mornings for years.

Iroquois is a big winner with two games, but both are good matchups. The Monsignor Martin Association is a big loser with zero games, but it's somewhat understandable since there aren't any Friday nighters screaming for coverage. If GR is still doing games on Oct. 30, it might not be a bad, spread-the-wealth idea to go with the Monsignor Martin championship rematch of Canisius at St. Francis rather than a Section VI semifinal.

The list is a good mix of games, teams and areas, and it shouldn't be a surprise that the lineup consists of all Erie County teams other than just-across-the-bridge North Tonawanda. Randolph-Maple Grove is a great game for high school football fans, but GR wants to move the ratings needle, especially in a first-time venture like this.

---Keith McShea

Football schedule updates after the dropout fallout

These are the updates to the football schedule we have received, almost all a result of the dropout fall out caused by Brocton, Hinsdale and Walsh pulling the plug on their seasons:

Week One
Sherman vs. Forestville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Clymer at West Valley - Saturday, Sept. 5, 1:30 p.m.
Week Two
Portville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Falconer at Randolph - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Pine Valley at Westfield - Friday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Week Three
West Valley at Pine Valley - Friday, Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.
V-Charles Finney at Salamanca - Saturday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Bishop Timon-St. Jude has a bye week (after being scheduled against Walsh)
Week Four
Cattaraugus-Little Valley vs. Forestville at Silver Creek - Friday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Week Five
Randolph at Portville - Friday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Week Six
Silver Creek at Franklinville - Friday, Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Week Seven
Frewsburg at Ellicottville - Friday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Niagara Catholic at Allegany-Limestone - Friday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.

All of the changes have been made to the 2009 week-by-week schedule accessible via the high school home page.

---Keith McShea

Scribbling down scrimmages: Saturday's lineup

Saturday is the first day football teams can scrimmage each other.

Below is a list we've compiled from your responses to the Kicking off 2009 football talk post as well as some other research.

PLEASE let us know of any inaccuracies, updates or additions via the comments section below or an email to kmcshea@buffnews.com Thanks.

Also, check out a statewide scrimmage list from the NYS Sportswriters Association.

* * *

Saturday's scrimmages

Cardinal O'Hara at Cleveland Hill, 8 a.m.

St. Francis, Sweet Home and East at Lockport, 9 a.m.

Williamsville North, Burgard, Starpoint and Kenmore West at Clarence, 9 a.m.

Maple Grove and Clymer at Cassadaga Valley, 9 a.m.

V-Hornell at Olean, 9 a.m.

Alden, Wilson and Lew-Port at Medina, 9:30 a.m.

East Aurora and Gowanda at Cattaraugus/Little Valley, at 9:30 a.m.

Riverside and Grand Island at North Tonawanda, 10 a.m.

Maryvale, Grover Cleveland, Eden and three others -- yup, a seven-team scrimmage -- at Williamsville South, 10 a.m.

West Seneca East and Cheektowaga at Canisius, 10 a.m. (Stransky Complex at 2885 Clinton St., West Seneca)

St Joe's at Orchard Park, 10 a.m.

Salamanca, V-Dansville and V-Wellsville at Pioneer, 10 a.m.

Hamburg at Jamestown, 10 a.m.

Southwestern at Randolph, 10 a.m.

Frontier and Lackawanna at Iroquois, 5 p.m.

West Seneca West, Lake Shore and Kenmore East at Amherst, 6 p.m.

Depew and Niagara-Wheatfield at Williamsville East, TBA

Batavia at Albion, TBA

Lancaster at V-Webster Schroeder, 9:30 a.m.

Newfane and V-Charles Finney at V-Elba/Byron-Bergen, 10 a.m.

Niagara Falls, V-Hilton, V-Marshall, V-Spencerport at V-Greece-Olympia, 10 a.m.

---Keith McShea

Maple Grove hoops goes independent

Maple Grove basketball has a great game plan, and it's months before the season will start.

The Red Dragons applied and were approved for an independent schedule, and they've put together a great lineup for a team that is expected to challenge for its third straight trip to the state final four in Glens Falls.

Here's a link to Scott Kindberg's excellent Jamestown Post-Journal story about Maple Grove going independent this year, and here are some specifics for your calendar:

"The Red Dragons open their season Dec. 4-5 at the Olean Tip-Off Tournament, play at Jamestown's United Way Tip-Off Tournament the next weekend and travel to St. Mary's of Lancaster on Dec. 15. The Dunkirk (Dec. 18-19) and St. Bonaventure (Dec. 29-30) tournaments close out 2009. Maple Grove will open with Newark in the Jamestown Tournament.

"Maple Grove's first home game isn't until Jan. 7 when it entertains Southwestern. Three games on the Dutch Hollow Road follow against Randolph (Jan. 11), C.G. Finney (Jan. 20) and Westfield (Jan. 29). After a game at Southwestern on Feb. 5, the Red Dragons entertain St. Joe's (Feb. 9) before closing out the regular season with road contests at Finney (Feb. 12), at Randolph (Feb. 16) and at North Tonawanda (Feb. 18)."

This is just an outstanding move by Maple Grove as it eschews league games that were extremely noncompetitive for top-notch tests that should help them prepare for the postseason. That benefits both the Red Dragons and the CCAA teams that took a pounding twice in league games last year. It also gives high school hoop fans throughout Western New York (and the rest of the state) some great games to watch. 

Niagara Falls went independent a few years ago for similar reasons, which was also a fine move. The Wolverines returned to the Niagara Frontier League the last few seasons; I wasn't in favor of their return and I still think Falls should go it alone when it comes to boys hoops.

---Keith McShea

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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 | kmcshea@buffnews.com

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