I had a summer break that started as soon as the 2010-11 season concluded, and now I'm back -- and here to throw some notes out regarding some summer news and notes ...
* Late in the spring season we told you about the BCANY Hoops Festival set for Johnson City from Aug. 5-7. The event seems like a great one, and it's one that came about due to the unfortunate absence of the Empire State Games this summer.
The roster has been selected by the coaching staff of head coach Larry Jones (Depew) and assistants Mike Haskell (retired Pioneer) and Mike Berkun (Medaille):
Reggie Agbeko (St. Joe's), Stan Wier (who has transferred back home to East Aurora), Sterling Taplin (Williamsville North), Ryan Whelpley (Walsh), Matt Hart (Canisius), Aaron Frasier (Seneca), Aaron White (Canisius), Jamaal Carter (City Honors), Adam Weir (Canisius), Jordan Williams (Bishop Timon-St. Jude).
The team will play Long Island on Friday, Aug 5 at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, Aug. 6, the Buffalo team plays New York City at 9 a.m. and Hudson Valley at noon. Saturday's evening session includes a dunk contest and three-point contest at 4:30 p.m.; a parent clinic on recruiting at 5:30 and a player clinic with college coaches at 6:30.
The event concludes on Sunday, Aug. 7 with the seventh-place game (9 a.m.), fifth-place game (10:30 a.m.), consolation (noon) and championship (1:30 p.m.).
While the event is being run by BCANY, there are some expenses that will need to be covered for teams and players (food, lodging, transportation -- costs mostly taken care of by the ESG during the Games). The squad is seeking sponsorships -- if you are interested in helping the team defray some costs, call Jones at (585) 746-8327.
This team deserves some serious commenting -- that squad is a really good one, a much better collection than I expected for what is a startup event this year. Great talent, great depth, great mixture of schools. Excellent job by the basketball community in getting the word out and credit the coaching staff for what must have been some difficult choices after the tryouts.
* Speaking of some good hoops competition, this weekend might be the Taste of Buffalo but fans can get a taste of hoops up in Niagara Falls. Some top programs are in action at the Niagara PAL Team Camp at Niagara Falls. Here's the lineup:
Friday: 5 p.m. -- Main gym, Niagara Falls vs. Canisius; Aux. gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 6 p.m. -- Batavia vs. Grand Island; Aux. gym, Wilson vs. Holland; 7 p.m. -- Main gym, Jamestown vs. Sweet Home.
Saturday: 9 a.m. -- Main gym, St. Joe's vs. Niagara Falls; Aux. gym, Canisius vs. Jamestown; 10 a.m. -- Main gym, Sweet Home vs. Wilson; Aux. gym, Batavia vs. Niagara-Wheatfield; 11 a.m., Main gym, Grand Island vs. Holland.
Single elimination tournament begins at noon, with championship at 5 p.m.
There is a $2 admission for fans 13 and older.
* I will hopefully hit some summer events of all sorts -- I'll be soon selling raffle tickets to benefit the Tom Borrelli Award and Scholarship Fund. We have some great prizes and it's a great cause as we continue to honor our fallen coworker.
The third Borrelli Award for boys and the inaugural Borrelli Award for girls will be announced later this month and the winners will receive their trophies at the July 27 Tom Borrelli Golf Tournament at Holland Hills. For those interested in golfing ($100 per person) or donating, please email me at email@example.com.
* By the way, the spring All-WNY teams and all-league teams (for baseball, softball and boys and girls lacrosse), which have been published over the last month, have all been collected at the high school home page.
Tonight marks one of the biggest days on the high school basketball calendar: Section VI's Quarterfinal Friday.
There are 28 games across seven classes tonight, with the winners advancing to the final four at Buffalo State (Classes AA, A-1, A-2, B-1, B-2) or Jamestown Community College (C and D). Prepare for the big night by reviewing game previews for almost all of the matchups on our scoreboard page.
Here's our video preview of the night:
Today's snowstorm has postponed four games as of 3:15 p.m. -- all of which were to be hosted by Southern Tier teams.
Section VI boys basketball chairmain Jim Walker said that the Class D matchups of Olmstead at Sherman, North Collins at Panama and Ellicottville at Clymer, as well as the Class B-1 game of Buffalo Arts at Dunkirk have all been postponed to Saturday at 2 p.m.
PrepTalkTV will visit some early games before settling in for the evening at Williamsville North, which is hosting McKinley at 7 p.m. in a highly anticipated Class AA quarterfinal.
We'll have a live blog of the action from Will North, and we'll provide updates from other games as we receive them; feel free to join the chat via your smartphone or chime in afterwards in our comments section. The same scoreboard page that has the previews during the day will be updated with results and box scores as soon as we receive them at One News Plaza.
5:24 p.m. The first game of the night is a 5 p.m. start for Sweet Home at Hutch-Tech, and the host Engineers have rebounded very nicely after a slow start.
Maurice Miles just took two defenders to the hole and scored for a basket and a foul; he hit the basket for a 26-24 lead with 2:41 left in the second quarter. Sweet Home scored the first seven points of the game and led after one quarter, 17-12. Hutch-Tech has stepped up the defense and is rebounding very well. Sweet Home has brought its usual energy but they've had trouble finishing shots. Miles has been too much to handle for Sweet Home defenders while Hutch-Tech has gotten good contributions from other players, including John Cherry and Marcus Nelson, who hit a three-pointer to give Tech its first lead of the game at 23-20.
5:31 p.m. We are at HALFTIME here at Hutch-Tech, and the Engineers have gone into the locker room on an upswing and with a 33-28 lead over Sweet Home. Miles swished a three-pointer with about 25 seconds left, and, after a basket by Sweet Home guard Rashan Crule (11 first-half points), John Cherry hit a shot in the lane at the buzzer for Tech. Cherry has four baskets for eight points, all in the second quarter.
Miles, as I mentioned, has been simply too much to handle for Sweet Home -- he has 17 points already. Whew. He does a nice job bringing the ball up and distributing as well.
5:49 p.m. With 3:46 left in the third quarter, Hutch-Tech tracks down a loose ball and calls timeout owning a 37-32 lead.
5:59 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Hutch-Tech leads Sweet Home, 45-35.
Hutch-Tech continues to look good on defense and on offense with some unselfish passing plays, while Sweet Home continues to put up wild shots, most of them rebounded by Hutch-Tech. Nelson had a great steal and no-look pass for a Tim Whittlehead basket late in the third.
6:03 p.m. Great play by Miles to put Tech up 14 (49-35) and prompt a timeout by Sweet Home coach Scott Martin with 6:22 left. Miles stole an errant outlet pass -- dribbled up to the lane, went behind the back, then scooped a pass ahead to an open Nelson for a layup. Sweet.
6:12 p.m. Another very strong play from Miles, who shakes his defender on the right wing, then beats two more defenders on his way to a dominant drive and a 57-38 lead for Tech with 3:20 left. It was all the more impressive because on the previous defensive play, Miles was undercut and fell HARD to the floor. Scary play, but he jumped right back up.
6:13 p.m. Miles off a lob and he scores while being fouled for a 59-40 lead with 1:50 left.
6:17 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Hutch-Tech 59, Sweet Home 43. Very impressive win for the Engineers as they take care of business and advance to next Wednesday's Class A-1 semifinals at Buffalo State.
I'm heading up to Will North and I'll have a live blog from that game.
6:59 p.m. Hello from Williamsville North. Here we go with the live blog.
10:59 p.m. Wheeeewwwww. What a night. Story and PrepTalkTV work is finished. We'll post the video later as I take a look ahead to the semifinal matchups at Buffalo State and Jamestown Community College.
Big win for Riverside, obviously. I know some might say I should have been at Maryvale, but as I discover from time to time, I can only be in one spot. McKinley was the highest-ranked team among the four, and with them playing on the road against a good team, and with it being a higher class (bigger schools), it was an easy choice.
I REALLY appreciate all the updates in the chat. It really made the night enjoyable for me and hopefully others "tuning in."
Other big wins? Some thoughts after a scan of our scoreboard:
How about Kenmore East going to win at Williamsville East? Really nice win there. ... Cleveland Hill going south to win its way back to Buffalo State -- nice job by that program. ... Lancaster with a solid home win over Kenmore West. ... With the way Frontier was playing that looked like it might be a scary game for Niagara Falls, but they run away with it and return to Buffalo State. ... The margin for Williamsville South over ECIC II rival Iroquois was an eyebrow-raiser. Joe Licata remains one three-pointer away from tying the all-time state record. ... Olean lived up to the hype that I and others were giving a young team that has been on quite a run with a rout at Amherst. ... Cheektowaga joins Cleveland Hill in returning to Buffalo State with a nice win over Lew-Port. ... No surprises in B-1. ... Maple Grove by one! That was fun to follow on the blog. Great job by Silver Creek. ... Impressive Class C wins for I-Prep, OTC and Tapestry -- which gets 32 from Dazmon Knight in a nice win over MST Seneca. ... Jordan Farrant of Holland scores 33 of his team's 41 points against OTC. What a finish of the regular season for him.
Big day tomorrow as well -- I'll be at Canisius College for the semifinal doubleheader of St. Mary's against Canisius at 6 and St. Joe's against Bishop Timon-St. Jude at 7:45 p.m.
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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Coaches and athletic directors are asked to send rescheduled games, times and dates to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as they are set. It is especially important for us to have rescheduled games as soon as possible so we can adjust our new Web scoreboard/schedule feature.
One spot left for Ralph Wilson Stadium, and it's being decided today as McKinley visits Sweet Home in a Section VI Class A semifinal.
2:15 p.m. We're getting caught up here in closed quarters. I'm in a folding chair in the back of the cozy press box with WGR doing the game on the radio.
McKinley got one first-down run but punted after four more plays; Sweet Home went three-and-out; McKinley has called a timeout with 5:20 left in the first facing a second-and-11 at its 30.
UPDATE from correspondent Nate Beutel at Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca: Mercer Timmis scores on a 1-yard run to give Canisius a 7-0 lead over St. Francis.
2:23 p.m. Sweet Home's second drive was a short one but a good one as the Panthers took advantage of excellent wind-helped field position to score. The wind is a huge advantage for teams heading right to left on your computer screen :-).
After taking over at the McKinley 30 after a Macks punt, Sweet Home got a 21-yard TOUCHDOWN from senior Ralph Neasman, who made a tackler miss near the line and then burst through to the right side for an easy finish to the end zone. The snap for the extra point is wild and a flailing pass attempt fails; the Panthers lead McKinley, 6-0, with 3:02 left in the first quarter.
2:30 p.m. Sweet Home takes advantage of more great field position set up by an interception by senior Kyle Luchey. Nice play by Luchey on a ball that was held up in the wind -- definitely a solid second guess of the Macks passing there. The Panthers took over at the McKinley 25 and five plays later, on third-and-3, Neasman pinballed his way into the end zone on a very nice 6-yard TOUCHDOWN run. Sweet Home's two-point conversion attempt is no good after a shotgun snap goes over Jordan Johnson's head. With 1:01 left in the first quarter, Sweet Home leads McKinley, 12-0.
2:35 p.m. At the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER, Sweet Home leads McKinley, 12-0.
UPDATE: Canisius is up, 13-0, on St. Francis after a 22-yard pass by Travis Eman with 10:58 left in the second quarter.
2:41 p.m. McKinley is on the board as it converts on its first possession with the wind in the second quarter. Quarterback Marquell Ingram makes a great read after initially going back to pass, then runs cleanly right up the middle for a 5-yard TOUCHDOWN. McKinley's two-point conversion is also no good after a bad snap and Sweet Home leads McKinley, 12-6, with 10:44 left in the second quarter.
2:47 p.m. We have a Sweet Home timeout with the Panthers facing a fourth-and-4 at the McKinley 44 with 8:45 left in the second quarter.
2:49 p.m. A Johnson pass into the wind falls incomplete and McKinley takes over at its 44 with 8:40 left in the second.
2:56 p.m. McKinley punted and Sweet Home took over at its 20; with 4:50 and counting down, Sweet Home faces a fourth-and-2 at its 44 and appears to be going for it.
2:57 p.m. Sweet Home gets the first down to the McKinley 49 thanks to an endaround run by senior K.J. Zinermon.
3:05 p.m. Sweet Home calls a timeout with :06 left in the first half. First down at the McKinley 9.
3:07 p.m. We are at HALFTIME after a great finish to the half for Sweet Home, who scores a TOUCHDOWN on the final play.
On the final play, Johnson rolled left, rolled left, then ran past the left pylon for a 9-yard score and a 18-6 halftime lead for Sweet Home. The two-point conversion attempt for Sweet Home fell just short as Neasman was stopped going up the middle. Neasman had a nice 11-yard run to set up the first-and-goal.
Here are some first-half highlights -- including all three touchdowns -- thanks to wind-battling video reporter Lauren Mariacher:
3:16 p.m. UPDATE from West Seneca: Canisius has a 21-6 lead. The Crusaders extended its lead with the second of two Eman-to-Theo Russell pass plays.
According to Canisius athletic director Jim Mauro, here's the scenario for Canisius, which with a win would force a three-way tie atop the Monsignor Martin's League AA at 2-1. The first tiebreaker is point differential with a maximum of 20 points. With Canisius having lost by more than 20 to St. Joe's, and St. Joe's having lost by 20 to St. Francis, Canisius needs to win by 20 or more to force thing to the next tiebreaker -- which is points allowed among the three teams. St. Joe's allowed 75; Canisius allowed 50 and St. Francis 21 entering the game. For Canisius to jump over St. Joe's, it needs to win today by 20 and hold St. Francis to 24 points or less.
3:25 p.m. We're about to start the second half here and it appears that some kind of penalty has been called on Sweet Home. Apparently it is a 15-yard penalty for the Panthers not being present on the sideline after the break. That's a first. Interesting call there.
It was just announced; officially it is a delay of game penalty.
Impressive first half by Sweet Home, which, as we've seen before, was hampered by some penalties but overcame them. The score at the end of the half was huge obviously. Gives Sweet Home a nice cushion against a McKinley team which can move the ball.
3:29 p.m. With the 15 yards pushing Sweet Home back, they kick off and a short McKinley return moves the Macks to their 49 to start the second half. McKinley is going left-to-right and into the wind so we're starting the second half as we did the first with Sweet Home having the wind.
3:31 p.m. McKinley's first drive is a three-and-out in which Mikal Coleman had a sack on third down; Sweet Home takes over at its 46 with 10:50 left in the third quarter.
3:41 p.m. With 6:21 left in the third, a Sweet Home junior lineman Scott Schriver is down and is helped off the field; the Panthers face a third-and-1 at the McKinley 46.
3:43 p.m. UPDATE: St. Francis scores to cut Canisius' lead to 20-13 late in the third.
3:46 p.m. Just as in the first meeting between these teams, mistakes have killed McKinley. The Macks had a penalty on their punt return to knock them back to their own 7 with 5:16 left, and on the first snap, a fumble led to Mikal Coleman covering the ball in the end zone for a Sweet Home TOUCHDOWN. The extra point kick is good by JV callup Sean Huber and Sweet Home leads McKinley, 25-6, with 5:08 left in the third quarter.
3:52 p.m. Another error for McKinley, which had been moving the ball well, but the drive ends with an interception by junior Brian Barnes and Sweet Home takes over at its 14.
4:01 p.m. A very unfortunate and disappointing development here as three players were ejected after some post-play activity that brought a total of five flags. Sweet Home's Rashaad Rogers and Tim Oaks have been ejected as has Mileec Deberry of McKinley. After a run by Ralph Neasman, there was some activity at the right (far) sideline and players got together and I believe Oaks and Deberry took their helmets off for an automatic ejection. Radio reports have Rogers being ejected for coming off the Sweet Home sideline.
After all the fallout, Sweet Home had first-and-10 at its 10.
4:08 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Sweet Home has a 25-6 lead over McKinley.
McKinley will start the fourth with a third-and-10 at the Sweet Home 33.
UPDATE: Canisius' lead is 21-13 after three quarters.
4:14 p.m. UPDATE: Canisius leads, 21-19, with four minutes left after stopping St. Francis' two-point conversion following a touchdown.
4:25 p.m. We're under five minutes here.
4:25 p.m. Kyle Luchey returns a punt 35 yards for a TOUCHDOWN and Sweet Home leads McKinley, 31-6, with 3:17 left.
4:39 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Sweet Home 31, McKinley 6.
FINAL from West Seneca: Canisius 21, St. Francis 19.
That means, that based on the point differential tiebreaker, today's result makes St. Francis (2-1, plus-18 point differential) the top seed, followed by St. Joe's (2-1, even, beat Canisius head-to-head) then Canisius (2-1, minus-2).
The Monsignor Martin AA semifinal matchups are 4-Bishop Timon-St. Jude at 1-St. Francis, and, get a load of this: 3-Canisius at 2-St. Joe's, a rematch at the site of St. Joe's blowout win over Canisius in Week Five.
As always, we want to hear from you about any games you saw: Let us know what you thought of the players, teams -- even the concession stand -- in the comments section below.
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Also, if you will be at a game and are interested in supplying updates to the Prep Talk blog, email me with your name and cell number at email@example.com and I'll get in touch -- or you can just email me updates from one of those fancy phones. We don't need every play or even every possession -- just scoring plays and the score after each quarter and anything else that would cause you to blow up a fellow fan's phone with a text/email. I'll definitely give you a shoutout here, as I have the last few weeks, for helping pass the word along during the Friday Night Live and Saturday Afternoon Live blogs.
Just checking in on some national Web sites' rankings of New York high school football. It's always interesting to see how they slot New York, which is certainly a step behind much of the country when it comes to the sport.
Sweet Home, as it did in the preseason, is getting the nod for the top team overall in the state by several polls.
The National Prep Poll has Sweet Home as its only team from New York. The Panthers didn't make the Northeast top 10 (one of seven regional rankings) but it was listed as the only team "just missing out" in from the Northeast.
The USA Today regional rankings have Sweet Home at No. 4 in the East, impressively (and surprisingly) ahead of Bergen Catholic of New Jersey.
In this week's ESPNRise regional rankings, Sweet Home is the first team from New York tabbed at No. 7 in the East (consisting of 13 states and the District of Columbia).
I'll probably get an email making sure I know that St. Anthony's of Long Island is tucked right behind the Panthers at No. 8 in the East. ESPNRise rates the top 20 teams in five regions in addition to its national top 50. Gauging by East No. 5 Bergen (N.J.) Catholic being just left out of the top 50, one might guesstimate that Sweet Home is hovering perhaps a just a chain-link inside a national 100.
Speaking of St. Anthony's, a pretty good gauge of downstate and how it stacks up with some neighbors is the MSGVarsity Tri-State Top 25 (even if you can't see all 25 because you have to pay to see the site). St. Anthony's was ranked fifth with Sachem East of Long Island at No. 8. Bergen Catholic is No. 2 behind another Jersey school, widely acknowleged national power Don Bosco.
Of course, then there are the state rankings put together by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Sweet Home No. 1 in A in front of Aquinas; Monroe-Woodbury (which is eligible for the MSGVarsity poll) ahead of both St. Anthony's and Sachem.
As I wrote in the preseason, I think it's a deserved spot for Sweet Home based on their past success, and they've kept rolling this year. I think Sweet Home and St. Anthony's are the certainly the top contenders for the spot, with Aquinas needing to be noted along with Monroe-Woodbury and Sachem as the next tier.
I have my doubts about M-W as a No. 1 in the state in AA since longtime keen downstate high school writer Kevin Devaney Jr. (who moved from the Journal-News to MSGVarsity) has had New Rochelle ahead of M-W in his poll.
Thanks to Prep Talk blog first-ballot Hall of Famer Milt Latimer for this one: Southwestern's 36-game win streak, which is one short of the Western New York record of 37 held by Lackawanna (it ended in 1999), is also tied for the third-longest win streak in the nation.
Southwestern is tied with a team from Kentucky (Highlands) and Tennessee (Alcoa) at 36, and the top spot isn't too far off. The top win streak of 39 is owned by West Rowan of Mt. Ulla, N.C., while Phoebus of Hampton, Va., is second at 37.
That's not all -- Sweet Home is next on the list behind Southwestern, tied with Hamilton of Chandler, Ariz., for sixth at 33.
I'm starting the day at Grand Island, which is hosting Sweet Home in a matchup that always seems to be entertaining (the game is on WGR 550 AM). Afterwards I'll head to Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca, where the Crusaders are hosting Rochester power Aquinas in a 3 p.m. start. I might leave early depending on how this first half goes.
2:01 p.m. We've kicked off.
2:23 p.m. Sweet Home has a 6-0 lead. On third-and-goal from the 9, Jordan Johnson rolled right and patiently waited before passing to the right side to Nick Spidell, who made a nifty move and then took a hit as he broke the plane. Steve Stapleton's extra point kick was wide left. We have just over a minute left in the first quarter.
2:26 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER with Sweet Home leading Grand Island, 6-0. GI faces fourth-and-23 at its 13.
2:31 p.m. GI's Nate Benoit makes a great save of a bad snap to avoid a safety and get away a punt, but Sweet Home took advantage of the good field position.
On third-and-1, Ralph Neasman turned his first-down run into a TOUCHDOWN run by scooting through a nice lane to the right, bouncing off a tackler to gain the right sideline, then got a good block and did well to fend off a tackler with one arm while reaching the ball across the goal line for the score. On the two-point conversion try, Johnson passed to the left flat to K.J. Zinermon, who had great blocking and tunnelled in to the end zone. With 10:19 left in the second quarter, Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 14-0.
2:44 p.m. Another short possession for GI, which had two passes dropped and then turned the ball over on an interception by Nick Spidell of Sweet Home, and another scoring drive for Sweet Home.
Spidell has starred today -- he took an inside handoff after going in motion from right to left, then sprinted to the left side and outran the defense to the left pylon for a 21-yard TOUCHDOWN with 5:46 left in the second quarter. The two-point conversion is missed when Johnson's pass sails out of bounds. Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 20-0.
2:54 p.m. Another TOUCHDOWN for Sweet Home as Mikal Coleman burrows in out of Sweet Home's tight "Big Bird" package for a 1-yard score with 45.9 seconds left in the second quarter. Stapleton adds the extra point and Sweet Home has a 27-0 lead at Grand Island.
3 p.m. It is HALFTIME and Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 27-0. I'm heading to Canisius' game, especially with a 20-minute half here (at least) for senior day.
3:38 p.m. Hello from Canisius' Stransky complex, where Aquinas just took a 16-10 lead as I walked in.
UPDATE I got en route from John Hickey at Williamsville North: North leads Niagara Falls, 21-14, at halftime. When I got out of the car, Sweet Home had just intercepted Grand Island's first possession of the second half.
3:49 p.m. Aquinas adds a 26-yard FIELD GOAL by Eric Terhaar in the final minute of the second quarter and the Little Irish lead Canisius, 19-10.
An interesting situation here as an Aquinas fan with a cowbell (which was discussed in this week's chat!) was approached by a West Seneca police officer in an effort to have her move her location in the Canisius bleachers -- just to the right of the press box in front of me. The fan, wearing the 74 of Jarron Jones and I'd have to guess it is his mother, moved down to the front row and is continuing to cowbell it up. Some Canisius adult fans/parents -- including one with a cowbell -- yelled at her to go to the other side of the field, where mostly maroon-clad Aquinas fans have filled up the visiting bleachers. Ahh, the joys of high school sports.
3:53 p.m. We are at HALFTIME with Aquinas leading Canisius, 19-10. Canisius' last-minute drive didn't go far, similar to their previous drive. Quarterback Travis Eman is under serious pressure while the Little Irish have cut down Canisius ball carriers in the backfield a few times.
UPDATE via WGR's online broadcast: Sweet Home leads Grand Island, 34-6, entering the fourth quarter.
4:10 p.m. We've kicked off the second half here with Aquinas receiving the kickoff.
UPDATE from Sal Constantino of Niagara Falls: North leads, 27-14, with seven minutes left.
4:13 p.m. Aquinas with a great start to the second half after a great play. Mike Messina took a reverse handoff, running left to right and around the side for a 56-yard TOUCHDOWN. Before the play, I believe the Aquinas quarterback went out to the wide reciever spot to the right and exchanged with a wideout. After the shift, Messina came running in motion from the left. Nice play. Terhaar adds the extra point and Aquinas has a 26-10 lead with 10:22 left in the third quarter. That drive was only three plays.
4:17 p.m. Canisius has a sign of life on its next drive as Mercer Timmis breaks out a 59-yard run, weaving his way down the field, but on the next play, a first down at the Aquinas 27, the Little Irish come up with an interception by Chris Bostick -- who made a great play and will take over at their 1 wtih 8:09 left in the third quarter.
UPDATE from photographer Mark Mulville at today's big rivalry game: Kenmore West leads Kenmore East, 14-6, at halftime.
4:22 p.m. Aquinas forced to punt from deep in its territory, a bad snap leads to a poor punt and Canisius takes over at the Aquinas 27 with 6:17 left.
4:27 p.m. UPDATE from Prep Talk blog Hall of Famer Centercourt: Wilson 27, Newfane 14.
We have a timeout here with 2:40 left in the third quarter -- Canisius had first and goal at the 7 but has moved backwards since then as Aquinas has been all over the Crusaders. It is now fourth-and-goal from the 22.
4:30 p.m. Aquinas takes over at its 22 with 1:50 remaining in the third. On fourth down Travis Eman's pass went incomplete after he was hit as he threw -- more pressure from Aquinas.
FINAL from Grand Island: Sweet Home wins, 34-6.
4:34 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, Aquinas leads Canisius, 26-10. Aquinas has a first down at the Canisius 41.
4:43 p.m. Canisius got the ball back at its 24 with 8:13 left by stopping Aquinas on a fourth down, but needing a quick scoring drive, the first play was disastrous. Eman ran to the right on a keeper but was stuffed by the Aquinas defense and fumbled -- sophomore Jake Guy got a hold of the ball and ran it about 18 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. The extra point by Terhaar gives Aquinas a 33-10 lead at Canisius with 8:04 to play.
4:50 p.m. Canisius' next drive ends with a punt, which was returned well by Aquinas to start at the Canisius 21, and they soon went in for another TOUCHDOWN. Messina runs in the left side from 4 yards out and Terhaar adds another kick to give Aquinas a 40-10 lead over Canisius with 4:07 left in the game.
Canisius scored on its first two drives but did not score after that.
4:59 p.m. Canisius adds a late touchdown as backup quarterback Chris Jugovic hits Theo Russell for an 18-yard score. The extra point misses. Aquinas leads Canisius, 40-16, with 15.8 seconds left.
5:02 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Aquinas 40, Canisius 16.
Third impressive win for Aquinas over a Monsignor Martin school this year (home vs. St. Joe's, at St. Francis) and second straight big loss for Canisius.
I'm heading down for interviews and then back to One News Plaza.
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. :-)
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.
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.
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.
Lauren Nicole Mariacher joined The News in 2009 after graduating from the Columbia University School of Journalism. The Elma native and Iroquois graduate can usually be found on a sideline, capturing highlights for PrepTalkTV. She also hosts Prep Talk's weekly live show, with Keith McShea, as well as The News' live postgame Bills show — [BN]TheHuddle.