We're about to kick off Week Three a little early -- but we're a little late.
Tonight's special edition football doubleheader -- due to Williamsville schools' observance of the Yom Kippur holiday -- begins with Williamsville South at Amherst in a top 10 large school battle.
6:06 p.m. The kickoff was to be 6 p.m., but Williamsville South arrived late -- word is that Main St. traffic, which is pretty rough at this time of day, was even worse due to an accident. Funny that a school so close would be late due to traffic.
6:15 p.m. Duke McGuire, who was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame this past summer, is in his traditional spot doing the public address here and has introduced the teams and we're almost ready to go.
6:23 p.m. Amherst receives the ball but doesn't go anywhere; three-and-out and South takes over with 10:19 left in the first quarter at the Amherst 48 after a short Phil Stasiak punt return.
6:28 p.m. Williamsville South scores the game's first TOUCHDOWN as Joe Licata hits Buddy Ammerman on a screen pass to the left and he goes 15 yards for the score. Josh Neuss adds the extra point for a 7-0 South lead with 8:48 left in the first.
6:40 p.m. South takes a timeout with 1:34 left in the first facing a third-and-6 at the Amherst 7; it's South's second drive.
6:42 p.m. Joe Licata's pass is deflected on third down, so Neuss kicks a 22-yard FIELD GOAL to give South a 10-0 lead with 1:29 left in the first.
6:48 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER with Williamsville South leading Amherst, 10-0.
6:56 p.m. We have another South drive, and another South score. Ammerman runs in from 3 yards out on a TOUCHDOWN; Neuss adds the extra point for a 17-0 South lead with 9:21 left in the second quarter.
7:01 p.m. Amherst didn't need this -- Cody Stumpf nicely reels in a deflected pass for an interception to set South up at the Amherst 31 with 9:03 left in the second.
7:03 p.m. On fourth-and-6 at the 27, South calls a timeout; Licata does a mini-scramble, then finds Billy Jacobbi on the right side -- Jacobbi runs about 5 yards for the TOUCHDOWN. Neuss adds another booming kick that is up and good and South leads Amherst, 24-0, with 7:10 left in the second.
Let's go to the iPhone video replay:
7:10 p.m. South's first empty trip of the game just concluded when Ammerman came up short on a fourth-and-3 run from the 32 of Amherst. Nice play by Christian Clark to bring him down and the Tigers take over at their 35 with 4:45 left in the second quarter.
7:16 p.m. Another empty trip by South ends with a not-so-good punt by Licata from the South 11, which sets up Amherst at the South 18 with 1:39 to go.
7:20 p.m. Amherst takes four shots but turns the ball over on downs, two runs and then two incompletions on third-and-6 and fourth-and-6. South took over and ran out the clock.
We are at HALFTIME and Williamsville South leads Amherst, 24-0.
7:48 p.m. The second half has begun, and it's Groundhog Day here as South drives and scores. The Billies started at their own 11.
Here's a big catch by Stasiak to help set up first-and-goal during the 11-play drive:
The drive finished with a 4-yard pass from Licata to Kevin O'Connell on fourth-and-goal. Licata rolled right and threw slightly across his body to find O'Connell in the middle of the end zone. Neuss adds another extra point and South leads Amherst, 31-0, with 7:45 left in the third quarter.
Here's the highlight of that one, sorry it's a little fuzzy:
7:55 p.m. Our Groundhog Day theme continues -- just like in the first half, a quick turnover sets South up with a short field. Amherst fumbled on its first play of its drive and South's Anthony Missana recovered the ball at the Amherst 26 with 7:31 left in the third.
Six plays later, which included a fourth-and-10 conversion when Licata hit Billy Jacobbi on a slant patter to take South to the 6, Ammerman ran in for a 6-yard TOUCHDOWN. Neuss' extra point makes it a 38-0 lead for South with 5:48 left in the third.
8:07 p.m. It is the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER with Williamsville South leading Amherst, 38-0.
This is not what you expect of a game between two teams ranked in the large school top 10. Then again, I feel compelled to note that my ballot was different than the poll. This is when I suppose I should drop one of those "just sayin" deals that have become so popular. I just didn't think Amherst had shown enough to earn a spot in the top 10.
8:12 p.m. Amherst had the ball to start the fourth but lost it on downs; South has the ball and is driving, mostly on the ground. South has second-and-10 at the Amherst 38 with 9:30 to go and counting.
8:18 p.m. South scores another TOUCHDOWN after running its way down the field. Senior Joe Paglicci runs in from 1 yard out for the score while senior lefty kicker Lorenzo Pierini booted the extra point to give South a 45-0 lead with 6:59 left to play.
8:27 p.m. Amherst just displayed some of the speed that had helped them to a good start. On fourth-and-2 at the Amherst 28, senior Cameron Matthews took an end-around handoff to the wide right side and simply sprinted past everyone on the field on a 72-yard TOUCHDOWN. The point-after was a completed pass from sophomore quarterback Justin Twarog to junior Glenn Belton. The score is now Williamsville South 45, Amherst 8 with 4:51 left.
8:33 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Williamsville South 45, Amherst 8.
Just when I thought last weekend was a long -- but fun -- one for football (just scroll down and see), Week Three gets kick-started a day early with some bonus football tonight.
The Williamsville schools are playing their traditional Thursday games due to Friday's Yom Kippur holiday, and this year we're treated to a top 10 large school matchup as No. 2 Williamsville South visits No. 9 Amherst at 6 p.m.
The second game of the night has an intriguing angle as Williamsville East first-year coach Chris McDuffie takes on his alma mater, Williamsville North, and the game is -- get your Northtowns compass ready -- at Williamsville South with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Should be a fun night. It sure was last year, when South quarterback Joe Licata threw for a Section VI record 492 yards in a 62-32 home win over North (check out video highlights from that game). Note: that blog has the yardage total that was originally reported but was later changed.
Here's our poll asking your choice of the weekend's top game (it's also available, as always, at our high school home page.
Our poll to kick off the week brought in about 800 votes as of Wednesday night -- excuse me while I pat myself on the back for that one for providing choices that apparently people dug. Clarence's first win over OP in a decade rightly won the poll, and a whole zero percent picked the none-of-the-above option.
9:03 a.m. We traversed our way through North Buffalo to Cleveland Hill to see Burgard warming up on a practice area and O'Hara and Cleve Hill going at it on the main field (which appears to be getting some upgrades -- newly paved asphalt and concrete is taped off in some areas).
It is sounding more and more like football season with coaches yelling and pads popping.
It doesn't take long for O'Hara coach Angelo Sciandra to find midseason form. After a play didn't go the way he wanted, he exclaimed from behind the line of scrimmage: "Are you kidding me?!!? You've GOT to be kidding me!!"
The parents were ready to go as well. A Cleveland Hill run play against O'Hara invoked cries of "Get him! Get him!" by a mom.
9:16 a.m. After a series between O'Hara's defense and Cleve Hill's offense (in which Joe Pops and his camera almost got run over on the sideline -- twice :-) ), Burgard's defense takes on O'Hara's offense. The Bulldogs looked ready to go, with No. 0 Victor Peoples calling out plays for the defense, which stuffed a few O'Hara plays in the series I watched.
Here's a nice pass breakup by O'Hara (below) -- check out the deft move by Joe Pops to pull the tripod out of the way just in time. This was our first play of the day. Some more good commentary by coach Sciandra as well.
Here (below) Burgard did a good job to bottle up O'Hara standout back Robert Davis (who had some big fans on the sideline):
9:24 a.m. We've seen enough quality stuff (and gotten it on video) to hit the road up to Lockport, which is hosting Sweet Home, North Tonawanda, Grand Island, St. Francis and Williamsville South. Kensington Ave. brings us to the I-290 and we're headed to the 990, Millersport Highway and Transit Road.
9:55 a.m. Arrive at Lockport's Emmett Belknap Middle School, home of the Lions' football field (my first visit). We see the end of the first session and are on hand for a great show between defending state champions Sweet Home and North Tonawanda, which was a blast to watch.
The first session had quarterback and Jordan Johnson moving Sweet Home's offense very well against NT's defense; the second session had NT starting slowly but finishing strong with several scoring plays.
All teams are pretty hyped up to start Scrimmage Saturday -- there were loud pregame hollers going on at Cleveland Hill -- but you got the sense from both defending state champions that this scrimmage matchup would mean more than most.
You can hear the energy in the teams' opening play, as NT players are clapping it up before a tone-setting run by Sweet Home's Ralph Neasman that the sideline loved (above).
After another run by Neasman, check out this great play (above) -- Johnson for his scramble and Coleman for a lot of reasons.
Coleman -- in the backfield -- dispatches with a blitzer to help enable Johnson to get free on a run that he would end extremely solidly in a big collision with an NT defender. But listen and watch Coleman after the play. Sweet Home players were understandably fired up with the big hit, but then Coleman tells them to "take a knee!" as the player is down.
I believe you can hear him off camera telling the player he's going to be alright. The player did get up and walk off under his own power, and Coleman yells to the player, "You good, you good! Told you it was just a stinger!"
After a tough Coleman run up the middle, Neasman took a pitch to the far right (above) for a touchdown.
Sweet Home's next possession started with a Johnson scramble to the left side, followed by Juwan Douglas with a run to the right (above) in which he kept his legs churning.
After a pass to the left, Coleman went in easily for a touchdown run (above), taken from a scrimmages-only camera vantage point (leaning on a goal post on the back line of the end zone).
When Sweet Home headed back near midfield for a new series, coach John Faller hollered at his team, "Let's have some fun ... all those two-a-days ... this is fun. Let's have some fun."
The Panthers' next possession was a quick one as K.J. Zinermon went in motion and caught a pass from Johnson before he dodged some tacklers to speed down the right sideline (and right by me) for a touchdown (above).
Another quick strike by Sweet Home: Johnson heaves it down the right side (above) and Brian Barnes adjusts to the ball and goes in for a touchdown.
NT gets an interception of Johnson (above); Sweet Home obviously had a nice offensive set but NT did get some pressure up the middle and a few sacks on some other plays. We can't show 'em all, of course.
The second session during this rotation was outstanding because while NT's offense came on to battle Sweet Home on one half of the field, fans got to watch University at Buffalo-bound quarterback Joe Licata and the Williamsville South offense take on Lockport on the other.
Licata twice hit Kevin O'Connell on the right side, once to get into scoring range and the second time for the touchdown (below).
Here's the fun second session in a nutshell (below) ...
... Licata completes a long pass on the left side of the field, then Joe Montesanti runs for North Tonawanda on the right side.
NT finds a big hole in the defense for a rushing touchdown (above) that gives Lumberjack players and fans cause for celebration.
Back to the South scrimmage ... Licata hits Phil Stasiak (I believe) for a long completion (above) but there's a fumble at the end of the play.
Here's another two-for-one clip (above) and it's defensive minded as Sweet Home and Lockport both stopped up run attempts by NT and South, respectively.
NT finds another hole in the defense (above) by running to the left for a touchdown.
Afterwards, Sweet Home coach Faller scolded some of his frustrated troops with: "Don't point fingers! Don't point fingers ... unless you're perfect."
The run-and-fun-and-gun Billies of South haven't seemed to change much, as they show here with an nice reverse run for a score.
I'm disappointed I didn't get over to watch two outstanding programs in Grand Island and St. Francis go at it on the practice field behind the bleachers (Joe Pops did with the video camera, however), but there was just too much going on on the main field. As is the case with the entire day, there's just not enough time to catch everyone.
10:57 a.m. Back in the car and ready to move shortly. This was our first chance to actually catch up on the blog, pounding away at the laptop in the car in the parking lot at Lockport.
11:08 a.m. We're on our way to Riverside, where a good group of the Frontiers, Bishop Timon-St. Jude, McKinley and Maple Grove are in action. This will be a relatively quick stop because we need to get out to Canisius' West Seneca field for their scrimmage with Orchard Park.
11:43 a.m. Arrive at Riverside and its newly paved parking lot adjacent to its new facility, which looks great with the four teams in action and a modest group of fans checking it out.
Maple Grove's offense is going against McKinley on one half, with new quarterback Alex Grace completing several screen passes against the Macks. On the other half of the field, Riverside's defense is standing very tall against Timon's offense.
Here's a look:
12:11 p.m. We're off to zip around the I-190 to Canisius' Stransky Complex in West Seneca.
12:27 p.m. We arrive at Canisius' fine facility on Clinton Street, where in a mile or three you go from citylike to suburbanlike to countrylike surroundings.
This scrimmage might have just two teams, but if you're going to check out a two-team affair, you can't get much better than the defending Monsignor Martin champion and one of Section VI's best programs.
When we arrived, the teams were going through rudimentary special teams plays, like punt and kickoff returns without the full units on the field.
It was a good time to catch up on what happened earlier, and word on the sideline (just for the record, it was the Canisius sideline, but all from very reliable sources :-) ) was that the Crusaders had a great early session when the No. 1 offense and defense from both teams matched up.
Canisius had two touchdowns on early drives while it stifled OP's drive, which, sources said, didn't get across midfield while the Crusaders also had at least three takeaways. A standout was Canisius running back Mercer Timmis, a transfer from Canada who had plenty of people talking after some strong runs.
I was pleased to find out that the No. 1s would be going at it again, and Orchard Park fared much better than it apparently did earlier. It moved the ball quite well, including a nice completion by senior quarterback Kyle Witkowski (below).
In the next nine-play segment, Orchard Park had a great start with a few run stops as well as an interception (above).
Canisius showed the offensive firepower it displayed last season when Eman, after hitting a pass across the middle, delivered a deep spiral down the left side and Theo Russell stretched out to reel it in.
OP came up with a good finish to the session as well. It stopped two runs inside the 10 and, on the ninth-play on what would have been a third-down, a linebacker made a nice read on an Eman pass for another interception (above).
In a final series between the top units, Eman hit Russell -- this time for a long touchdown -- just before the close of the scrimmage.
1:39 p.m. After shooting our "stand-up" (TV term) for PrepTalkTV -- which is also referred to by me as my "blabbity-blah," we're heading back to the office where I'll be updating a ton on the blog.
1:48 p.m. We're back at One News Plaza, where I'll update the blog with a lot of stuff while Joe Pops puts the episode of PrepTalkTV together. I'll have that posted here as soon as it's completed.
I'll be heading out two two evening scrimmages (hosted by Iroquois and Amherst) and will have more updates and details later.
4:36 p.m. I'm hitting the road again, hitting Iroquois and then Amherst.
5:19 p.m. Make that Amherst and then Iroquois. It made too much sense to swing by Amherst after driving Joe Pops back to his car.
5:28 p.m. With some good highlights in the phone, I'm off for my lengthy trip to Elma and the Chiefs' scrimmage with Lackawanna and Frontier.
There were some nice plays between Hutch-Tech's offense and West Seneca West's defense on one half and the Kenmore East defense and Amherst offense on the other.
Hutch-Tech scored a touchdown on West Seneca West as I walked into Dimp Wagner Field, then put in a two-point conversion. Amherst scored a nice passing touchdown on one of the first plays I watched; on the next play on that half, Kenmore East's sideline got fired up after its defense knocked the Tigers back for a loss.
Here's how it went down:
5:52 I arrive at Iroquois and, thanks to my trip here last year, I know where I'm going.
I take the dirt road behind the school to near the baseball field, then walk through some high grassy and wooded areas into a clearing and what you could call the Chiefs' practice field of dreams.
I'm told by noted Prep Talk Nation first-ballot Hall of Fame blogger Milt Latimer that there has yet to be a touchdown, and there won't be in my stay there, although there are some solid plays.
Lackawanna's Keith Taggart probably had the play of the day -- he managed to handle a pitch that bounced on its way to him, then evaded tackler after tackler has he advanced well into the secondary.
The Steelers had some effective pass plays in the time I was there, while Frontier and Iroquois both had some nice stops.
Here are the best ones the phone and I captured from the sidelines:
6:59 p.m. After a good discussion about the day's action as well as the upcoming season with Milt, I walk up the hill, drive back up the dirt road, pass Latimer Field, and head back to One News Plaza.
The two evening trips brings us to a total of 22 teams covered across six sites. Whew. That's over a quarter of the teams in Western New York (87). Booyah.
(And 35 video clips! Booyah again.)
If you were at any scrimmages, let us know which ones and what you thought of the action in the comments section below.
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Personally, I could have used a less-busy week to have us go to a new Web site. Like maybe a week when our area isn't hosting the Empire State Games in its return after a one-year layoff :-).
By now you've seen the new look -- generally I like it. Gotta love the bigger photos. I'm sure we'll be working out the kinks in several areas, so please be patient, but definitely let us know what you think.
All of the links that were based on our high school homepage are unfortunately gone with the change in our system. I'll try to put up a post with all of those links so all that information can be accessible.
Also, there are some problems with links on blogs from the last few days not working. Our apologies. That's a result of the switchover in sites and it is something we're working on.
As for the Empire State Games, our preview is online (that's the main story with other features linked there). See what I mean about the great big pictures? Definitely check out the sport-by-sport preview
ESG fans and organizers have to hope that the today's 30 percent chance of rain has already been taken care of with a few sparse storms this morning. Opening ceremonies are at 7 tonight at the University at Buffalo. The forecast, however, says there will be a 30 percent of rain and thunderstorms through the evening hours.
As I waited out one of the storms in the parking lot at One News Plaza, I heard Janet Snyder and KISS 98.5 give the Games some big-time love. Snyder, who will be broadcasting at the Empire Family Village that begins at 3:30 at UB, gave away opening ceremony tickets to any ESG family members calling in.
She gave away three sets on the air, including to Williamsville South field hockey coach Mary Ferenczy, whose daughter, Alison, is on the Western field hockey team.
Mary mentioned other top players Allie Ahern (Williamsville North) and Allison Brace (South), prompting Snyder to ask, "and do you have to be named Allison to be a good field hockey player?" Nice.
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 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
I'm running around to different sites this afternoon before tonight's chat -- but the rush-hour traffic in the Northtowns isn't helping.
First stop is Williamsville South softball. Some rain but just a light drizzle.
5:21 p.m. Will South has a 1-0 lead on West Seneca East after four and a half.
Off to Clarence for softball and lacrosse.
5:42 p.m. Arrive at Clarence to see that the home team has an 8-2 lead on Lancaster with less than two minutes left in the second quarter.
Also an update from correspondent Nate Beutel -- West Seneca East beat Williamsville North, 13-9, in the Class B girls lacrosse final.
5:47 p.m. Clarence softball has a 3-1 lead on Niagara-Wheatfield -- whoops, just made it 6-1 with a three-run homer by Tori Nappo in the bottom of the sixth. Val Nappo just added an RBI single for a 7-1 lead.
Well-placed sources here say that Williamsville North is up on Lancaster, 4-1, late in the other AA softall semifinal.
Also, Sean Bruso just texted me that Lancaster has a 6-5 halftime lead over Clarence in the Class A girls lacrosse championship.
6:11 p.m. We have a final score: Clarence beats Niagara-Wheatfield in the AA softball semifinals, 8-3.
6:19 p.m. Over at the lacrosse field (the football field), Clarence has a 9-4 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
Man, Clarence just made it 10-4 while I was typing and not video-ing. Argh. Missed out on some softball stuff too.
6:22 p.m. Now 11-4. Still typing. Ugh.
6:32 p.m. Clarence leads, 13-5, with 3:56 left. And yes, we got some video highlights. Whew.
6:43 p.m. Clarence wins, 13-5. Nice job by the Red Devils to reach their first boys lax final. Good, physical, well-played game from what I saw.
Off to Hamburg.
7:28 p.m. Arrived at Hamburg after a very necessary fuel stop (five diet Cokes to get me through the night).
Hamburg boys have scored four times -- I believe -- while I've been trying to find a parking spot. They just have Iroquois overmatched. Iroquois called a timeout after the fourth goal -- and just after I found a spot.
Also we have some final scores. Lancaster wins it's sixth straight Class A title in girls lacrosse with an 11-9 win over Clarence in what must have been a great game. thanks to correspondent Amanda Bremer and Mr. Bruso for the texts in the last few minutes.
Also, Mr. Bruso confirms a 4-1 softball final victory for Will North.
7:39 p.m. Correspondent Ben Gaughan reports that Albion beat Williamsville South, 5-3, to win the Class A baseball title.
7:49 p.m. The sky darkened big-time and a serious downpour hit Hamburg. They're still playing, but I'm still in the car -- for now.
7:50 p.m. Rain has stopped. Iroquois hanging in there at 4-2 with 3:44 left in second quarter.
8:01 p.m. Awesome goal by Iroquois -- which I caught on video -- late in the quarter makes it just a 4-3 halftime lead for Hamburg. Hmmmmm. Battery running low on iPhone - hope we have enough juice to handle a closer game than most expected.
8:21 p.m. We have a lightning delay - which means we have a 30-minute wait. Hamburg has scored twice to take a 6-3 lead with 3:48 to play in the third quarter.
With the live chat at 9:30ish, I'm going to head back to One News Plaza.
Back in the car. It wasn't raining when the delay was called, but it is now and fans are seeking shelter across the street in the high school. Thunder rumbled often before lightning was seen.
See you in the chat and we'll have all results posted as soon as possible.
8:40 p.m. Wow. Did some work in the car - now we have a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning. Not sure if they'll get to finish tonight.
I'll have video of the stormy weather, too :-)
9:45 p.m. We're back at One News Plaza, fuled with some Subway and up and running with our weekly live chat.
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If you're out at a game, let us know what you saw and what you thought of the action.
The Class A final is set -- and it's not Iroquois-Grand Island.
Albion knocked off No. 1 large school and second-seeded Iroquois, 8-5, while Williamsville South toppled No. 1 seed and defending champion Grand Island, 11-5.
The undefeated Purple Eagles (21-0) take on the Billies (10-5) at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Niagara Falls' Sal Maglie Stadium.
In the Monsignor Martin Association, we have three of the final four teams and one killer semifinal matchup.
St. Joe's beat Cardinal O'Hara, 9-0, while Canisius edged Nichols, 3-2 -- the rivals will meet in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday at St. Joe's. The semifinal doubleheader at Joe's concludes with St. Mary's -- which knocked off Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 2-1 -- meeting the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal of Niagara Cathoic at St.Francis.
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.