Talk about a weekend of familiar face masks meeting up.
In one of the most meaningful weekends of the high school football season, eight of 10 Section VI semifinals are rematches as teams vie for the right to advance to Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Monsignor Martin Association closes out its regular season and determines its playoff seeding, with the highlight game the major rivalry showdown of Canisius at St. Joe’s.

Class AA

Frontier (6-2) at Jamestown (7-1)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Radio: WWSE (93.3 FM).
Ralph history: Jamestown is seeking a repeat trip to the finals, where it lost to eventual state champion Orchard Park in its first finals appearance since 2000. Frontier hasn’t been to the finals since 1984.
Last time: In Week Five, Frontier handed the Red Raiders their only loss of the season, 35-28. Da’Quan Hollingsworth had three long TD runs for Jamestown (69, 25, 71) during a 212-yard evening, but Kevin Hamilton (two TDs, two INTs) scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 21-yard run with 54 seconds left.
This time: The week after losing at Frontier, Jamestown beat visiting Orchard Park, 35-28, to move up The News large school poll, where it now stands at No. 3; Frontier is No. 10. The Red Raiders have gotten excellent play from junior QB Ben Sisson since the Frontier loss. If the Falcons, which started 2-2 with losses to West Seneca West and OP, are to complete a season sweep at one of the toughest places to play in Western New York (Strider Field), it will likely need another big day from Ben Koch (14 of 19 for 219 yards and three scores vs. Jamestown).
Orchard Park (7-1) at Lockport (6-2)
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Radio: WLVL (1340 AM)
Ralph history: OP has been there 10 of the last 11 years and stopped there on its way to last season’s state championship. Lockport’s last trip was in 2003 behind Jhamal Fluellen, older brother of current Toledo standout David (featured here in Football Friday).
Last time: The teams began the season with an eventful 42-21 victory by Orchard Park, in which the Quakers turned a close game into a rout with a 14-0 fourth quarter.
This time: Orchard Park is No. 4 in the large school poll while Lockport is No. 8. The Quakers welcomed back senior quarterback Ben Holmes in last week’s quarterfinal rout of Kenmore West after he had sat out a game with a concussion sustained at Jamestown. Lockport owns a home loss to St. Joe’s and was seriously tested last week by Clarence before coming back from a 27-0 deficit to win, 42-35, in overtime. James Chambers had four touchdowns in the game to give him 28 on the season; he had two long TD runs in the OP game.

Class A

Williamsville South (5-3) at West Seneca East (8-0)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Radio: WXRL (1300 AM),,
Ralph history: Will South lost last year’s A final to Sweet Home. West Seneca East hasn’t been there since 1987.
Last time: In Week Four, West Seneca East intercepted Will South and senior quarterback Trent Ferguson five times, including four in the first half of what would become a 28-7 win.
This time: West Seneca East is ranked fifth among large schools while Will South is unranked. However, this is a different South team than WSE beat. The Billies have surged the last two weeks behind JV callup Sam Castronova after Ferguson’s season ended with a collarbone injury. South knocked off McKinley, 35-14 last week as standout receiver Shaq Nettles had eight receptions for 148 yards. East experienced its first truly close call of the season last week when it came back from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Starpoint, 36-35, as senior quarterback Andy Smigiera ran for a 14-yard touchdown and then followed with a two-point conversion run..
Grand Island (7-1) at Sweet Home (8-0)
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
Ralph history: Grand Island’s last trip was in 2009, when it lost to Sweet Home, 20-13. That is part of Sweet Home’s dominating recent run. The Panthers have won five straight Class A titles during a seven-year run to The Ralph. Sweet Home has won 58 straight against WNY teams and is 67-3 overall over the last six seasons.
This time: No. 2 large school Sweet Home did not meet No. 9 Grand Island during the Class A North season in a scheduling quirk (there are eight teams in the division but teams only play six league games). The teams are also ranked in the Class A state poll, with Sweet Home third and GI 20th. The Panthers have looked very strong over the last two weeks, averaging 48 points in four games since a 28-20 win over McKinley. Sweet Home’s weaponry includes senior QB Mike Torrillo, senior RB Kahlil Humphrey, sophomore RB Jordan Evert and sophomore LB/WR Brad Zaffram. There is a great rivalry between the programs; in 2005, GI beat Sweet Home, 20-14, at The Ralph.

Class B

Depew (7-1) at Alden (8-0)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Ralph history: The last time both were there was a year ago, when Alden beat Depew for its second straight Class B title, 12-0.
Last time: In Week Five, Alden made it five straight victories over the Wildcats with a 34-13 victory in which senior Corey Barczykowski ran for 252 yards and three scores on 29 carries.
This time: As has been the case for the teams’ last three meetings, Alden is No. 1 in The News small school poll while Depew is No. 2. Alden is second in the state while the Wildcats are 11th. Depew needs to display its tremendous offensive arsenal — it couldn’t the first time around due to turnovers. Two first-half fumbles led to scores and Alden opened the third quarter with an interception return for a score.
Springville (4-4) at Cheektowaga (8-0).
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Ralph history: Springville’s last visit was in 1997. Cheektowaga beat Alden in the 2009 final.
Last time: The most irregular meeting of these playoffs is the first between these teams since Springville won, 41-20, on Oct. 29, 2004.
This time: Cheektowaga is ranked third among small schools and is undefeated, although it lost key players due to suspensions for their last two games, wins over Maryvale (in overtime) and Lew-Port last week. That might be a factor against a Springville team which is this year’s Cinderella. The Griffins have won four straight, including last week’s win at B South champion Eden, after losing their first four.

Class C

Fredonia (6-2) at JFK (7-1)
When: Saturday 1:30 p.m.
Ralph history: JFK seeks its first trip since 1986. Fredonia was there in 2010 as it won the C title.
Last time: Fredonia won, 28-14, in Week One as Zach Buckley rushed for 146 yards and Weston Ley had six catches for 95 yards.
This time: Since that opener, JFK has won seven straight behind senior quarterback Nick Anderson to win the C North title and earn the No. 6 spot in The News small school poll.
Cleveland Hill (6-2) at Wilson (6-2)
When: Friday 7 p.m.
Ralph history: Cleve Hill lost last year’s final to eventual state runner-up Southwestern, 10-0. Wilson has been there twice, lossing in 1985 and 1990.
Last time: In Week Four, host Cleveland Hill edged the Lakemen, 16-13, thanks to a third-quarter touchdown by junior Brandon Thomas.
This time: Cleve Hill is tied for seventh among small schools and seeks its second straight win after a long road trip. The Golden Eagles won at Salamanca last week as C North teams swept C South. Wilson hasn’t lost since losing at Cleve Hill and is 3-0 at home.

Class D

Portville (5-3) at Maple Grove (8-0)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Radio: WJTN (1240 AM),
Ralph history: Maple Grove is the defending champ, having been there three of last four years and 12 of last 16. Portville’s last trip was a loss in 2007.
Last time: Three weeks ago, No. 4 small school Maple Grove won, 21-0, at Portville, pulling away with 14 fourth-quarter points.
Silver Creek (5-3) at Randolph (6-2)
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
Ralph history: The last time each team was there, Silver Creek beat Randolph, 21-14, in the 2010 D final.
Last time: In Week Two, Jordan Dowiasz caught a 7-yard pass from Mitchell Maycock with 2:08 left as Randolph won, 13-12. Silver Creek has won four straight while Randolph has won five in a row.

Monsignor Martin

Canisius (8-0, 4-0) at St. Joe’s (7-1, 3-1)
When: Saturday 1 p.m.
Internet broadcasts: St. Joe’s audio via; Canisius video via
On the line: Bragging rights and a ton more between No. 1 large school Canisius (fourth in the state in AA) and No. 6 St. Joe’s (15th in state). There’s the regular season league championship: Canisius can earn the title outright with a win; St. Joe’s can earn a share with a win (which would also allow Timon to earn a share).
Then there is playoff seeding: A Canisius win and it is No. 1 and Timon is No. 2; a St. Joe’s win and a Timon loss and it would be 1. St. Joe’s; 2. Canisius; 3. Timon; a St. Joe’s win and a Timon win would result in the seedings being determined by point differential among the teams’ head-to-head matchups (Canisius beat Timon, 26-14; Timon beat St. Joe’s, 17-14).
St. Joe’s leads the series with its rival, 47-30-3, and has won the last four games (regular season and playoff sweeps the last two seasons).
St. Joe’s junior QB Dennis Gilbert Jr., who sat out last week’s win over St. Mary’s after a back injury suffered playing hockey, is expected back in the lineup. Gilbert is one of three players to see time at quarterback this season. Standout junior Nigel Davis has missed the last two games for St. Joe’s with a shoulder injury but practiced this week and will be a game-time decision. Senior RB Ilo Noble has rushed for 1,019 yards and has 15 touchdowns. Junior RB/LB Rod Payne (637 yards, 11 TDs) is a standout on both sides of the ball while senior lineman Dylan Hall needs to be accounted for.
Canisius is coming off a win at Timon, which beat visiting St. Joe’s one week earlier. The Crusaders have excelled behind junior QB Tyler Mascio, junior RB Qadree Ollison (17 touchdowns), senior WR Denzel Benton, strong line play that includes Bowling Green-bound Ryan Hunter and a ball-hawking secondary featuring senior LB Ryan Richards (two interceptions), senior Kyle Abernathy (seven INTs) and Josh Huffman (five INTs).
Bishop Timon-St. Jude (5-3, 3-1) at St. Francis (1-7, 1-3)
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
On the line: St. Francis, which has struggled all year, is coming off its first win over last-place Cardinal O’Hara (39-14).


Nichols (6-2) at Cardinal O’Hara (1-7)
When: Saturday, 2 p.m.
On the line: Independent Nichols has its first winning season since 1995. The Vikings haven’t won seven games in a season since 1991 — to reach that landmark, Nichols will have to end an 0-12 sked against O’Hara. The last time Nichols beat the Hawks was a 34-0 victory in 1999.

On the Web

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