Who: Orchard Park Quakers (10-1) vs. III-Christian Brothers Academy Brothers (11-0)
What: New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA football semifinal.
When: Today, 6 p.m.
Where: Sahlen’s Stadium, 460 Oak St., Rochester, 14608.
Tickets: $10 for three-game session.
Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
Buffalo News large school poll (last poll Nov. 6): Orchard Park No. 3.
New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA poll: CBA No. 3, Orchard Park No. 8. Note: Canisius is No. 2.
Orchard Park in the state semis: 2-1. After losing its first seven Far West Regionals over an 11-year span (1996 to 2006), OP broke through in 2007 before losing to III-West Genesee (30-27). OP won semifinals on its way to state championships in 2008 (37-21 over IV-Binghamton) and last year (35-6 over Binghamton).
CBA in the state semis: 2-4. First state playoff appearance since 2005, which was the last of a successful stretch in which it won Section III titles in eight of nine years. Won in Class C in 1997 (40-20 over V-Caledonia-Mumford), lost in B in 1999 (to Lackawanna, 28-16) and 2000 (to Lackawanna, 19-7), lost in A in 2001 (to V-Aquinas, 37-34), won in AA in 2004 (44-14 over V-Webster Thomas) on its way to the state championship and lost in AA in 2005 (to V-Webster Thomas, 34-21).
Coaches: Orchard Park, Gene Tundo, 19th season (169-27); CBA, Joe Casamento, 14th season (127 wins).
How they got here: Orchard Park won a hard-hitting showdown of two of the state’s best programs with a 14-7 victory over Aquinas thanks to a 24-yard touchdown run by Mitch Wilson with 3:19 to play. CBA scored all of its points in a 307-yard first half as it routed IV-Binghamton, 31-7.
Orchard Park key players: Sr. QB Ben Holmes, 5-11, 175; Sr. RB Mitch Wilson, 5-9, 180; Sr. RB/DB Jett Modkins, 5-11, 190; Sr. WR/DB Austin Goltz, 5-10, 170; Sr. WR Raphael Paglei, 6-0, 185; Sr. LB/TE Connor Eddy, 6-1, 220; Jr. LB Tucker Gamble, 6-0, 220; Sr. LB Bobby Akinyele, 5-11, 200; Sr. DL/OL Christopher Sanfilippo, 5-11, 220; Sr. OL/DL Michael Senn, 6-3, 300; So. DB Jacob Dogal, 6-1, 180.
Syracuse CBA pre-snap read: Jr. QB J.R. Zazzara (6-2, 185) threw two TDs passes last week, one each to Andre Dowdell (5-8) and Cody Radziewicz (5-10), while Deshawn Salter (5-10, 192) ran for two TDs. The Brothers have scored at least 21 in every game. Historically CBA has been known to light it up offensively behind standout QBs like Greg Paulus (who would play basketball at Duke), younger brother Mike Paulus and Joe Casamento Jr.
What’s next: The winner advances to the NYSPHSAA championship next Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The opponent will be the winner of the East Semifinal between state AA poll No. 1 Shaker (11-0) of Section II (Albany area) and No. 7 New Rochelle (9-1) of Section I (Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties); that game is at 7 tonight at Kingston’s Dietz Stadium.
At buffalonews.com: Live blog with play-by-play coverage; comment in the blog or via Twitter using the hashtag #preptalkscores. A PrepTalkTV video recap will follow.
— Keith McShea