Game of the day
Lancaster (4-3) at Kenmore West (5-2), 2 p.m. at Crosby Field (#LANCvKW on #PrepTalkLive).
This is a rematch of Week One, when Lancaster traveled to Kenmore West and came away with a 24-9 victory.
Since then, however, West has moved past Lancaster in the large school poll (it is No. 8) and its current five-game win streak enabled it to secure the fourth seed – and with it home-field advantage in today’s Section VI Class AA quarterfinal – over fifth-seeded Lancaster.
West lost in Week Two as well, a 50-28 home defeat to Jamestown that would turn out to be the Red Raiders’ toughest test (36-28 entering the fourth quarter) up until its 42-41 thriller at Orchard Park last week.
Since then, West has beaten West Seneca West (20-9), Clarence (33-31), Frontier (26-21, the Falcons’ first loss), Lockport (34-12) and last week it dominated its rivalry game with Kenmore East (42-0).
Lancaster, conversely, won its first three games (Ken West, West Seneca West, Niagara Falls) to move into the large school top 10 before losing to the league’s top teams (Jamestown, Orchard Park, Frontier) by a combined 111-27. Last week it, too, recorded a resounding victory in its rivalry game, dominating season-long top 10 small school Depew, 36-0.
Lancaster missed the AA playoffs last season, going 1-7 under now second-year coach Chris Dickson. Its last playoff game was in 2011, when it lost, 29-28, at Kenmore West. Lancaster’s last playoff win was in 2009, when it beat Lockport in the semifinals to advance to Ralph Wilson Stadium, where it lost to eventual state champion North Tonawanda.
More key games today
• Bishop Timon-St. Jude (3-4) at St. Joe’s (5-2), 1 p.m. at Robert T. Scott Athletic Complex. In the penultimate weekend of the Monsignor Martin regular season, this game should give us a progress report on No. 4 large school St. Joe’s, which has battled several injuries over the last three weeks and is coming off a 14-9 home win over St. Mary’s. Timon has won three of four since opening up 0-3, including last week’s 36-13 home win over Williamsville South, and its loss in that stretch was a decent 24-0 effort at Canisius.
• Pioneer (4-3) vs. Burgard (6-1), Class B quarterfinal, 2:30 p.m. at Robert E. Rich All High Stadium. Both teams have seen time in the small school top 10 this season, and the Panthers historically are a tough out, but last week Pioneer lost its regular season finale to Eden and the Bulldogs are playing on a field where it has won by scores of 51-12 (playoff team Medina) and 36-7 (Amherst).
• Falconer (2-5) at Cleveland Hill (7-0), Class C quarterfinal, 2 p.m. at Carl J. Kuras Field. The defending Class C champion and No. 3 small school Golden Eagles are big favorites.
• Kenmore East (4-3) at Sweet Home (7-0), Class A quarterfinal, 2 p.m. at Robert P. Barczak Stadium. The host Panthers seek their 68th straight win over Section VI competition against a Bulldogs team it handled, 34-6, in A North action in Week Six.
• Frewsburg (4-3) at Sherman (6-1), Class DD semifinal, 1:30 p.m. at Harry Brosius Field. Sherman, the top seed in Class DD, looks to avenge its only loss of the season (28-18 on the road in Week Five) and earn its first trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium since 1985.
A day-by-day look ahead to next weekend (Nov. 1-2) and Week Eight, the opening week of the Section VI playoffs:
• The weekend starts a little earlier with the Chuck Funke Memorial Classic Consolation Bowl finals on Wednesday. There will be a large-school doubleheader at Tonawanda (Class A at 5:30 p.m. and AA at 8) and a small-school doubleheader at Dunkirk (C at 5 p.m. and B at 7:30). The DD game will be at Southwestern at 5 p.m. (there is no D game as all five teams made the playoffs).
• As was the case this week, Friday night will feature most of the Section VI playoff action (10 semifinal games) as teams vie for a trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium. In the Monsignor Martin Association, there is a nice south-of-the-city matchup as St. Francis is at Bishop Timon-St. Jude.
• Saturday is highlighted by one of the best games of the season: St. Joe’s at Canisius at 1 p.m. at the Crusaders’ Stransky Complex.