Hello from Ralph Wilson Stadium. We're forging new ground here as we attempt to provide updates from tonight's Section VI football championships. We did the first game of tonight's doubleheader -- the Class D championship -- on a separate post. The Class A final between fellow 9-0 teams Cheektowaga and Sweet Home is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
According to our Prep Talk blog poll, which closed at kickoff, 54.3 percent of 129 voters think Cheektowaga will win. It is by far the closest poll among the Section VI football finals.
7:12 p.m.: Sweet Home quarterback Casey Kacz, who was knocked out of last week's semifinal win over Iroquois, is suited up and is going through warmups on the turf.
7:24 p.m. Note to fans - get here before the scheduled kickoff because these games start as soon as possible. Sweet Home received the opening kickoff and it's No. 12 Michael Wolcott, the backup QB, starting for Kacz. On third-and-5 from the Sweet Home 26, Wolcott's first pass hangs in the air a bit but William Reese comes down with it for a 34-yard gain.
7:35 p.m. Marcus Johnson earned the Panthers a first-and-goal at the 5, but Sweet Home comes up empty when a 23-yard field goal attempt is blocked by Eric Tomczak with 6:13 left in the first quarter.
7:43 p.m. Sweet Home gets the ball back on a blocked punt, and Reese carries it in from 7 yards out for a TOUCHDOWN. Michael Lawandus' kick is good and Sweet Home leads, 7-0.
7:48 p.m. End of the first quarter comes just after Sweet Home sacks Cheektowaga, which now is in a fourth-and-26 hole at its 16.
7:55 p.m. Sweet Home takes timeout with 7:17 left in the second quarter. It has third-and-goal at 2 thanks in large part to a short punt and the strong running of Johnson.
7:57 p.m. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, Deshanaro Morris takes a handoff from Wolcott in the double-wing and charges up the middle for a Sweet Home TOUCHDOWN. Another Lawandus kick makes it 14-0.
8:01 p.m. Sweet Home takes timeout with 5:33 left in the second quarter after Cheektowaga opens a drive with two straight Adam Piscitello completions and moves 12 yards to their 38.
8:02 p.m. Piscitello is hit as he throws and his pass turns into a jump ball that Sweet Home's Hanif Russell comes down with for an interception at the 50.
8:10 p.m. On third-and-8 at the Cheektowaga 23, Wolcott throws a swing pass to the right side to Reese, who gets a great block from Andrew Hopkins and runs down the sideline for a first down. Panthers now have first-and-goal at the 9.
8:13 p.m. Facing third-and-9 with the time running out in the half, Sweet Home spikes the ball with 15 seconds left and Lawandus booms a 27-yard FIELD GOAL for a 17-0 Sweet Home lead.
8:15 p.m. Halftime: Sweet Home 17, Cheektowaga 0.
8:41 p.m. Second-half action begins quickly for Cheektowaga, as Piscitello runs for two first downs and then, on second-and-9 at the Sweet Home 27, Dante Parker makes an outstanding one-handed catch across the middle and runs across the field to the right pylon for a TOUCHDOWN. The extra point bangs off the left upright and it's Sweet Home 17, Cheektowaga 6.
8:49 p.m. Momentum just changed both ways in a matter of plays. Cheektowaga intercepted the ball to take over, but two plays into their series, Mikal Coleman and Ibrahim Ramadan forced a Piscitello fumble and Sweet Home took over at the Cheektowaga 21. Two plays later, out of a double-wing formation, Wolcott hit Marcus Johnson for an 18-yard TOUCHDOWN pass. Another Lawandus kick and it's Sweet Home, 24-6.
8:53 p.m. Morris just provided one big reason to check out the Time Warner broadcasts of this game the next few days. Cheektowaga attempted a screen pass to the left which Morris blew-up big-time, unleashing an outstanding hit on a receiver which jarred the ball loose.
8:55 p.m. Cheektowaga tries a fake punt on fourth-and-8 from its 44 but it comes up short and Sweet Home takes over at the Cheektowaga 47 with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
9:04 p.m. End of the third quarter. Sweet Home 24, Cheektowaga 6. Sweet Home starting a possession at the Cheektowaga 46.
9:18 p.m. Hasn't been much to update ... until Johnson dives in on fourth-and-goal at the 1 for a TOUCHDOWN, followed by a Lawandus kick, to give Sweet Home a 31-6 lead with 4:14 to go. Fans are headed to the exits.
9:32 p.m. That's it. Final score: Sweet Home 31, Cheektowaga 6. Sweet Home wins at The Ralph for the second time in its nine trips here. It also won in 2002. The Panthers join Randolph at next week's Far West Regionals at Paetec Park in downtown Rochester.
-- Keith McShea