Share this article

print logo

12 hours until Friday night lights, 32 hours until St. Francis-Canisius

Hard to figure which coach is kicking themselves harder about losing to defending Class A state champion Aquinas -- St. Francis' Jerry Smith (read my story in today's paper) or Canisius' Brandon Harris (in Sunday's roundup as well as the blog post after last Saturday's loss).

• • •

St. Francis coach Jerry Smith said all of his linemen are healthy, which wasn't the case for the Red Raiders' first two games.

"We're probably the healthiest we've been all season," he said.

And the coach says there's no finer focus for the Red Raiders now that they're starting up Monsignor Martin play.

"We approach every game the same for what it is. We're not sitting here saying, 'Oh, we're back in Western New York and it's going to be easy.' We've been here too long. Our kids just want to play hard.

"We're looking forward to Saturday afternoon and hopefully we can get a win under our belt so these kids can feel a little bit better about about themselves."

• • •

Here's some info I clicked across while checking in on the opponents of St. Francis and Canisius ...

* St. Francis and Canisius backers would love all of Western New York to know this one:

St. Ignatius is ranked 26th in the country by Rivals High at The poll's highest-rated team from New York state -- actually the only team from New York to earn attention -- is Aquinas, which comes in at 18th in its Atlantic East rankings.

That means that in their view, Aquinas is the best football team from New York, which is certainly plausible.

On the other hand, neither St. Ignatius or Aquinas are ranked by USA Today, and that includes the four regional rankings.

** St. Ignatius is ranked second in the Cleveland area in the Plain Dealer's poll.

** In this week's Associated Press poll for Ohio -- that's right, an AP poll for high school football -- St. Ignatius is eighth in Division I (the largest of the state's six classes). Cardinal Mooney (6-1) of Youngstown is third in Division IV, one spot behind Steubenville (which St. Joe's lost to).

** St. Francis' season-opening loss came to Holy Trinity of Long Island, which has a loss to state superpower St. Anthony's of Long Island as part of its 3-2 season in the Catholic High School Football League of Metropolitan New York.

• • •

Headline patrol: This was posted at 6 a.m., so we're rounding off a bit -- Week Six starts with McKinley and Hutch-Tech playing at All High Stadium at 5 p.m., but they probably won't need the lights for a while (6:41 p.m. sunset!).

• • •

Thoughts on some other Week Six games that we haven't mentioned already as several teams close out their league schedules ...

The Mineo & Sapio Cup should be very entertaining this year as West Side rivals Grover Cleveland and Lafayette meet at All High Stadium. The 2 p.m. Saturday matchup is the Intense Milk Harvard Cup Game of the Week and can be heard on WJJL (1440 AM) and via and Grover is having a great Harvard Cup season, while Lafayette has a way of making things interesting every week.

Williamsville South-Amherst is a nonleague game, but it should be a fun one between two resurgent teams separated by a few miles of Main Street. The other half of a Northtowns nonleague pairing is a different story -- Will East is at Will North on Saturday. The teams are a combined 1-9.

First win alert? Winless West Seneca West played Sweet Home tough in its opener and hasn't been embarrased by any means in its grueling AA South schedule. It hosts a Frontier team which is out of the playoffs despite playing Orchard Park to a 14-12 loss.

Falconer doesn't have a win (!?!?). One would think that could change against visiting Westfield/Ripley, but W/R could make the playoffs if it wins its final two games.

Impactful Class C games which should be very exciting have Gowanda at Akron, Salamanca at Southwestern and Silver Creek at Allegany-Limestone.

While Frannies and Canisius get its league schedule going, Nichols at Cardinal O'Hara and Walsh at Niagara Catholic will give us a gauge on League A.

• • •

Be sure to vote in the polls at the Week Six walkthrough post.

---Keith McShea

There are no comments - be the first to comment