Starpoint’s dream season had yet another highlight on Saturday.
The Spartans had lost their two quarterbacks - one to injury and one to heat exhaustion - by the second half. With seconds left, they trailed by four points. Then Tajay Ahmed, who usually plays tailback, threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Austin Bowden for the thrilling 17-14 win over Lockport.
“Even Tajay’s father said, ‘Who the hell made that call? My son can’t throw it that far,’ ” said a happy Al Cavagnaro, the coach at Starpoint. “We just drew up a play in the sand.
“We’ve got a bunch a kids that believe in themselves and believe in the coaches. They knew they were going to win.”
The final drive went 52 yards on nine plays after Terry Rutland returned a punt for 28 yards.
Any win by Starpoint over Lockport is always sweet as the two school districts border each other.
“There’s a lot of respect between the two of us,” Cavagnaro said. “When we meet each other, we want to win but there’s a hug after the game. All the kids played Little League football together. Lockport did a great job on us, really shut us down.”
It was the third straight road win for Starpoint. Cavagnaro said that hasn’t happened in at least 20 years.
St. Joe’s 35, St. Mary’s of Lancaster 19: The Marauders needed a half to get going, but turned on the offense in the second half to pull away for the win.
“We had more fire in the second half,” coach Dennis Gilbert said. “We came out a little flat and had a 7-6 lead. We turned the ball over on downs a few times.”
Darren Thompson ran 16 times for 129 yards and a touchdown and contributed six tackles on defense. Mike McCarthy was 6 for 8 in the air with two TD passes. Fred Nixon (six tackles with a sack) and Julian Smallwood (four tackles with a sack) were part of a strong effort on the defensive line.
Orchard Park 48, Hutch-Tech 26. The Quakers, ranked second among large schools in The Buffalo News poll, were in good form in an easy win. OP’s Dillon Janca had a big game, completing 16 of 25 for 242 yards and three touchdowns. Jacob Schurr caught four balls and had two touchdowns.
Kenmore West 38, Clarence 15: Deangelo Walker-Johnson filled up the stat sheet for the Blue Devils. He ran nine times for 93 yards and two touchdowns, was 8 for 18 for 98 yards passing and intercepted a pass that he returned 33 yards.
Meanwhile, Terrell Ford ran for 118 yards and caught four passes for 90 yards.
Niagara-Wheatfield 47, Kenmore East 6: The Falcons picked up their first win of the season after three losses. Niagara-Wheatfield had a balanced running attack that picked up 307 yards.
Kor’daryl Welch ran for 71 yards while Tim Brown added 69 – including a 48-yard touchdown run – for the winners.
Sweet Home 35, Williamsville East 34 (OT): The Panthers got back on the winning track in a thriller. Paul Woods caught a 5-yard TD pass from Nathan Faller to give Sweet Home the lead in OT, and then stopped Williamsville East on a two-point conversion attempt after a T.J. Allen TD. Dylan McDuffie ran for 275 yards for the Panthers.
South Park 34, West Seneca West 0: The Sparks were led by an outstanding effort by quarterback Tyree Brown. He was 10 for 19 passing for 206 yards and three touchdowns. One of the scoring passes was a 70-yarder to David Thomas. Brown also had an interception. Third-ranked South Park moved to 3-1.
Aquinas (V) 48, St. Francis 7: The Little Irish scored early and often in beating the Red Raiders. St. Francis’ only score came on a 17-yard pass from Jerry Hickson to Jake Tasker.
Cardinal O’Hara 33, East (V) 14: The Hawks took a 21-0 lead at the half and cruised to a win over their Rochester opponent. Charles DuBose ran nine times for 107 yards and three touchdowns. Deomonte Riley had two interceptions for O’Hara.
Finney 46, Nichols 14: Casey Walls scored on a 64-yard run and Brandon Rivers also had a touchdown for the Vikings.