Starpoint took its first step toward building on last year’s breakthrough campaign. The Spartans knocked off Amherst 27-9, in a Class A North season-opener for the two high school football teams.
The Tigers proved pesky for a while, as they trailed only, 14-9, after three quarters. But Starpoint then ran off 13 points in the fourth quarter to pull away.
The Spartans’ Tajay Ahmen ran for a touchdown and forced a fumble. Austi Meenaghan had a TD catch, blocked a punt, made a sack and had four tackles. Amherst’s highlight was a 63-yard pass from Ja’kye Womack to Brandon Fowler.
Elsewhere in that division, Sweet Home got off to a good start in its attempt to bounce back from a disappointing 2015 season. The Panthers used a 20-0 spurt in the second quarter to knock off Kenmore East, 50-21.
Nate Faller had a 96-yard kickoff return, while Tom Rivera ran 10 times for 175 yards and three touchdowns. Joe Torrillo threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns as Sweet Home ran up more than 500 yards in total offense.
Burgard 14, Pioneer 13: Dominic Prince had quite a busy day for the Bulldogs. The senior scored both touchdowns – including the one that put Burgard ahead to stay with six minutes to go – to lift his team to a win. However, he and his teammates had some anxious moments.
Pioneer cut the margin to 14-13 with five minutes left on a 43-yard run by Todd Thompson. Prince jumped offside on the two-point conversion, but then made the lead-saving tackle on the next play. In the final two minutes, Burgard forced a fumble and was able to run out the clock to preserve the win.
Prince finished with 140 yards on 15 carries on offense, and made 11 tackles on defense. Dagean McCullough added 72 yards on seven carries for the Bulldogs.
Grand Island 27, Niagara-Wheatfield 6: Sophomore quarterback Cam Sionko was sharp for the Vikings, going 17 for 22 for 208 yards and three touchdowns. Zane Johnson had two of those scores, while Will Hughes had a third. Grand Island gave up the game’s first score and rolled after that.
Niagara Falls 20, McKinley 18: The Wolverines completed a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback, scoring the game’s final 14 points to upend the Macks. Haseen Pruitt scored the winning touchdown. He finished with 80 yards rushing on 19 carries, and also had nine tackles at linebacker. Rodney Barnes also scored a fourth-quarter touchdown, and had an interception as well for Niagara Falls.
University Prep-V 26, Cardinal O’Hara 6: Nasir Benton had the lone score for the Hawks in a loss in the Rochester area. Jamel Lewis had seven tackles for Cardinal O’Hara, which gave up 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
Holley-V 18, Nichols 6: The Vikings’ trip to Section V resulted in a loss, despite some impressive statistics. Linebacker Mike Nercessian had 19 tackles, and linebacker Paul Brinson added 17 tackles. On offense, Matt Glinski ran the ball 16 times for 131 yards. Austin Ellis-Mohr had a touchdown catch for Nichols.
Pittsford-V 35, Orchard Park 22: The visitors from Section V exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter to win at OP. It was 14-all entering the final quarter. The Pittsford rally overcame a big passing performance by senior Dillon Janca of the Quakers. He completed 20 of 35 for 236 yards. Josh Dahl carried 20 times for 141 yards and scored twice for OP.
Buford (Ga.) 49, Bishop Timon-St. Jude 6: Buford led, 21-0, after one quarter and by 35-6 at halftime, holding the visiting Bishop Timon to 99 total yards and just 15 in the second half.
Anthony Grant scored four touchdowns for Buford, with three rushing scores from 69, 32 and 12 yards and one receiving score from 31 yards from Mic Roof. Grant finished with 173 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Derrian Brown scored the night’s first touchdown from five yards out, finishing with 79 yards rushing on nine carries. TD Roof scored on a two-yard run, and Lunden Bailey recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown.