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Saturday's key high school football games

Maryvale Flyers (0-0) vs. Cleveland Hill Golden Eagles (0-0), 2 p.m., Carl J. Kuras Field

There are 11 games on the slate Saturday with all four Cheektowaga teams in action, but the big one involves two of them at the school on Mapleview Road. Cleveland Hill has gotten the better of Maryvale in the teams' rivalry recently, but the Flyers own bragging rights at the moment since they won last year's matchup, 14-12.

This game should be a dandy considering both teams are expected to be contenders for division and Section VI titles in their respective classifications. Both return fairly experienced players.

Defending Class C champion Cleveland Hill is led by junior running back Aaron Wahler, who rushed for 1,000 yards last season on just 99 carries while splitting time with departed first team All-Western New York pick Matt Eldridge. The Eagles love to run and figure to do a whole lot of that considering they have most of their starting offensive line back from last season.

Ryan Majerowski leads the Cleve Hill defense from his linebacker spot but also should get some carries on offense for coach Glen Graham's crew.

Maryvale, which won its first six games last season, has a bunch of familiar faces on the line and backfield. Sophomore quarterback Connor Desiderio leads the Flyers' Wing-T offense but also is a threat to throw (886 yards, 12 touchdown passes in 2016).

Running backs Dylan Casey and Rashad Law combined for 17 touchdowns last season with Casey making the game-saving play in last year's clash when Maryvale thwarted a game-tying two-point conversion to beat Cleve Hill for just the third time in 11 meetings.

Among the other intriguing games on the docket:
St. Mary's of Lancaster Lancers vs. Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers, Tifft Farm, 1 p.m.: A recent addition to the schedule as the Tigers look to make Joe Licata's coaching debut a winning one. St. Mary's looks to play the role of spoiler and see if most of its youngsters, which endured some growing pains in 2016, benefit from being a year older and stronger.
Niagara Falls Wolverines vs. Kenmore West Blue Devils at Crosby Field, 2 p.m.: Former Class AA North rivals meet in a nonleaguer with Ken West getting to play its first game in its renovated facility a night after rival Kenmore East did the same with Sparky Adams Field.
Mount St. Joseph's (Md.) vs. Cardinal O'Hara Hawks, at Cardinal O'Hara, 2 p.m.: Year two of the Shaquille Dudley coaching era kicks off at home for the Hawks of Cardinal O'Hara.
Lewiston-Porter Lancers vs. Cheektowaga Warriors, at Cheektowaga, 7 p.m.: The Section VI Class B runner-up Warriors embark on the quest to make their fourth straight sectional final appearance. Meanwhile, for the second straight year, Lew-Port has a different coach but this one is a familiar face as basketball pilot Matt Bradshaw takes the reins.

#PrepTalkLive
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Review our #PrepTalkLive coverage from Friday night’s action, including photo galleries and a live blog of how the night transpired. Our scoreboard page also has additional details from several games.
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Final 2016 News polls
Brackets indicate first-place votes; * - Indicates tie in voting
Large Schools
Rank School (Class) Record Points
1. Canisius [6] 10-2 87
2. Lancaster (AA) [3] 10-1 84
3. St. Francis 4-6 65
4. Bennett (A) 8-3 59
5. Orchard Park (AA) 6-4 52
6. Starpoint (A) 9-1 46
7. Bishop Timon-St. Jude 5-6 36
8. McKinley (A) 6-3 21
9. Hutch-Tech (AA) 6-3 13
T10. St. Joe’s* 4-6 9
T10. Clarence* 6-3 9
Others receiving votes: Niagara Falls (AA) 4, Grand Island (A) 2, North Tonawanda (A) 1.

Small Schools
Rank School (Class) Record Points
1. Maple Grove (D) [9] 12-1 99
2. Dunkirk (B) [1] 9-3 90
3. Cheektowaga (B) 9-1 77
4. Cleveland Hill (C) 9-2 73
5. Olean (B) 8-1 51
6. Southwestern (C) 8-2 39
7. Maryvale (B) 6-2 37
8. Franklinville/Ellicottville (D) 7-3 30
9. Medina (B) 6-3 21
10. Lackawanna (B) 5-4 11
Others receiving votes: Alden (B) 9, Gowanda (C) 7, Silver Creek/Forestville (D) 4, East Aurora/Holland (B) 1.

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