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Miguel Rodriguez's Fab five: West Seneca West versus McKinley will be, in a word, huge

The beautiful thing about football compared to most other sports is that it's never too early to classify a game as being huge.

It's the nature of football because there are fewer games in a season compared to soccer and basketball.

So with that in mind and to borrow a line from Billy Fuccillo, West Seneca West versus McKinley on Friday night is definitely going to be "HUUUUUUUUGE!"

A win by either not only improves the other's chances of finishing in the top four of rugged Class A South but also captures the attention of other postseason hopefuls/contenders within the classification.

In McKinley's case, a Week Two victory coupled with its attention-getting, season-opening nonleague win over Class AA runner-up and perennial Western New York power Orchard Park would not only resonate loudly but also provide another infusion of confidence to a team that only has a total of five returning starters from last year's sectional semifinalist.

On the other hand, a win by a West Seneca West crew whose goal is to end its lengthy postseason drought would enable it to inch a step closer toward that end.

Here's a look at this week's five most intriguing games on the scholastic schedule.

-- West Seneca West Indians vs. McKinley Macks, 7 p.m. Friday at Riverside's Dingboom Field. Hungry but humble has been coach Brian Hillery's message to his Macks following last week's win at OP, in which Kaiyer Fields rushed for 313 yards and two touchdowns while Troy Coble finished with two interceptions at safety. Coach Mike Vastola has been preaching the following to his Indians: "We have to stop No. 4 (Fields), that's the first priority." WSW opened by thrashing division foe Amherst last week behind five first-half touchdowns from quarterback Matt Myers, but Vastola is calling the McKinley game a measuring-stick one. "We'll see what kind of team we are," he said.

-- Canisius Crusaders vs. Bishop McDevitt Crusaders, 7 p.m. Friday at Harrisburg, Pa. The game may be in Pennsylvania, but it's always huge when a local power tests its mettle against one from a state where high school football is a religion. Proof of that: Bishop McDevitt pre-sold "Battle of the Crusaders T-shirts" leading up to this contest – which is simply cool.

-- Pioneer Panthers vs. Maryvale Flyers, 7 p.m. at Maryvale. Battle between Class B1 division rivals with the Flyers looking to build on momentum from last week's comeback win at rival Cleveland Hill in which they scored 22 fourth-quarter points. Maryvale also will look to build off feel-good vibe from the crowd generated by jersey-retirement ceremony at halftime for 1992 Connolly Cup winner Cory Schemm. Schemm, a first team All-Western New York selection who has gone on to have a remarkable career in the Navy, rushed for 31 scores and passed for 19 during his Flyers career. Pioneer opened with a nonleague win over JFK and will look to assert itself with its power-run game.

-- Sweet Home Panthers vs. Cheektowaga Warriors, 7:15 p.m. Friday at Cheektowaga. Two of the area's more successful programs over the years meet in a nonleague clash between Class A and B teams. Panthers looking to build on last week's season-opening win at Class A North foe North Tonawanda, in which Dylan McDuffie finished with six touchdowns. Cheektowaga, which hopes to contend for its third sectional title in four seasons, crushed Lew-Port last Saturday as quarterback Keshone Beal passed for 269 yards and three touchdowns in his varsity debut.

-- Starpoint Spartans vs. Kenmore West Blue Devils, 2 p.m. Saturday at Crosby Field. It's never too early to try to seize control of the division. Two-time Class A North champion Starpoint looks to do just that against division newcomer Ken West, the 2015 sectional runner-up which drops down from Class AA. Both teams are off to winning debuts with Ken West defeating former division rival Niagara Falls, 23-14, in a nonleague test last week. Spartans blanked Williamsville East, 35-0.

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