Class B football Far West Regional at a glance - The Buffalo News

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Class B football Far West Regional at a glance

Who: Cheektowaga Warriors (9-1) vs. Hornell Red Raiders (10-0)

When: 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Eunice Kennedy Shriver Stadium at SUNY Brockport

Tickets: $10

Web cast: myspectrumsports.com

Rankings: Cheektowaga is ranked No. 1 in the News Small Schools poll and No. 10 in the New York State Sportswriters' Poll. Hornell is ranked fourth in the state.

Regional records: Cheektowaga is 2-1. Beat Batavia in 2015 (43-36) and 2014 (35-16). Lost to Hornell in 2009 (48-12). Hornell, making its first regional appearance since its run of four straight trips to the state finals ended in 2012, is 6-4 all-time in this round. It defeated Cleve Hill in Class C in its last appearance, 27-6.

Coaches: Cheektowaga, Mike Fatta, sixth season (52-9); Hornell, Erik Werner, sixth season (33-16).

Cheektowaga key players and statistics: Jr. QB KeShone Beal (84-171-1367-17 TDs passing; 150-1124-21 TDs rushing), Sr. RB Michael Gray (105-655-3 TDs), Sr. RB Jaquan Bush (46-287-7 TDs), Sr. WR Tommy Zolnowski (24-441-6 TDs), Jr. LB Taivaughn Roach (94 tackles, 13 TFL, 6 sacks), Sr. DB Alekzander Bryant (57 tackles, 5 INT), Sr. LB John Sweat (57 tackles, 12 TFL, 4.0 sacks)

Hornell key players and statistics: Sr. QB Luke Smith (47-81-1055-14 TDs passing; 28-273-8 TDs rushing), Sr. RB Hunter Babcock (154-1299-13 TDs), Sr. WR Spencer Weyand (12-248-3 TDs).

How they got here: Cheektowaga advanced to regionals for the third time in four years by beating town rival Maryvale in overtime, 28-27. The Warriors stuffed a two-point conversion attempt on the last play to secure the crown and their eighth straight victory. Beal rushed for the last of his three touchdowns during the overtime period for Cheektowaga.

Hornell defeated Livonia, 22-20, in the Section V final to end its title drought. Babcock rushed for 98 of his 184 yards after halftime and had two touchdowns in the win. Smith made an interception to end Livonia's last possession.

Pre-snap read: Cheektowaga ran it more than it passed in the sectional final but make no mistake, the Warriors have the ability to sling it around the field with dual-threat quarterback Beal taking over from where his predecessor, the graduated, Eric Bartnik left off. Still Beal, who's built more like a fullback than quarterback, is tough to tackle once he gets a full head of steam. His favorite target in the passing game has been Tommy Zolnowski.

The Red Raiders appear to be a team that likes to run as they rushed for 293 yards last week. Babcock earned player of the game honors for his contributions. Junior linebacker Rayyan Buell is 6-2, 250-pound linebacker with a high number of tackles and also serves as blocking fullback on running plays.

Cheektowaga's defense limited Maryvale to 105 yards on 46 rushes last week. A similar effort along with the Warriors' usual offensive production could lead to another successful experience in regionals for the area. The Section VI champion has won the Class B game each year since 2012.

What’s next: The winner advances to the state semifinals at 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at Union-Endicott High School where it will face the winner of the Central regional between Section III’s Homer and Section IV’s Chenango Forks.

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