> Sweet Sunday for Sweet Home
The Sweet Home football team clinched a playoff spot and a home game in the first round of the playoffs as the Panthers shut out Starpoint, 17-0, in a Class A North game Sunday at UB Stadium.
Ian Goree was 9 of 14 for 135 yards passing, including a 47-yard TD pass to Marcus Johnson. Joel Tillman scored on a 1-yard run and Mike Lewandus booted a 34-yard field goal. Johnson and Augie Melino had two sacks each and Demario Cordelius had a fumble recovery to key a defense that held Starpoint to 2 yards total offense.
"It was a great defensive effort after two days of practice [Friday and Saturday]," Sweet Home coach John Faller said. "I'm pretty proud of the kids being able to play that kind of defense with such short preparation."
The game was pushed back to Sunday due to school closings prompted by the recent snowstorm.
The Panthers (6-1, 5-1) had the same records as Albion, but the Panthers earned the Class A North top spot because they beat Albion, 40-14, in Week Three.
> Football field set; Wmsv. East not pleased
Williamsville East has filed an appeal with Section VI's executive committee regarding the Section VI football playoffs.
Section VI announced its playoff pairings Sunday. The two representatives from Class A North are Sweet Home (6-1, 5-1) and Albion (6-1, 5-1).
Williamsville East, 3-3 overall and 3-2 in Class A North, did not play its last two games -- Week Seven against Albion and Week Eight against Grand Island -- because its school was closed and its sports teams were not allowed to practice or play.
"We made the best decision we could make in the time frame we had," Section VI football Chairman Chuck Funke said. "[The storm] was just devastating. We just couldn't do anything about it."
East's appeal included, according to East coach Henry Fumerelle, an alternative schedule for the Class A teams. Fumerelle did not have exact details of the plan, but he did say it would potentially have caused the Class A final to be moved from its scheduled date (Nov. 3 at Ralph Wilson Stadium) and that it would not impact the next step of the playoffs, the Far West Regionals.
"My great hope is that we could decide things on the field," Fumerelle said. "For the first four weeks of the season we played good football [going 3-1 with a close loss at Iroquois and a win at Sweet Home], the last couple of weeks we didn't play as well as we should have [division losses to Kenmore East and Starpoint]. But if we won our last two games, we possibly could be league champions."
The appeal is expected to be ruled on today.
Most playoff matchups are set, or will be set after makeup games early this week:
Class AA -- North Tonawanda at Orchard Park, 7:30 p.m. Friday; Clarence at Niagara-Wheatfield, 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Class A -- Albion will play at Iroquois at 7 p.m. Friday while Sweet Home will host a team on a date to be announced. West Seneca East can earn Class A South's second playoff spot with a win at Cheektowaga on Wednesday; if Cheektowaga wins, the playoff spot will be determined by several tiebreakers, Funke said.
Class B -- The winner of Tuesday night's Lackawanna at East Aurora game will host Depew at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; the loser will play at Maryvale at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Class C -- The winner of Wednesday's JFK at Cleveland Hill game will play at Falconer on Sunday; Salamanca plays at Silver Creek at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Class D -- Both games are Friday at 7:30 p.m. Defending state champion Randolph is at Cattaraugus/Little Valley while Frewsburg is at Maple Grove.
> Rivals Lancaster and Depew play tonight
The Lancaster and Depew football teams wait all year to play each other. That wait, delayed two additional days by the recent storm, ends tonight when the Wildcats visit Foyle-Kling Field for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
The last time the game was not played on the date it was scheduled was 1982 when The News reported that a "crippling" 12 inches of heavy, wet snow fell all day on Friday. The game was pushed back to Monday. The Wildcats won, 20-0, as current Panama coach Chris Payne threw a TD pass and Dan DiPizio and Tony Gorski scored rushing TDs.