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A spectacular start to 2009 Close calls, the resumption of rivalries, an emotional scene and beautiful weather highlight Week One of high school football

A defending state champion taken to double overtime before surviving on its home field. The opening of two new fields with big victories by both host schools. A rarely-seen matchup of public versus private, just to name a few.

A multitude of storylines came out of the opening weekend of the 2009 Western New York high school football season, which from the opening kickoff Friday to the final whistle Saturday was played under couldn't-ask-for-better weather conditions.

Orchard Park, Sweet Home, Southwestern and Maple Grove -- the history-making state champs from a year ago -- all continued their winning streaks, though the Quakers had to survive an upset bid by Lockport, 32-26, in double overtime Friday night.

Maple Grove also had a scare, getting a late touchdown from star quarterback Chris Secky for a 7-6 win over long-time rival Randolph.

Iroquois had a considerably easier time in its own rivalry game, downing East Aurora, 38-13.

Also Friday, Hamburg and Depew opened their new turf fields with big wins, 35-6 over Williamsville East and 41-0 over Newfane, respectively.

On Saturday at Sweet Home, an emotional scene played out before the Panthers opened the season against Class AA's Clarence. Deshanaro Morris, a standout running back on last year's Class A state champions, was paralyzed in a car accident in January. He was on the field with his teammates, serving as an honorary captain for the coin toss. Morris also spoke to the team at halftime of Sweet Home's 35-16 win.

At Sal Maglie Stadium, St. Joe's thumped Niagara Falls, 40-19, in the first of three matchups this season between Monsignor Martin large schools and Section VI teams.

Fans can only hope the quality action -- and weather -- continues in Week Two and beyond.


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