I'm live in the Dick Grapes Press Box at the Lumberjacks Sports Complex for a key Class AA North showdown between Lockport and North Tonawanda.
I'll update when I can -- just a warning that the updates will become less frequent the later we get because of tight deadlines on Friday night. Thanks for your patience and just hit refresh for updates. Thanks.
7:01 p.m. I knew Dick Grapes would never retire. 🙂 NT named the press box after him last year but I heard his familiar voice as I was walking to the stadium. Great to hear it.
Here's the opening kickoff:
7:07 p.m. Lockport is 0 for 1. The Lions started on its 27 and did not gain a first down on its first possession. After a punt, NT took over at the Lockport 44 with 9:28 left in the first quarter.
7:15 p.m. Big stop for Lockport, which held on fourth-and-1 at its own 5 with 5:17 left in the first.
7:19 p.m. A great start to a drive for Lockport -- David Fluellen had a very nice 24-yard run to gain the Lockport 39 -- ends quickly with a fumble after a pass play to the right side. NT takes over at the Lockport 47 with 3:12 left in the first quarter.
7:24 p.m. We are at the END OF THE FIRST QUARTER and there is no score between Lockport and North Tonawanda. NT has second-and-4 at the Lockport 19.
7:28 p.m. A huge play for Lockport, which not only stopped NT on fourth down again (fourth-and-3 at the Lockport 18) but did so with an interception by Luke Rankie, who returned the ball 41 yards to the NT 46.
7:31 p.m. But we're still scoreless after Lockport fumbles the snap on a fourth-and-1 at the NT 26 and the Jacks take over with 8:20 left in the second.
7:38 p.m. We're not scoreless anymore. NT scores on a 4-yard TOUCHDOWN run by senior running back Tom Sell with 4:56 left in the second quarter. He just bulled up the middle on first-and-goal after a very nice up-the-middle run by quarterback Mike Tuzzo that went for 30 yards -- the Lion defense had trouble locating the ball carrier and Tuzzo made some nifty moves. Aaron Davis adds the extra point and North Tonawanda leads Lockport, 7-0.
Here's the video and the fired-up fans:
7:44 p.m. Report from Jamestown: Southwestern has a 7-0 lead over Lackawanna early.
7:45 p.m. NT takes a timeout before a fourth-and-3 at its 48 and 2:06 left in the second quarter.
7:48 p.m. Lockport with a timeout before a third-and-1 at its 30 with 1:18 left before halftime.
7:49 p.m. First down Lockport at its 32 after a Fluellen run, followed by a Lions timeout.
7:52 p.m. A Fluellen run was stuffed on third-and-9 at its 33, but a flag flew afterwards for an unsportsmanlike penalty of some sort on NT. Moved to a first down at its 49, a Fluellen run was stuffed.
7:54 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and North Tonawanda leads Lockport, 7-0. Lockport's last play was a Fluellen run for a few yards.
8:08 p.m. Update from Jamestown: Southwestern 21, Lackawanna 8 with 11 minutes left in the first half.
8:17 p.m. On its first series of the second half, North Tonawanda scores a TOUCHDOWN to take a 14-0 lead. On a well-designed, well-timed play, senior quarterback Mike Tuzzo went play-action and was back to pass with a Lockport defender freed to blitz him, but he had enough time to loft a pretty pass to junior Travis Charsley, who was uncovered and without a defender near him on the right sideline for the 45-yard score. Davis added the extra point; there is 9:26 left in the third quarter.
8:20 p.m. Lockport starts its drive at its 24 and on second-and-10 it has to call a timeout with 8:41 left in the third.
8:25 p.m. Some crazy stuff. Lockport punted, the ball took a funny bounce, which may have hit a NT player, which led to the ball originally being awarded to the Lions. Then the officials conferred and gave the ball to NT. On NT's first play from its 44, Kijowski went up the middle then broke to the left sideline for an apparent touchdown, but two flags flew on the run -- and I'm fairly sure they were for blocks well behind the play.
8:27 p.m. Kijowski goes up the middle with some seriously strong-legged running and scores on an 18-yard TOUCHDOWN run with 6:31 left in the third quarter to give NT a 21-0 lead over Lockport. NT went 56 yards on four plays to score, with Davis adding another extra point despite a penalty on the first kicking attempt.
8:38 p.m. Lockport gets a big break as Rankie intercepts a Tuzzo pass on first down with 4:53 left in the third, but then the Lions have an unsportsmanlike penalty move them back 15 yards on their ensuing possession.
8:41 p.m. A break for Lockport as NT is called for a pass interference penalty on a third-and-21 attempt; fired-up NT fans are riotous over the call. They are riotous almost after every call, actually.
8:43 p.m. Another break for Lockport as NT is rightly called for roughing the passer. First down for Lockport at the NT 44 with 1:25 left in the third and NT up, 2-1.
Report from ace Post-Journal reporter Scott Kindberg in Jamestown: Southwestern 35, Lackawanna 8 at halftime.
8:47 p.m. At the END OF THE THIRD QUARTER, North Tonawanda leads Lockport, 21-0.
8:59 p.m. Aaron Davis, after a great run to get to the 2-yard-line, goes in to the end zone for a TOUCHDOWN on first-and-goal at the 2 and then adds the extra point for a 28-0 North Tonawanda lead with 5:26 left to play in the game. Not many updates from me in the next few minutes because I've got me a story to write.
9:28 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: North Tonawanda 28, Lockport 0. Lot of work for me in a little time. Keep checking back to the blog and buffalonews.com.
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Certainly check out my story (featuring video interviews) on the game, as well as our roundup and scoreboard (both linked off of that story).
See ya during Saturday's action.