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Niagara Falls stuns defending AA champ Clarence; Cleveland Hill, Sweet Home advance

The Section VI football Federation will have a new Class AA champion this season.

Niagara Falls made sure of that Saturday with a 20-7 upset of defending champion Clarence in a quarterfinal game at Sal Maglie Stadium.

Clarence was ranked No. 8 among Western New York large schools while the host Wolverines were unranked.

The Red Devils were without several starters, including All-Western New York running back Mike Gelz. The players were suspended for violating team rules. Clarence coach Mark Layer did not return calls to The News on Saturday.

"We won. That would be my reaction, they beat us the first time without our best back," said Niagara Falls coach Don Bass. "We just found that we could get the ball down the field through the air and we knew they were trying to take the outside game away from us. We pounded it inside and took the quick hitters [slants, outs and curls] to move the ball down the field."

Niagara Falls wide receiver Paris Scott made the most of his three catches, scoring on two of them, including an 84-yard bomb from quarterback Rick Bailey that gave the Wolverines the early momentum as well as a 7-0 lead after the first quarter. Clarence tied the game on a 7-yard run from James Willy. The Red Devils were driving for the lead late in the first half when Niagara Falls drove them back on three defensive plays, taking them out of field goal range.

Niagara Falls' two touchdowns in the second half came on Scott's second TD catch, a 6-yard slant that gave the Wolverines the lead, and a 1-yard run by Bailey.

Bass said Scott's second TD catch turned the game and forced Clarence out of its double wing power game.

Bailey finished 7-of-14 passing for 197 yards and added 57 more on the ground. Safety Rich Kolek had 14 tackles and an interception.

Niagara Falls will travel to Orchard Park for the semifinals.

*Sweet Home 20, West Seneca East 0: A total of 444 yards of offense and a big day from Jordan Johnson equaled a shutout victory for the undefeated Panthers in a Class A game played at Amherst.

Sweet Home scored all its points in the second quarter, starting with Tim Oaks' 26-yard catch from Johnson. Juwan Douglas added a 2-yard run and then Johnson broke free for an 83-yard score. Johnson finished with 206 rushing yards on 15 carries and was 7-of-11 passing for another 120 yards. Douglas added 112 yards on 22 attempts. Oaks had an interception and led the team in tackles.

Coach John Faller was especially pleased with his defense that held the Trojans to 165 yards of offense. "They run the single wing and we haven't seen a lot of that so we got some good work from our prep team during the week and the defense executed pretty well," he said. "We were moving the ball pretty good and made a couple good defensive stands early. Our line got off the ball and we were pushing them around pretty good."

Sweet Home (8-0) will host Bennett in the semifinals.

*Cleveland Hill 30, Westfield 6: Quarterback Daryl Spencer ran for 235 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns as the Eagles advanced in Class C. Brandon Thomas added 134 yards on 20 carries and one score. Spencer and Devonte Davis had 13 tackles each. Miles Barker had an end zone interception in the second quarter.

"Westfield played a great game and gave us all we could handle, but our defensive line wore them down in the second half," said eighth-year coach Glen Graham.

The Eagles (7-1), whose only loss was to Fredonia, will play Akron Saturday at Depew.

*Clymer 38, Panama 6: Ryan Phelps rushed for 204 yards on 30 carries and scored twice, and Jake Wiggers scored on four short TD runs as the Pirates advanced. Dylan Stowe recorded 12 tackles.


Msgr. Martin Assoc.

*St. Francis 63, Cardinal O'Hara 12: Akeel Lynch rushed for six touchdowns, finishing with 216 yards in a lopsided win. Lynch scored his team's first six TDs. The longest run was an 80-yarder before he went to the bench one play into the third quarter.

For the defense, Cody Buchanan scored on 20-yard fumble recovery while Joe Smith and Jarrett Dolegala had eight tackles each.


Funke Memorial Classic

*Sherman 30, Pine Valley 0: Kyle Keith had 20 carries for 104 yards and one score for the Pirates. QB Andrew Graham was 8 for 10 for 106 yards and two TDs. Kyle Hannald had nine tackles and an interception.

*Hamburg 24, Wmsv. North 14: Lucas Kramer returned an interception 101 yards to highlight the Bulldogs' win in a game that was scoreless at halftime. Hamburg's Jake Fiore rushed for 129 yards.



*St. Joe's 53, Don Wilson (Ont.) 40: Chad Kelly continues to put up some impressive numbers. The senior quarterback was 30 of 50 for 438 yards and five touchdown passes as the Marauders won a shootout at home.

In his last two games, Kelly is 61 of 103 for 758 yards with seven TD passes. Nigel Davis had nine catches for 135 yards and a score. Rod Payne added eight receptions and a score.

Kyle Briggs had two scores among his six catches for 108 yards. Blase Laduca had 11 tackles. Don Wilson's Chivon Gallagher, who is one of Ontario's best players, rushed for 250 yards and scored 20 of his team's 40 points.

*South Park 18, Kenmore East 8: QB Maurice Howie was 18 for 25 for 196 yards and three TDs to lead the Sparks. Chad Nettles caught nine passes for 136 yards and scored twice. On defense, Edgardo Berrios had 10 tackles.

*Wmsv. East 21, Lake Shore 20: Mitch Wagner caught six passes for 107 yards and had his fourth interception of the season for the Flames.