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Week Nine High School Football: What to watch Saturday

What to watch today

Maryvale Flyers (7-1) at Cheektowaga Warriors (6-2), 7 p.m.

(#preptalklive)

This is the second meeting in three weeks between the rivals separated by roughly a two-mile stretch of Union Road.

The Flyers won the last meeting at Cheektowaga in resounding fashion, 35-6, to punch their ticket to the playoffs. They ran for more than 500 yards and forced six turnovers during the triumph.

Maryvale will once again look to keep it on the ground during the rematch with the Walden Galleria Mall serving as a backdrop. Marcus Ford (85 yards per game), Mike Halferty (55.0 ypg.) and Qwaine Davis (58.8 ypg.) handle the bulk of the rushing, but watch out for Brandon Bojanowski. In addition to averaging about 60 yards on offense, he is dangerous on kick returns. He scored Maryvale’s only touchdown in a 7-0 quarterfinal win at East Aurora last week by returning the opening kickoff 97 yards.

Cheektowaga had the division clinched when it faced Maryvale. The Warriors played that game without four regulars due to eligibility issues. Still, that loss stung and Cheektowaga knows it will have its hands full with all hands on deck for tonight’s game.

“They took it to us,” Warriors coach Mike Fatta said. “I hope it is different” tonight “but they looked pretty good.”

Marshawn Gibson has a 333-yard rushing day on his resume, a Cheektowaga record. He and quarterback Zak Ciezki make Cheektowaga’s spread offense tough to stop. Excluding the loss to Maryvale, the Warriors have averaged 40 points per game since Week Three.

Other key games today:

• St. Francis at Canisius, 1 p.m.: St. Francis ended a four-game losing streak with a win at St. Mary’s last week. Unbeaten Canisius (8-0) moved up to No. 39 in the USA Today poll and is coming off a rout of Bishop Timon-St. Jude. This is the Crusaders’ final tuneup before the Monsignor Martin Association playoffs.

• Orchard Park at Kenmore West, 2 p.m.: Rematch of Week Two meeting won by OP, 35-18, at Crosby Field. Turned out to be one of the closer victories on the season for an Orchard Park crew whose only blemish remains a Week Seven loss at Jamestown.

Burgard at Bennett, 2 p.m.: The second time in a month the News’ No. 1 Small School and Burgard (No. 3) meet at All High Stadium. So far, Bennett’s closest game has been that 20-12 win over the Bulldogs, a game that was a two-point contest until the Tigers forced a turnover at midfield with around 6 minutes left in the fourth quarter to thwart the Burgard rally.

• West Seneca East at Sweet Home, 2 p.m.: West Seneca East brings a four-game winning streak into this Class A semifinal, a contest Sweet Home is quite familiar with winning as the Panthers have reached the sectional final nine years in a row.

• Southwestern at Cleveland Hill, 2 p.m.: Although Southwestern won the regular season meeting with Cleve Hill, this should still be a doozy with teams that have experienced postseason success in recent years. Southwestern has won three Section VI titles and two state crowns since 2008. The Golden Eagles are two-time defending Class C champs and reached the state semifinals last year.

#PrepTalkLive

From Friday Night Lights to Saturday afternoon homecoming games, BuffaloNews.com is the place to keep track of all of Western New York’s football action.

Review our #PrepTalkLive coverage from Friday night’s playoff action, including video reports, photo galleries and a live blog of how the night transpired. Our scoreboard page also has additional details from several games.

Our #PrepTalkLive coverage continues with today’s games. No matter when the games are, you can again be part of the team via Twitter: Tweet game updates with the #preptalklive hashtag and those updates will appear in our live blogs.

News polls

LARGE SCHOOLS

Team (Class) Rec. Pts. LW

1. Canisius [10] 8-0 100 1

2. Jamestown (AA) 7-1 90 2

3. Sweet Home (A) 7-1 79 3

4. Orchard Park (AA) 7-1 69 4

5. South Park (A) 7-1 52 5

6. Williamsville North (A) 7-1 51 7

7. West Seneca East (A) * 7-1 34 9

7. Bishop Timon-St. Jude * 6-2 34 6

9. Hamburg (A) 6-2 17 NR

10. Kenmore West (AA) 5-1 11 NR

Others receiving votes (with points): St. Francis 7, Williamsville South (A) 6.

SMALL SCHOOLS

Team (Class) Rec. Pts. LW

1. Bennett (B) [8] 8-0 98 1

2. Maple Grove/CL (C) [2] 8-0 90 2

3. Burgard (B) 7-1 81 3

4. Maryvale (B) 7-1 63 5

5. Randolph (D) 7-1 62 6

6. Cheektowaga (B) 6-2 51 7

7. Cleveland Hill (C) 6-2 35 9

8. Southwestern (C) 6-2 23 NR

9. Depew (B) 6-2 21 4

10. Silver Creek/Forest (C) 7-1 14 NR

Others receiving votes (with points): St. Mary’s 11, Ellicottville/Franklinville/West Valley 1.

Week 10

It’s championship week for Section VI at Ralph Wilson Stadium as the home of the Buffalo Bills will host championship tripleheaders Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, the Monsignor Martin Association playoffs begin with quarterfinals next week. Look for the schedule at BuffaloNews.com.