Iroquois’ football team sure knows how to mess up a dream season by an opponent.
Starpoint had rolled to a 7-0 regular season record, scoring plenty of points along the way. But the Chiefs sent the Spartans home in the first round of the Section VI, Class A playoff, earning a 21-0 win.
“I can’t remember the last time we beat someone that was 7-0,” said a happy Keith Marshall, the Iroquois coach. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Starpoint, but our defense has played well all year.”
Morgan Mariacher blocked a kick that led to a 78-yard return for a score by Jordan Huber. Sophomore Parker Valbo returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown.
On offense, Brandon Yax ran up 156 yards on 38 carries.
“Starpoint is very similar to us,” Marshall said.
“I never questioned our kids’ hearts. We had an excellent week of practice, even if we’re a bit banged up. All credit goes to the kids.”
Next up is South Park in the semifinals. That thought won’t give Marshall much time to enjoy the win.
“It’s the biggest challenge these guys will ever have to face,” he said. “We will have to play an absolutely perfect game.”
The matchup will take place on Friday night.
South Park advanced with a 45-20 victory over Williamsville South.
The Sparks scored the game’s first five touchdowns in earning the win over the Billies. Tyree Brown threw for 181 yards and two scores, rushed for 76 yards, and made three interceptions on defense. Daryl Moore chipped in with six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Elsewhere in Class A:
Williamsville North 28, Hamburg 0: Andrew Hwang ran 16 times for 120 yards and a touchdown as the Spartans advanced. Jason Hwang was 9 of 19 for 190 yards through the air, and added a score on the ground. Nick Maranto caught three of those passes for 114 yards.
Anthony Maniscalco’s two interceptions brought his season total to eight, and helped preserve the shutout. Williamsville North will take on West Seneca East on Saturday.
Kenmore West 49, Hutch-Tech 20: The Blue Devils had plenty of standouts in rolling up the points in their win, scoring 34 straight points in one segment of the game.
DeAngelo Walker-Johnson was 11 for 17 for 246 yards with two touchdowns through the air, including a huge second-quarter pass of 59 yards to Mark Taylor.
Terrell Ford ran for four TDs to run his total to 19 on the season. Jamir Lynch had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Taylor and Darahn Rainey both had interceptions for the team’s defense.
Cleveland Hill 56, Southwestern 14: It didn’t take long for the Golden Eagles to take charge in this one. After the Trojans fumbled on their own 40 on their first series, Grayson Taylor went the distance on Cleveland Hill’s first drive. Matt Eldridge returned an interception 48 yards for a score on Southwestern’s next possession, and the Eagles could not be stopped after that. The score was 30-0 after one quarter, and 44-0 at halftime.
Taylor finished the game with 113 yards on only nine carries, and scored two TDs. Aaron Wahler ran for 142 yards on seven carries and a score. In his first varsity start, James Purpura had two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Cleveland Hill will play Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake Friday night in the semifinal.
Canisius 28, Bishop Timon-St. Jude 0: The Crusaders got back on the winning track with a one-sided win. Tyler Stranahan threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns, and added 36 yards on four carries on the ground. Desmond Nicholas supplied two catches for 88 yards, and both went for touchdowns.
The victory gave the Crusaders the top seed in the upcoming playoffs, and a bye in the first round. Starting quarterback Matt Myers did not play for Bishop Timon-St. Jude.
JFK 40, Cattaragus/Little Valley 0: The Bears ran the ball 45 times for 369 yards; Kenai Jordan picked up 187 yards and three touchdowns.