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Quick Hits: Cheektowaga 50, Springville 22

 

Stephan Parker remembers what it was like to play at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

He should. The Cheektowaga junior caught the Section VI Class B championship-winning pass on a Hail Mary last year at the home of the Buffalo Bills.

That’s a nice memory to have. He and his teammates have an opportunity at earning more of them.

The defending champions and News No. 1 Small School Warriors defeated third-ranked Springville, 50-22, in a semifinal clash between unbeaten Friday night.

Cheektowaga will play Burgard at 5 p.m. Thursday at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the championship.

“This is great," Parker said. "We got a good team win today.  Everybody played their part. It feels great to get back there.”

Play of the game: Parker’s 47-yard touchdown catch. He caught a quick screen pass from Eric Bartnik, made one defender miss and was gone for the touchdown with 18 seconds left in the first half. That gave Cheektowaga a 21-6 halftime lead and was part of a run in which the Warriors scored 21 points in just over 8 minutes on plays that went 34 yards or longer.

Player of the game: Quarterback Eric Bartnik, who overcame two early interceptions. He finished 11 for 20 for 278 yards and three TDs passing and rushed for 177 yards and two scores.

Key moment: With Springville having a chance to take the lead after an interception gave it a drive start in Warriors territory, the Griffins reached the 4 but couldn’t get any closer to scoring on their next four plays late in the first quarter. That preserved Cheektowaga’s 7-6 lead and was as close as Springville came to scoring the rest of the first half.

First-half stats: Springville had a respectable 193 yards in offense. Cheektowaga had a Techmo-Bowl like 352 yards.

Recent history: The last time these teams met in the playoffs, Springville earned a 22-14 win in the semifinals to advance to the Class B final back in 2012.

How they got here: Springville defeated Depew 44-28 in the quarterfinals, while Cheektowaga fended off Lewiston-Porter 44-26.

Records: Springville 8-1, Cheektowaga 9-0.

Next: Section VI Class B final at 5 p.m. Thursday at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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