South Park’s dominance in Class A South high school football came to an abrupt end on Friday night.
The Sparks, ranked fourth in The Buffalo News’ large school poll, dropped a 17-14 decision to West Seneca East. The loss was South Park’s first inside the division since 2012.
Richard Wagner’s field goal with 3:14 left was the difference. West Seneca East forced five turnovers, including three interceptions. Austin Bridensein had two touchdowns, and Jeffe Pfeiffer had an interception on South Park’s final drive.
The game was a rematch of the Section VI championship game last year, won by South Park. The Trojans came into the game on a roll, with three straight wins after an opening-week loss to Bennett. The Sparks, meanwhile, hit a roadblock in trying to take their fourth straight Class A South championship.
Class B West
Cheektowaga 22, Iroquois 21: The Warriors, ranked first among small schools, barely avoided suffering one of the biggest upsets of the season. With less than two minutes to play, Eric Bartnik threw a touchdown pass to Shaquil Heard to close the Chiefs’ lead to one point. Then Jaquan Bush caught a two-point conversion to put Cheektowaga ahead for good. Melik Early made an interception in the final 30 seconds to preserve the victory. Bartnik finished with 320 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Class AA South
Hutch-Tech 44, Frontier 13: Shawn Faulk ran for two scores as part of a 60-yard game, and also finished with seven tackles. Duane Robertson had 56 yards receiving and 46 yards rushing.
Class A North
Starpoint 18, North Tonawanda 17: The Spartans’ Tajay Ahmed ran 15 yards for a touchdown with 1:20 left to provide the winning margin in a thriller. Starpoint had stopped NT on a fourth-and-1 play before that to gain possession of the ball. Ahmed had 68 yards rushing and made 14 tackles, while Anthony Robinson had two touchdown catches.
Sweet Home 30, Amherst 27: Nate Faller caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from joe Torrillo with 3:50 left to put the Panthers ahead for keeps. Faller caught five passes for 148 yards and two TDs, while Torrillo threw for 242 yards.
Williamsville South 56, Kenmore East 7: The Billies rolled up 452 yards in total offense, as they had 10 different ball-carriers. Jack Steinmetz of Williamsville South finished with 10 tackles, a sack and two fumble recoveries. Josh Foster was 5 of 7 for 106 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Grand Island 39, Williamsville East 13: Jim Thorpe ran for 151 yards and two TDs for the Vikings, and Zane Johnson added a 99-yard interception return for a score.
Class A South
McKinley 44, Hamburg 20: Sophomore Kayier Fields ran for 231 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries to lead McKinley to the win. Miles Hayes ran for 56 yards and a touchdown, and made 14 tackles on defense. Tyshawn Joseph went 62 yards for a score on a punt return.
Class B East
Medina 50, Depew 15: Jalin Cooper had 212 total yards, including a 69-yard run and a 70-yard kickoff return for touchdowns, for the Mustangs. He had two other scores. The win gives Medina at least a share of the division title, the school’s first since 1997.
Lackawanna 30, Albion 26: Noble Smith went 16 yards for a touchdown with 3:55 left to give the Steelers the win. Smith finished 14 of 22 for 140 yards passing, and added 60 yards with a second TD on the ground.
Class B South
Olean 35, Pioneer 34 (2 OT): Garrett Boldt ran for a two-point conversion in the second overtime to give the undefeated Huskies the win. Boldt ran for another score and had a kick return and a punt return for touchdowns as well. Todd Thompson of Pioneer ran for 145 yards and two scores.
Dunkirk 39, East Aurora/Holland 6: Evon Hernandez ran for 96 yards for Marauders, including a 59-yard run for a score. Dunkirk has a date with Springville next week.
Maple Grove 43, Franklinville/Ellicottville 12: This was a battle of two of the three unbeatens in the league, but the Red Dragons displayed their superiority in moving to 5-0. Bradley Benson ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and scored for a third time on a 95-yard kickoff return. Maple Grove plays the other unbeaten team, Silver Creek/Forestville, next week.
Silver Creek/Forestville 29, Cattaraugus/Little Valley 8: Bill Seiders ran for 130 yards and scored three touchdowns on 20 carries for the Black Knights. Austin Eggleston led the way on defense with four tackles as Silver Creek/Forestville won its fourth straight.
Springville 32, Jamestown 21: It was a memorable night for Griffins running back Ian Baker. He broke the school record for career rushing yards as Springville improved to 3-2 on the season. Baker set the mark in style, rambling 59 yards for a score. He finished with 318 yards on 32 carries. Baker needed 274 yards to set the mark, previously held by Mark Rendell from 1996 (2,311). Meanwhile, Marcus James ran for 90 yards on 12 carries and added two touchdowns for Springville.
Canisius 55, Alden 7: The Crusaders ran up 402 rushing yards on 41 carries, including 103 by Cole Burniston. Jayce Johnson threw for two touchdowns.
Southwestern 38, Akron 20: Cole Snyder was 11 for 18 for 184 yards and two scores for the Trojans. Jacob Sarow ran for 167 yards and two TDs for Akron.