Who: South Park Sparks (9-0) vs. West Seneca West Indians (9-0)
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: New Era Field
Television: Spectrum News
Rankings: West Seneca West is ranked third in the News Large Schools Poll and fifth in the New York State Sportswriters Poll. South Park is ranked fifth in the News Poll and No. 8 in the state poll.
New Era records: South Park is 1-1. This is West Seneca West's first appearance.
Coaches: South Park Tim Delaney, 10th season (57-35); West Seneca West Mike Vastola, third season (17-10).
South Park key players and statistics: Sr. DT/OT Jeremiah Sanders (108 tackles, 16.0 TFL, 11.0 sacks), Jr. DE Elijah Lewis (87 tackles, 17 TFL, 12 sacks), Jr. LB Jayon Renfro (98 tackles, 10 TFL, 5.0 sacks), Jr. QB Deabeyon Humphrey (99-163-1557-16 TDs passing; 67-447-3 TDs rushing), So. RB Clarence Thomas (135-749-10 TDs rushing; 11-149-2 TDs receiving), Sr. WR Dayquan Anderson (37-643-8 TDs).
West Seneca West key players and statistics: Sr. QB Matt Myers (95-157-1687-18 TDs, 1 INT passing; 84-599-17 TDs rushing), Jr. RB John Speyer (81-718-7 TDs), Jr. RB/S Bryan Ball (32-324-5 TDs; 42 tackles), Jr. WR/CB Juston Johnson (32-645-9 TDs; 3 INT, 1 TD), So. LB/TE Mike Glinski (105 tackles, 10 TFL, 1 sack), So. DE Liam Scheuer (69 tackles, 13 TFL, 8.0 sacks).
How they got here: South Park advanced with a 36-6 victory over West Seneca East. The Sparks broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter on Donte Ridgeway's 70-yard interception return. They then scored on their first three possessions of the second half to pull away. Humphrey passed for two touchdowns in the third quarter – a 23-yarder to Thomas and a 25-yard one to Anderson. Latrell London rushed for 150 yards and two scores on nine carries but won’t suit up due to being ejected with two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the win.
West Seneca West used a strong second half to pull away from a 7-7 knot with Iroquois. Myers led the winners on four second-half scoring drives – rushing for two touchdowns. Ball also rushed for two TDs and finished with 98 yards on 10 carries. Glinski (12 tackles) and Liam Scheuer (10 tackles, sack) fueled a fine defensive effort.
Pre-snap read: The game scholastic football fans had hoped would happen is near as the Class A South co-division champions meet to determine the undisputed champion of this classification.
It's an intriguing matchup, too, as South Park has one of the best defensive lines in the area while West Seneca West has one of the best offenses in Western New York.
The Sparks' line of Sanders, Lewis, Greg Braswell and Donte Ridgeway must find a way to pressure Myers and make him feel uncomfortable. It'll also be interesting to see how the battle plays out on the outside between two returning All-WNY picks from last season in South Park corner Devonte Fountain and WSW receiver Johnson. WSW has scored at least 35 points every game.
Its defense doesn't get as much attention as the offense but the Indians' unit is very stout as well.
That said, South Park's offense may be the best it's faced all season. Reducing the number of big plays by the Sparks will be key as when they score they tend to do so in bunches.
What's next: Winner advances to Far West Regional against the Section V champion at 8 p.m. Nov. 10 at SUNY Brockport.