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Saturday's top high school football games

V-Aquinas Little Irish (2-0) vs. Canisius Crusaders (1-1), 2 p.m. at Stransky Complex. Canisius gets to face its other maroon and white rival as defending Section V Class AA champion Aquinas makes the trip to the 7-1-6.

The Crusaders enter the clash coming off a 42-37 road loss at Aquinas’ Rochester-area rival McQuaid.

Canisius showed its potential and youth in that defeat. The Crusaders raced to 17-0 lead – including a pick-six by safety Joe Jamison – but failed to close the door completely on the Knights.

Jamison recorded three interceptions and forced a fumble in the loss, while senior classmate Joel Nicholas made 16 tackles. Quarterback Christian Veilleux completed 26-of-42 passes for 276 yards and two TDs but also was picked off thrice.

Aquinas won last year’s meeting between the teams in Rochester but hasn’t won at Stransky since 40-16 rout in 2010.

While Crusaders have scored 42 and 37 points through two weeks, Aquinas is averaging even more points per game (40.5), including last week’s 49-point burst in rout of Binghamton.

Caron Robinson is still around, making big plays for the Little Irish. The senior is averaging 21.7 yards on his 10 carries and has already rushed for three touchdowns. He’s also a threat in the passing game with a 57-yard TD.

Sophomore signal-caller Tyler Szalkowski has completed 23-of-30 passes for six touchdowns and 378 yards. Center Nick Annechino anchors the line and is son of head coach Derek Annechino.

Crusaders have won last three meetings with Aquinas at Stransky.

Other top games this Saturday include:

Tonawanda Warriors (0-2) at Newfane Panthers (1-1), 2 p.m. Panthers evened their record with a resounding road win at Burgard in Week Two. Jaden Heers had a fine game, rushing for 173 yards and three touchdowns on offense and recording six tackles, forcing a fumble and recovering a fumble on defense for Newfane. Tonawanda is coming off a two-point loss to a Dunkirk team that has made the playoffs three seasons.

IV-Tioga Tigers (1-1) at Cardinal O’Hara (1-1), 2 p.m. Intriguing matchup as last year’s Class D state semifinalist Tioga makes the three-plus hours trip to Erie County to face Monsignor Martin small school Cardinal O’Hara. Both teams followed up season-opening losses with wins last week.

St. Joe’s Marauders (1-1) at V-McQuaid Jesuit (2-0), 1 p.m. St. Joe’s coming into this one off a close road loss at McDowell, while McQuaid enters coming off win over Marauders’ longtime rival Canisius.


On the web

Check out Jonah Bronstein’s coverage of the Bennett Tigers versus Clarence Red Devils’ Class AA contest from Friday night.

Also, in case you missed it, check out the Football Friday feature on Mike Rigerman adjusting just fine to move to running back for fast-starting Pioneer.


News Football Polls

Brackets indicate first-place votes

*–Indicates tie in voting

Large Schools

Rank School (Class) Record Points

1 West Seneca West [8] (A)         2-0      94      1

2 Williamsville North (AA)           2-0      81       3

3 Lancaster [1] (AA)           2-0      71       4

4 Canisius [1]           1-1      70       2

5 Starpoint (A)         2-0      56       7

6 South Park (A)      2-0      42       5

7 Clarence (AA)       1-1      33       9

8 West Seneca East (A)*   2-0      32      8

8 Orchard Park (AA)*        2-0      32       10

10 St. Joe’s   1-1      16       6

Others receiving votes: Niagara Wheatfield (A) 6, Bennett (AA) 4, St. Francis 3.


Small Schools Polls

Rank School (Class) Record Points       LW

1 Cheektowaga [8] (B)      2-0      98       1

2 Maryvale [2] (B)  2-0      92       2

3 Albion* (B)            2-0      73       4

4 Southwestern (C)            2-0      71       3

5 Pioneer (B)           2-0      50       8

6 Dunkirk (B)           2-0      46       6

7 Cleveland Hill (C) 1-1      32       10

8 CSP (D)       2-0      28       NR

9 Medina (C)            2-0      18      9

10 Fredonia/Brocton (B) 2-0      17       NR

Others receiving votes: Wilson (C) 11, Maple Grove (D) 7, Wilson (C) 4, Lackawanna (B) 4, Newfane (B) 1, Gowanda (C) 1, Cardinal O’Hara (1).


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