Bennett head coach Steve McDuffie has been around football a long time. He played the game in high school and college. He’s been coaching for nearly 20 years.
But he’s never been part of an ending quite like this.
The Tigers scored on a Hail Mary pass with four seconds left in the game to defeat Williamsville North, 24-21, in a Class AA matchup Friday night.
“I was really proud that they fought to the end,” McDuffie said. “They gave it everything they had to the end and not at one time did they put their head down. They attacked that last play like they could win the game. I’ve never been part of a football game that had an ending like that. I even hurt my knee running there after the game.”
Williamsville North had a 21-15 lead and tried to run out the clock. But a bad snap on fourth-and-one allowed Bennett to get the ball back on the 50 yard line.
Aaron Smith rolled right and launched the ball into the end zone. It was tipped by Justin Campbell then caught by Jakari Nettles.
Smith finished with 135 yards passing and Nettles with 106 yards receiving. Campbell had nine tackles and a 70 yard interception return for a touchdown.
Lancaster 31, Clarence 22: The Legends got out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run by Tim Gardner and a 35-yard pass play from quarterback Jason Mansell to Nick Castellana.
Clarence rallied with 14 points in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdown passes from Jack Putney – a 26 yarder to Jonathan Stevens and an 18 yarder to Cole Harris.
Mansell finished completing five of his nine passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Wingard had 30 carries for 176 yards while Matt Marschner led the Lancaster defense with eight tackles and two sacks.
Overall, the Legends, now 4-0, sacked the Clarence quarterback six times for losses totally 39 yards.
Kenmore West 39, Frontier 13: The Blue Devils scored 25 points in the second quarter en route to the win, improving them to 2-2 overall, 2-1 in the division. Joe Stewart had four touchdowns, three on passes from Zach Boyes. The two connected for TD plays of 27, 69, and 10 yards.
Jamestown 26, Niagara Wheatfield 14: Peyton Olson ran for 94 yards, including an 11-yard TD run. Jamestown capitalized on turnovers, intercepting four passes and recovering three fumbles.
West Seneca West 42, Hamburg 0: John Speyer rushed for 97 yards on 11 carries with a 17-yard TD run while adding three catches for 43 yards. Maurice Robertson threw for 183 yards, including two touchdowns, while rushing for 44 yards and two more scores.
Grand Island 34, North Tonawanda 15: Cam Sionko opened up the scoring with a 76-yard TD pass to Ben Moskala in the first quarter as the Vikings took control early. Sionko threw for 306 yards, completing 20 of his 35 passes while Moskala finished with six catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Kenny Yockey had nine tackles for Grand Island. For North Tonawanda, Matt Monge rushed for 73 yards and had seven tackles.
Williamsville East 44, Sweet Home 29: Clayton Osborne ran for four touchdowns as Williamsville East moved to 2-2 overall, 2-1 in the division. Osborne ran for scores of 6, 8, 52, and 37 yards, finishing with 289 rushing yards. Cal Shifflet scored twice on 1-yard TD runs.
Class C North
JFK 32, Silver Creek/Forestville 22: JFK scored 24 points in the fourth quarter to earn its first win of the season. The rally started when Zackary Manzella returned a fumble 75 yards for a touchdown. JFK then scored on a 9-yard run by Santino Aramini while quarterback Jax Lighten had a 27 yard TD run. Lighten finished with 61 yards rushing and 61 yards passing.
Wilson 7, Gowanda 6: Gowanda scored first, but an extra point by Thomas Baia proved the difference in the win for Wilson. Gowanda got the board in the third quarter on a 6-yard run by Adam Sisti. But the run failed on the two-point conversion attempt. Wilson responded with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Steve Frerichs to Declan Faery. Baia then kicked the extra point for the deciding point.
Maryvale 48, Iroquois 12: The Flyers score 28 points in the first quarter en route to improving to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the division. Connor Desiderio threw for 148 yards with two touchdowns while Rashad Law rushed for 101 yards, including a 69-yard TD run in the first quarter. Law also caught three passes for 67 yards. Jay Henley had 101 yards rushing on 12 carries with a pair of TDs and 20 yards receiving, including a 20 yard TD catch. Defensively for Maryvale, Zacori Volious had 10 tackles and one sack while Zach Vaticano had 10 tackles and two sacks.
Pioneer 33, Cheektowaga 14: The Panthers knocked off the No. 1 ranked small school in Western New York and ended Cheektowaga’s shutout streak, which ended at 159 minutes. Tyler Eli ran 99 yards for the touchdown, the first score against the Warriors this season. Mike Rigerman finished with 248 yards rushing and four touchdowns as Pioneer moved to 4-0.
Albion 35, Depew 0: Brilliance Johnson rushed for touchdowns of 1 and 5 yards in the win. He finished with 85 yards on 14 carries. Eugene Harrison rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries while leading the defense with five tackles.
About the weather
The strong storms that passed through Western New York caused changes and delays across the Section VI sports spectrum on Friday night.
Several football games adjusted their start times – either earlier in an attempt to beat the storm or later to let the system move through.
The game between Chautauqua Lake/Wesfield and Randolph/Frewsburg, at Chautauqua Lake, was rescheduled for today at 6 p.m.
The game in Salamanca between the Warriors and Clymer/Sherman/Panama was evacuated due to a tornado warning and will be resumed at 11 a.m. today. CSP was up 20-6 in the first quarter when spectators were moved into the high school.
Meanwhile, Niagara-Wheatfield at Jamestown started after an hour and 40 minute delay. Jamestown won, 26-14.
Southwestern at Allegany-Limestone had an hour and 45 minute delay to the start of its game. Southwestern won, 21-14.