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Saturday's top high school football games

St. Joe’s at St. Francis, 7 p.m. at Polian Field. The game of the week is the only Saturday night tilt on the docket – the best for last.

Both teams have split meetings last three seasons with the regular-season winner losing the playoff rematch. St. Francis coach Jerry Smith is 2-1 in that stretch vs. the Marauders while his counterpart, Derek Landri, is 1-2.  Four of the past six meetings between these teams have been decided by five points or less.

Defending playoff champion St. Francis (3-1) comes into its Monsignor Martin opener fresh off last week’s 42-26 victory over Lake Catholic of Ohio. Jake Ritts threw for four touchdowns in the win, while running back Xzavier Janczylik scored twice and piled up 193 yards in 18 carries. The Red Raiders’ lone loss came against Steubenville (Ohio) on the road in Week Two. But the Raiders’ three wins have come against foes from Ohio and Pennsylania.

St. Joe’s fell to 2-2 after being blanked last week at home by LaSalle (Ohio). Still, the Marauders could all but lock up a bye into the playoff final with a win, as they already own a win over perennial league contender Canisius. They still have games against winless small schools St. Mary’s and Cardinal O’Hara.

St. Joe’s other win was nonleaguer against last year’s Section VI Class AA runner-up Bennett.

Marauders have been led by sophomore quarterback Callum Wither, while senior Micah Brown and sophomore Jimmy Scott also have shown the ability to make game-changing plays.

St. Francis still has to play Canisius (Week 8) and has games against small schools St. Mary’s and Bishop Timon-St. Jude also on the docket.

Other games of interest include:

Frontier at Niagara Falls, noon at Niagara Falls Athletic Complex. Wolverines are 3-1 coming off last week’s nonleague win at V-Penfield. Frontier dropped a two-point decision at Hutch-Tech last week to fall to 1-3.

Hamburg at McKinley, 1 p.m., Riverside’s Dingboom Field. The Unbeaten Macks vie for their third win in nine days and look to continue making statements after Tuesday night’s 38-6 win over previously unbeaten Kenmore West. Win over the Bulldogs means McKinley inches closer to securing the Class A-1 division title.

Erie (Pa.) at Canisius, 1 p.m., Stransky Complex. Canisius snapped three-game losing streak last week against WNY Maritime/Health Sciences. Erie lost in Week One at home to St. Francis.

Niagara Wheatfield at Kenmore West, 2 p.m. ,Crosby Field. Ken West looks to bounce back from Tuesday’s loss at McKinley, a game where the Blue Devils didn’t look sharp (they dropped 10 passes). Ken West 3-1 overall and in division. NW is 1-2 in division and needs the win to keep playoff hopes alive.

Buffalo News polls

Large schools

School (Class) Rec Pts LW

1 St. Francis [7] 3-1 88 1

2 South Park [1] (A) 4-0 79 4

3 Orchard Park [1] (AA) 4-0 76 2

4 Lancaster (AA) 3-1 41 7t

5t Jamestown (AA) 3-1 40 10t

5t St. Joe’s 2-2 40 3

7 Kenmore West (A) 3-0 39 7t

8 Canisius 1-3 26 10t

9 McKinley (A) 3-0 25 NR

10 Bennett (AA) 2-2 24 5

Others receiving votes: Clarence 7, Sweet Home 3, West Seneca East 3, Starpoint 2.

Pollsters: Sean Bruso (Lancaster assistant coach), Sibby Constantino (Trench Trophy), Rick Coburn (Trench Trophy), Dick Gallagher (WNY High School Sports), Tom Langworthy (Jamestown coach), John Lewis (Connolly Cup), Rich Robbins (Canisius coach), Miguel Rodriguez (Buffalo News), Dennis Sarow (Connolly Cup).

Small schools

School (Class) Rec Pts LW

1 Southwestern [10] (C) 4-0 100 1

2 Albion (B) 4-0 86 4

3 WNY Maritime/ 3-1 69 3

Health Sciences (B)

4 Wilson (C) 4-0 67 6

5 Cheektowaga (B) 3-1 65 7

6 Franklinville/Ellicottville (D) 4-0 57 8

7 Pioneer (B) 3-1 43 2

8 CSP (D) 3-1 18 9

9 Akron (C) 3-1 17 5

10 Iroquois (B) 3-1 14 NR

Others receiving votes: Lackawanna 5, Allegany-Limestone 3, Portville 3, East Aurora/Holland 2, Olean 1.

Pollsters: William Atlas (Wilson), Bruso, Constantino, Gallagher, Lewis, Sarow, Angelo Sciandra (Cardinal O’Hara AD), Rodriguez, Ed Sciera (Trench Trophy), Jay Sirianni (Southwestern).

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Has you covered with results from Friday night’s games along with photos capturing the action.

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