Source's WNY High School Football Wrap — Week 4
Woodard developing into ‘real deal’ for NT
By Dave Ricci
Chris Woodard remembered a talk he had with teammate Jacob Clare before the sophomore started his first varsity game at quarterback in the season opener against Sweet Home.
“I was telling him I was a little nervous and everything,” Woodard said. “and he was in my shoes before at one time, too, because he’s a three-year starter. He started as a sophomore. He said to me you have the ability. We’re here for you. We’re going to support you and we’re going to go out there and do our best to win this game. And I think that really touched me. Saying that, from a senior to a sophomore, that was a lot of help especially right before a game. So, I really want to thank him for that.”
Though the Jacks were unable to secure a win on that day, those words from Clare helped to set the tone Woodard feeling confident and he’s been moving forward ever since.
After three weeks of working hard but falling short of their goals, Woodrard and North Tonawanda cashed in on that first win of the season in Week Four when they topped Kenmore East 31-28 at home on Sept.21.
“We’re a young team so getting that first win was a little bit difficult,” Woodard said. “But hopefully now that we’ve got that we can improve on it and keep the streak going.”
In his second season of varsity, Woodard, who played wide receiver last year, inherited the job of starting QB from Pat Angelhow. Naturally he learned a lot about how to execute plays and be a field general by watching Angelhow, Woodard said. But what really struck a chord with him was how Angelhow handled the pressure and expectations that came with playing a high profile position for a program that has such a rich tradition of success.
“Coming into such a great program as the starting quarterback as a sophomore, it’s hard,” Woodard said. “But it’s not as nerve-wracking as some people think, especially being behind such a great quarterback. It’s a lot easier when you have such a great team around you. It’s a lot easier to be confident in what you’re doing.”
Referring to Woodard as “the real deal,” Jacks’ coach Tony Truilizio said he couldn’t be any happier with how his young signal caller has performed and improved with each passing day.
Woodard said that the entire team, especially the seniors on the offensive line, have been very supportive of him all season, but it was that opening night talk with Clare that helped settle him into the role of starting QB. Ironically enough, it was also Clare, who when the Jacks were trailing Ken-East 28-23 late in the fourth, again gave Woodard that boost of confidence at a crucial moment.
“I went up to him and he said, ‘we’re going to win this game,” Woodard said. “We’re going to drive down the field and going to score. And that’s exactly what we did.”
On a key third-and-two play, Woodard broke a huge 30-yard run, fighting off multiple Bulldogs as he grinded for every inch. That run set up the winning score by Nehemiah Stone.
Woodard backed up his coach’s comments, finding a way to get it done in the end.
Chambers breaks Lockport single game TD record in win
By David Gaygen
James Chambers gave Lockport Lions’ fans and alumni something to cheer about Saturday as they watched the senior running score a single game school record seven touchdowns in leading the Lions to a 39-9 homecoming win against Niagara Falls.
The senior’s performance also gave his teammates plenty to celebrate as Lockport won its third straight game since opening the season with a loss to defending state champion Orchard Park.
“He’s a special athlete. But as I told the kids, everybody takes pride in the part that they play when we have a victory like that,” said Lockport head coach Greg Bronson.
Chambers scored all of Lockport’s touchdowns in the game, including three rushing, another three as a returner on special teams and one receiving. He credited those who blocked in front of him for the success.
“The O-line did a great job today,” said the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Chambers. “If I didn’t have those holes, I wouldn’t have had as many yards or touchdowns as I did. When they do a good job, it helps me do a good job, too.”
Chambers put the first points on the board on the opening kickoff. He received the ball on his own five-yard line and dodged and danced his way 95 yards down the field. Seconds later, he took a third down hand-off from junior quarterback Dan Bronson and scored on a 44-yard touchdown run.
“We’ve got lineman who are blocking through the yards down field. We’ve got receivers who are just tough guys,” coach Bronson said. “It doesn’t matter to them that they score. It matters that we are successful.”
After a Moziah Townsend fumble recovery, Chambers scored from a yard out. On the first play of the second quarter, Bronson fired a 44-yard score to Chambers for another touchdown.
Niagara Falls was finally able to put some points on the board when toward the end of the half, scoring on a drive capped by a Imani Dean touchdown. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Chambers answered for Lockport, following senior Mitchell Evans all the way into the end zone to put the lions up 35-7 at the half
“Mitchell played a heck of a game. He had two or three blocks on the same plays as those touchdowns,” coach Bronson said. “He used to get the ball a lot more last year but he’s not complaining. He’s doing his work, getting his opportunities and he’s making us better. That’s what it’s all about. The kids can recognize that and play for one another.”
Early in the second half, after a Niagara Falls interception took the ball back into Lockport territory, Chambers also made a big defensive play, ending that drive with a tackle stuffing a screen play on the Lions’ five-yard-line.
“I didn’t see a screen coming at first but when all the linemen started coming out, I realized it was,” Chambers said. “I don’t know if he saw me coming because he didn’t follow his blockers correctly. Good thing I got the tackle.”
Chambers’ sixth touchdown came on a five-yard run. It was set up by Tevye Maslowski catching a 34-yard pass from Bronson. His final touchdown came on a 75-yard punt return.
Chambers is hoping performances such as this will help him play for a Division I college after he graduates.
“Hopefully by the end of the season I’ll get a couple of looks and I’ll be playing football next year. I don’t have an exact place I want to play but my goal is to play division one football and graduate from college.”
Clarence makes big play late to edge Lancaster
By Mike Pidanick
It started out looking like a play headed for disaster and ended up as perhaps the play of the season for Clarence.
Down four points with a little more than two minutes left and facing a fourth-and-nine, back-up quarterback Lex Oakes scrambled for his life and then found a wide open Vince Taverna for an incredible 50-yard gain. One play later, Ben Reinhardt ran it into the end zone from 12 yards away and the Red Devils went on to a wild 25-21 win over rival Lancaster in Class AA action.
“There’s no way to draw that up,” Clarence coach Mark Layer said. “But football plays break down and you have to look to make plays. Lex kept his poise and he made a huge one there.”
Trailing 20-18, Clarence came up with a defensive stop and got the ball back with 4:12 left. But penalties and a sack forced the Red Devils into a third-and-16 situation. Oakes hit Reinhardt for a seven-yard gain to set up the miracle play with 2:24 to play.
Oakes scrambled to his left all the way past the hashmark, reversed his course, stopped and found Taverna all alone near midfield. The senior running back raced down the right sideline down to the 12-yard line.
“I was getting pressure from the front,” Oakes explained. “I rolled out to my left and realized everyone was covered. Before the play, my running back said he was going to be in the back, hoping for any kind of a screen pass or anything like that if we needed it. I just rolled back and threw him the ball.”
Oakes made his first varsity start in place of standout Mark Armstrong, who is lost for the season with a shoulder injury. He finished with 78 yards passing and 37 rushing.
Clarence did much of its damage with a strong rushing attack, led by Emaure Williams (131 yards) and Reinhardt (108 yards). Each scored a first-quarter touchdown, staking the Red Devils to a 13-0 lead, but Lancaster had answers – lots of them.
Kevin Colafranceschi threw three touchdown passes — two to Mitch Fuller and another to Dan Corbi, staking Lancaster to a 21-13 lead with about six minutes to go.
The Red Devils responded with a six-yard TD run by Reinhardt, but Corey Helenbrook knocked down Oakes’ two-point conversion pass. On the ensuing drive, the Redskins came up a yard short of picking up a first down, setting the stage for Clarence’s dramatic final drive.
Cheektowaga finishes difficult stretch with easy win over Amherst
By Marquel Slaughter
What the Cheektowaga Warriors thought would be the toughest stretch of their schedule is now behind them, and they have wins in all three games to show for it.
Earning victories over Burgard and Lackawanna in their previous games, Cheektowaga recorded a record-setting night Friday (Sept. 21) as the Warriors stayed undefeated at 4-0 and on top of Class B West.
Senior running back Marquel Jackson scored all five of his touchdowns in the first half as Cheektowaga scored a school-record 60 points in a 60-23 victory over Amherst at home.
“This win gives us a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence,” said Jackson. “The team is getting better every week. We’re going for the division championship, so we have to come out and go hard every play, every down, every quarter.
For as much game planning opposing defenses do for Jackson every week, they never seem to keep him contained. Jackson scored the first four of his touchdowns in the opening quarter alone. If you started the game at the snack stand, you may have missed the first two.
“Marquel’s a special player,” said head coach Mike Fatta. “He always seems to come through. He knows he’s the focal point of the defense’s attention, so he usually steps up when he needs to.”
Jackson popped off a 93-yard kickoff return on the game’s opening kickoff, and not even two minutes later, he took an inside handoff and bounced outside untouched 86 yards for the score.
After Amherst’s Brian Roberts connected on a 40-yard field goal, the Tigers failed to recover the on-sides kick, which eventually led to a seven-yard scamper by Jackson to make it 18-3.
Just when you thought the bleeding would stop, the Warriors blocked a field goal attempt right before junior quarterback Tim Whelan connected with Jackson for a 52 yard touchdown pass. Cheektowaga led 26-3 with 35 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Tim read the defense and I saw the ball in the air and made it happen,” said Jackson. “He’s a really good quarterback, because he’s very smart. He’s the best quarterback for us.”
Cheektowaga found the end zone in all three aspects of the game, as the defense also made its mark in the second quarter. Less than a minute into the quarter, junior Preston Summers intercepted Amherst senior quarterback Justin Twarog’s pass and took the pick-six 70 yards.
“It just came to me,” said Summers. “It just came to my hands. I just had to run it.”
A few drives later, junior Kenneth Dillenburg trumped Summers’ 70 yard return with a 90-yard pick-six of his own. The Warriors kept piling on the points with 58 seconds left in the half when Jackson took a pitch 19 yards for his fifth and final touchdown, stretching the lead to 46-3 at the half.
Senior running back Maliik Holiday scored Amherst’s first touchdown midway through the third, but Summers responded with a 53-yard rushing touchdown to give the Warriors a 54-9 lead headed into the fourth.
After a couple more Amherst touchdowns, Summers found pay dirt one more time when he took an end-around 40 yards for Cheektowaga‘s record setting 60th point of the night.
“We did a good job today,” said Summers. “We worked as a team and played hard. I hope we do this every week.”
St. Joe’s does not look past O’Hara in penalty-filled game
By Mike Straw
After taking care of St. Francis in a rematch of the Monsignor Martin championship game, St. Joe’s was set to head into what its coaching staff referred to as the “gauntlet of games of the 2012 schedule.” They include Aquinas, Lockport and Timon-St. Jude.
Saturday’s game with a struggling Cardinal O’Hara had all the makings of an upset in what could have been viewed as a trap game for St. Joe’s. Someone forgot to tell that to the Marauders.
Right from the start, St. Joe’s exhibited its dominance, running over and around the Hawks in a 35-0 win to move to 4-0 on the season and drop Cardinal O’Hara to 0-4.
“It was a good effort,” St. Joseph’s head coach Dennis Gilbert said. “We were able to break some big plays right away which was good.”
The scoring started early for the Marauders as they recorded touchdowns on three of their first four offensive snaps. It was like seeing a replay as senior running back Ilo Noble ran for three touchdowns on his first three carries of 62, 60 and 66 yards, respectively. He finished the game with 236 yards on only eight carries.
Just three plays later, junior Rod Payne punched the ball in from two yards out to give the Marauders a 28-0 lead at halftime. The last of the scoring happened early in the third quarter when hybrid quarterback/running back Nigel Davis ran in from 23 yards out.
The game didn’t come without a bit of controversy, however. There were about 25 penalties among the two teams with eight of them being unsportsmanlike calls.
An assistant coach on the Cardinal O’Hara sideline, who requested that his name not be used, said the Hawks did not take kindly to the elbows and cheap shots he felt were delivered by St. Joe’s. Hawks’ head coach Angelo Schiandra said he believed his team remained “very disciplined.”
Gilbert declined to comment fully on the situation, simply saying that it was unfortunate.
Frontier gives state’s No. 1 O.P. a run
By Mike Petro
A jolting hit for Orchard Park may have changed the course of a game that was heading toward a possible upset, but what happened before that momentum-shifting play may have been just as jolting in the right direction for the confidence of Frontier.
After the Falcons drove the field on the opening possession of the second half for a touchdown to take a 10-7 lead in the game and then held on defense to get the ball back at midfield, what seemed to be a reeling Orchard Park team showed why it’s the state’s top ranked large school.
As Frontier quarterback Ben Koch rolled right on a first down run, he was hit solidly from behind by Orchard Park linebacker Jett Modkins jarring the ball loose. Connor Eddy picked up the bouncing ball and ran it down the left sideline for a 50-yard touchdown.
The play put the Quakers up by three points with 4:36 left in the third quarter and from there, they took control and scored 14 unanswered points to hold off Frontier in a 27-10 Class AA South Division game. While Orchard Park improved to 4-0, Frontier fell to 2-2 in its home opener after opening the season with three games on the road.
“This team showed a lot of character. We had the No. 1 team in the state 10-7,” Frontier head coach Tim Myslinski said. “We had a nice drive going and then we had that turnover where they scooped and scored. They’re a great football team, and I’m very proud with how my kids responded and my defensive coaches prepared. I’m excited that we had some young kids step up and they now have that taste for how they need to play.”
Coming off consecutive wins, including an upset at Clarence, the Falcons gave another noteworthy effort that exhibited the growth of a young team becoming a maturing group learning what it takes to compete among the best in Western New York.
Though defending Class AA state champion Orchard Park came into the game off size-able margins of victory in its first three games of the season, senior quarterback Ben Holmes was not surprised to have received the type of challenge that Frontier presented.
Holmes, who would throw for a pair of touchdown passes and 101 yards in the game, said he respects what Frontier has been able to do this season and the effort that the Falcons gave Friday.
“For almost every team, playing Orchard Park is like their Super Bowl and like their state championship. This Frontier team is also a really good team,” said Holmes, who credited his own team’s morale staying in tact and being able to depend on one another to make a big play in coming back. “I give Frontier a lot of credit. I have nothing but respect for them and their coach and the way they played.”
Orchard Park responded to an impressive opening drive from Frontier, which resulted in a field goal, with a long kickoff return from Austin Goltz and three plays later, Holmes cashing in on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Raphael Pagliei with 5:07 left in the opening quarter.
The Falcons had moved down the field the previous drive courtesy of a 58-yard connection between Koch to junior receiver Ricky Fitzgerald. Adrian Cannon booted a 36-yard field goal from the right hash mark. Frontier held the deficit to 7-3 at the half, stopping the Quakers twice in the red zone over the first two quarters.
The lead switched hands less than five minutes into the third quarter as Koch hit senior tight end Bernie Cuthbert on a 17-yard touchdown pass. Cannon’s successful extra point put Frontier up by three. On the drive, Koch hit Cuthbert twice for 31 yards and Cameron Coon broke a 17-yard run. Cuthbert finished with six catches for 55 yards, while Koch threw for 113 yards and ran for another 71.
After an Orchard Park rushing touchdown was called back on a holding penalty, Frontier forced a three-and-out and punt on the ensuing drive. The Falcons seemed in business as Orchard Park snapped the ball over the punter’s head, forcing a kick on the run that netted only three yards.
The Quakers took full advantage of the momentum created by the fumble return for a touchdown. After getting the ball back late in the third quarter, Orchard Park marched 73 yards in 14 plays, capped by a nine-yard touchdown from Holmes to Goltz on fourth-and-goal on a low throw to the left corner of the end zone. Earlier in the game, Goltz also had an interception for the Quakers on defense.
The touchdown with 6:21 left in the game was met with some skepticism from the Frontier sideline, which believed Goltz had caught the ball on a short hop. While he didn’t blame the officials for the loss, Myslinski was disappointed in some of the calls such as that one and what he believes became a “12th man” advantage for Orchard Park.
The Quakers all but clinched the win, coming up with an interception from Brandon Innes on the second play of Frontier’s ensuing drive, which three plays later they turned into points when Modkins ran 31 yards for a touchdown. Modkins did most of his damage in the second half, finishing with 116 of his 140 yards in that time.
“Our philosophy is play the next play and sometimes, young kids don’t do that and that happened today,” Myslinski said. “They got the momentum and we didn’t come back from that.”
Despite playing through a leg injury, which hobbled him for much of the game, senior linebacker Nick King had another big game, which included two sacks and several other run stopping plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. Cannon added an interception for Frontier, while teammate Kevin Hamilton had a sack.
A Look Ahead to Week 5
Friday, September 28
(7:30 p.m. start unless noted)
Barker/RH @ W. Seneca West 7pm
Riverside @ Clarence
Jamestown @ Frontier
West Seneca East @Hamburg 7pm
Iroquois @ Will. South 7pm
South Park @ Lake Shore 6:30pm
Depew @ Alden 7pm
Medina/Lyn. @ East (RF) 7pm
Pioneer @ Springville
Lew-Port @ Maryvale 7pm
Burgard @ Lackawanna 7pm
JFK @East Aurora
Dunkirk @ Cheektowaga 7pm
Barker/RH @ W. Seneca West 7pm
Southwestern @ All-Limestone
Akron @ Wilson 7
Cleve-Hill @ Fredonia
Falconer @ Franklinville
Salamanca @ Gowanda
JFK @ East Aurora
Westfield/Brocton @ Cass.Valley
Silver Creek @ Catt/LV
Chautauqua Lake @ Frewsburg
IPrep @Maple Grove
Randolph @ Portville
Forestville @ Clymer
Sherman/Ripley @ Ellicot/W.V.
St. Joe’s @ Aquinas 7pm
St. Mary’s @ Timon-St. Jude 7pm
Saturday, September 29
(2 p.m. start unless noted)
Lancaster @ Orchard Park 1pm
Hutch Tech @ Niag. Falls noon
Lockport @Kenmore West
Bennett @ Williamsville East
Grand Island @ Will. North
Niag-Wheat. @ Sweet Home
North Tonawanda @ Starpoint
McKinley @Kenmore East
Albion @ Newfane
Olean @ Eden
Panama @ Clymer
Finney at Nichols noon
St. Francis @ Canisius 1pm
Card O’Hara @ Roch. U. Prep