Author: Peter Martin
Buffalo’s not generally known for successful football programs. (Refer to last Thursday’s and yesterday’s disasters). The Bills, despite some early promise this season, haven’t made the playoffs in nearly two decades, and UB football has had more 10-loss seasons (6) than bowl-eligible ones (2) since becoming a Division I program in 1999. But this past weekend, the Queen City shined on the high school gridiron.
All five Section VI schools, the state high school entity comprising Western New York, won their quarterfinal matchups and advanced to the state semifinals. This is the first time since the state tournament began in 1993 that all of the schools representing Western New York have swept their Rochester area rivals from Section V in the first round.
This is the first time since the state tournament began in 1993 that all of the schools representing Western New York have swept their Rochester area rivals from Section V in the first round.
Lancaster (Class AA), West Seneca West (Class A), Cheektowaga (Class B), Cleveland Hill (Class C) and Maple Grove (Class D) all cleared the first hurdle in their quests for state titles, a banner night for Western New York football, which doesn’t often have reasons to celebrate, especially at the higher levels.
Perhaps the biggest win of the weekend was delivered by the biggest school — Lancaster’s 9-0 victory over seven-time state champion Aquinas was one of the most unexpected finishes of the weekend.
The other four games were more emphatic, with each school defeating its opponent by at least 18 points. Maple Grove’s 61 points were the second most scored in the tournament so far.
All five schools will now look forward to matchups against the central region of the state with a berth in the championship game on the line. The semifinals will be played on the shores of the Susquehanna River in Endicott at Union-Endicott High School this coming weekend.
All five of our New York Section VI high school football champions are still alive in their quests for State titles.
Any Western New York school that survives and advances will move on to the state championships, to be held in the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University the weekend after Thanksgiving.