WNY Athletics

Section VI Week 3 Preview: Class AA

Hutch Tech Engineers (1-1) at Orchard Park Quakers (2-0)

Friday Night 7pm

Hutch-Tech is coming off a loss to Lancaster, the reigning Class AA champs in Section VI. The Quakers on the other hand have won two in a row; a road win over McKinley on opening weekend and last week’s victory over Niagara Falls.

Junior Jack Sharp has thrown four TD passes and has shown a lot of poise in his second season under center for OP. The Quakers line play on both sides of the ball has been much improved from a season ago and you can see the results. Running backs Louis Irizzary and Pierson Savarino are reaping the benefits as they have scored a combined six rushing TD’s already.

Tony Truilizio is now the head coach at Hutch-Tech but the Engineers are still instituting Nick Todaro’s defense; Nick himself continues to call the shots on that side of the ball. That in and of itself should concern OP and their rookie head coach Craig Dana.

Hutch-Tech would be wise to keep OP’s offense off the field. In order to do that they will rely on a solid backfield of their own, which includes a trio of tough runners in Anthony Whitfield, David Bradshaw and Xavion Baines.

Sharp has used four different receivers so far this year and has developed some chemistry with Archie Bartolotti as of late.

These teams are no strangers to one another so expect a close, physical game.


Bennett Tigers (1-0) at Clarence Red Devils (2-0)

Friday Night 7pm

Clarence is coming off a tough overtime loss to Williamsville North in what was an excellent game. The Red Devils showed that they will not go down without a fight. They trailed by two touchdowns in that game twice and pushed it to OT.

Jack Putney and Jon Stevens is one of the most lethal combos in the area right now. Another solid contributor for Clarence is Zach Norton who has rushed for 139 yards and two scores already this year.

Putney has a number of weapons at his disposal but the most improved part of this offense is the play of their offensive line. They might not be the biggest but they are strong, physical and can block.

Bennett just crushed Lockport this past Friday night. The only loss they had was to St. Joe’s in week one and they struggled with the Marauders line. If there is a weakness on the Tigers that’s where you will find it. Although, they deserve a lot of credit, last week they had four different players rush for over 100 yards. Whatever they did to find that continuity on the O-line, worked.

They have an excellent coaching staff led by Steve McDuffie so expect his team to be ready for Clarence.


Lancaster Legends (2-0) at Williamsville North Spartans (2-0)

Friday Night 7pm   ****Spectrum Game****

When the schedules were released last spring this is a game many looked for. The Legends have dominated the Spartans in recent years, most recently a 35-6 rout in last November’s Section VI Class AA title game. Prior to that was a 42-14 regular season triumph over Will North. Many of the athletes that made major contributions for Lancaster have since graduated but the Spartans are just getting started.

There isn’t much history between these two teams however, in fact their 2016 match-up was the first since 2006 (Lancaster won 22-0). But don’t tell the Spartans that. None of them have forgotten about the bus ride home last year from New Era Field.

Even with a number of All-WNY football players having graduated from Lancaster since that November day, the coaching staff remains intact. Led by head coach Eric Rupp who took over the program in 2016, the Legends have not lost a game to a Section VI opponent in two full seasons; they aren’t looking to start now.

Both teams still have explosive players on both sides of the ball. It’ll come down to the line of scrimmage and which team is going to control it.


Lockport Lions (0-2) at Niagara Falls Wolverines (0-2)

Saturday – 12 Noon

Two young teams looking for their first win go at it Saturday. The two largest schools in terms of enrollment should be right up there with Williamsville North, Lancaster, Orchard Park and Clarence in determining who should represent Section VI in the regionals. Unfortunately, that has not been the case for some time.

Saturday, is as good as any to start clawing their way back to respectability. The right coaches are in place to see it happen; it’s time for the athletes to show what they can do, because the talent is there.

Expect a fast paced game. The Lions have one of the best receivers in the area in Malik Brooks (243 yards and 3 TD’s on the season).  For the Wolverines, they need to find some consistency at the quarterback position as they too have an exceptional crew of receivers.

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