Niagara Gazette — Among the seniors Grand Island will rely on are quarterback Quinn Corrao, who was among the players banged up early in the season, and Paul Sukmanowski, who provides strong play on both offense and defense.
Those injuries plaguing Grand Island during the season, meanwhile, also created opportunities for younger players to step up from junior varsity and make significant impacts, including sophomore Jarod Brandon, whose performance against the Spartans Oct. 19 included a 59-yard touchdown run late in the game.
Grand Island is coming off a big win last week, a 23-0 shutout of McKinley High School at Riverside in Buffalo. The Vikings are the only remaining team in their part of Western New York to remain a Section VI playoff participant. All other nearby schools, including Niagara Falls, Niagara-Wheatfield, Lew-Port, Starpoint and Wilson played out their matchup games Wednesday with mixed results. Tonawanda will play their matchup game tonight. North Tonawanda’s season ended Wednesday with a win in the Chuck Funke Classic title game.
Do Viking players appreciate their status as a lone remaining contender?
“It’s funny, I think sometimes as players and kids they truly don’t think about that stuff a lot,” answered Santorio. “I think sometimes we (the coaches) might bring up something like that and talk about something like that but I think as kids they’ve got so many things going on in their lives, with schoolwork and getting to practice and getting ready for a game, I don’t even know if they think that.
“But we just kind of talk to them about our tradition at Grand Island, how successful our program’s been in the last 50 years, since Coach Masters started the program, and just how important it is to us to keep tradition alive and play good, solid hard-nosed Grand Island football.”game night Who: Williamsville North vs. Grand Island What: Section VI Class A football semifinal Where: Clinton H. Small Stadium, Tonawanda When: 5 p.m. kickoff