Niagara Gazette

Sports

September 20, 2013

FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Falcons face GI, NF hosts home opener

Niagara Gazette — Two local schools will match up in a Class A North showdown this weekend, highlighting Niagara County’s high school football schedule.

The Niagara-Wheatfield Falcons (0-2, 0-1) travel to Grand Island to take on the Vikings (2-0, 1-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday in a battle of banged-up teams.

The Vikings, pegged as favorites to compete for the division title this season, lost senior quarterback Quinn Corrao to an ankle injury less than halfway through their opener at Hamburg, but impressed by holding off the Bulldogs and beating the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks last week.

Head coach Dean Santorio said Corrao is a game-time decision Saturday, but added that he has complete faith in backup Giuseppe Campanella, who went 8 for 15 for 120 yards and two touchdowns against NT. Running back Paul Sukmanowski rumbled for 142 yards.

“We were really happy with the way we played,” Santorio said. “We had a real nice defensive performance, (Campanella) did a great job and we ran the ball pretty well.”

The Falcons haven’t had the same start, losing a non-league game to visiting Lewiston-Porter in their opener before falling to A North power Sweet Home in Week Two.

They’ve seen more than their fair share of injuries, as well. First-year coach Brent Tylec said he could be missing as many as four starters on both sides of the ball.

That doesn’t mean Saturday’s game won’t be competitive, though. Last season, an 0-5 N-W team hosted the 5-0 Vikings and played tough in a 14-7 loss.

“I thought they did a really nice job (last year), especially defensively,” Santorio said. “We did have a couple turnovers, but you have to credit them with playing hard. Even so far this year, what we’ve seen is they play pretty good defense and they get after you. We’re not going to take anyone for granted.”

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