Week two of high school football is upon us folks. Week one saw some big performances, record-setting efforts and some players breaking out onto the scene.
Starpoint’s Nathan Lee (2 interceptions) and Joe Carlson (10 catches, 189 receiving yards) were able to tie and set respective records for the Spartan program. Their teammate Jake Dean had a huge game as well, registering a 15 tackle game against Kenmore East (which isn’t even his career high!). Lewiston-Porter’s Gino Fontanarosa blazed the Medina defense for a 258-yards from scrimmage night (137 rushing, 121 receiving) and three touchdowns.
Some other big games came from Newfane’s Jadeen Heers (101 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 12 tackles) and Garrett Srock (124 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 11.3 yards per carry) in their team’s 35-20 loss to Albion. Wilson’s Declan Faery had about as efficient of a stat line as you could get — he finished with two catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns (one of which a 71-yard scamper) and finished with three tackles and two sacks defensively in a 47-0 win over Roy-Hart.
Our last highlighted performance from week one was Niagara Wheatfield’s Matt Lysiak. He did just about all a player could do in a week one performance — Lysiak returned the game’s opening kickoff, scored on a receiving TD, then secured the win over North Tonawanda with a clinching INT in the fourth quarter. Not bad for a kid in his first-ever organized football game.
But enough about week one. Let’s look ahead to what week two has in store.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Lew-Port at Cheektowaga
Sept. 13 @ 7 p.m.
Fontanarosa isn’t the only Lancer that the Warriors should be worried about. Lew-Port was able to put on a show defensively against the Mustangs, shutting out their offense, forcing five turnovers and limiting them to only 111 yards. John Wendt was the catalyst there, bringing in his first two picks of the 2019 season.
WNY Maritime/Health Sciences was able to upset Cheektowaga in week one, taking down a program that has won sectional championships in four of the last five seasons. The key will be how the Warriors match up against the L-P defense, as they are still looking to replace the production of two-time All-Western New York quarterback Keshone Beal.
This could be the Lancers chance to rise to the occasion as one of the premier teams in all of Class B.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Justin Humphrey-Goldsmith, QB — Niagara Falls
The Wolverines got a boost of offense that they were missing last season when JHG lined up under center in week one. The junior field general had a phenomenal varsity debut (10-16, 273 passing yards, 3 TD passes) in a 26-20 win over rival Lockport. Now the question will be can he do it against Class AA’s best.
NFHS will be hosting Lancaster on Saturday, which could be one of the more pivotal games on the schedule all fall. The Legends are still juggernauts, dominating Hutch-Tech with a crushing 51-6 win last weekend. Lancaster is still the top dog in AA, having won the last three Section VI championships.
With a defensive unit that has players like Ethan Jurkowski, Connor Mahoney and Matt Marschner, JHG’s performance will be crucial in how the team is able to handle the Legends.
NOTES:WHO’S THAT Q?
Humphrey-Goldmsith was not the only local QB to have success in his first career start on the varsity. Starpoint’s Carson Marcus was able to put together a solid showing in the win over Ken. East (18-33, 278 passing yards, 2 TD passes, 1 INT).
Bobby Atlas got his varsity tenure off on the right note too (7-14, 135 passing yards, 3 TD passes) in the shutout win over Roy-Hart. There was one other quarterback who had a pretty notable opening day but we saved that for our last note below.
It was far from pretty in Canisius’ 63-35 loss to Ohio-power Euclid in week one. Two players who produced some big numbers, however, are some names you might be familiar with. QB Tyler Baker, a Lockport native, made his first varsity start with a very up-and-down performance.
He was able to rush for a remarkable 206 yards and four TDs, on a ridiculous 14.7 yards per carry. But he was also only able to complete 9-of-25 pass attempts for 127 yards and three INTs. No time to panic though, as the sophomore signal caller should be able to clean up his game as he continues to mature.
RB Joseph “Jo-Jo” Dixon, a former NFHS football player, also had a strong game in the Crusaders’ opener with 228 all-purpose yards (119 rushing yards, 105 kick return yards, 4 receiving yards) and a rushing touchdown. He will also need to protect the ball better moving forward, fumbling three times in week one and losing one of them.
The future should be bright for these two young stars, as they develop in what continues to be WNY’s premier football program.
For more from sports reporter Khari Demos, follow him on Twitter @riri_demos.