Grand Island (7-1) @ Sweet Home (8-0)
These two teams didn't play in the regular season even though they are both in A North. Grand Island has been under the radar screen all season, even with a 7-1 record. The Vikings have excellent chemistry and play physical football. Quinn Corrao is an excellent athlete, leader and player at the QB position. Chris Connors, Mitch Fachko, Dan Blocho, and Paul Sukmanowski lead the Vikings defense, while Max oursler, T.J. Ackers and Anthony Zogaria anchor the defense. Kurtis Johnson can be a difference maker as a kicker. Sweet Home is unbeaten and offensively the Panthers are explosive, averaging 41 points per game lef by the passing of Mike Torrillo, the running of Jordan Everett and Brad Zaffram. Defensively, the Panthers are led by Zaffram, Mike McCoy, Carter Mann and Shaun Huebert.
These teams have an excellent rivarly and the Vikings always play the Panthers tough, even when Sweet Home won consecutive State Titles. The Panthers better come to play and be focused or Grand Island will have the upset win of the season.
You don't find two better coaches in NYS than the Panthers' John Faller and the Vikings' Dean Santorio.
KEYS TO VICTORY:
The Panthers need to avoid penalties and turnovers while the Vikings need to control the clock and limit big players by the Panthers' offense.
To be the champion, you have to beat the champion.
Sweet Home - 27, Grand Island - 20
Williamsville South (5-3) @ West Seneca East
This game is a re-match when the Trojans defeated the Billies in week four 28-7. The Billies QB threw 5 interceptions in that game. South has started a Sophomore QB, Sam Castronova who has thrown 6 TD passes in 2 Varsity games. South's win over McKinley was the most physical game they have played this season. The line is led by Greg Crane. Sam Cohen has been explosive on both sides of the ball in the past 3 games. The defense have been led by Casey Nunchereno, Anthony Liberatore and Zack Utech. Chaq Nettles is a game-breaker on both sides of the ball.
The Trojabs are on a mission and showed a lot of charge and perseverance in coming from behind to defeat Starpoint in the Quarterfinals. Much credit has gone to the team's three leaders, Andy Smigiera, Scott Ackerman (19 TDs) and Ryan Johnson, but the Trojans' line has played solid ball throughout the season and deserve some praise. Andy Theal, Brandon Reilly, Zachary Osmanski and Austin Wesolowski drive the train that has sparked the Trojans to an unbeaten season.
The Billies' Kraig Kurzanski and the Trojans' Jim Maurino are excellent coaches and will have their team's ready to battle. This is the third consecutive year for the Billies reaching Semi-Finals and won the past two years.
KEYS TO VICTORY:
The Billies must avoid turnovers, win the trench battle and limit production of Smigiera and Ackerman. The Trojans need big performances from their franchise players: Smigiera, Ackerman, and Johnson, and need to prevent big plays from Nettles.
This game is a tossup. Both teams have improved since the first game, but the edge goes to the Trojans playing at home.
West Seneca East - 28, Williamsville South - 20