Fall high school football is finally back.
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 slate to be moved to an abbreviated schedule this past spring, we’re back to normal in Section VI for the 2021 season.
While only a few of our local teams were able to pick up wins on opening weekend, there wasn’t a player or coach who wasn’t happy to be back on the field.
Here’s what happened in Week 1:
Wilson 13, Lew-Port 7
Wilson grinded out a tight win over Niagara County neighbor Lew-Port in a non-league contest Friday.
Tyler Yousett went 7 for 11 for 112 yards and a touchdown while Chris Dispenza had three receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. Luke Atlas also had 57 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Xavier Fitzgibbon on 8 tackles and a sack on defense for the Lakemen.
The Lancers open Class B North play hosting Roy-Hart/Barker/Lyndonville at 7 p.m. this Friday while Wilson travels start its C North slate at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cleveland Hill.
Lancaster 48,Lockport 14
Five-time defending Class AA sectional champion Lancaster scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from Lockport.
Micah Harry had 127 yards and three touchdowns on 22 attempts, and caught a 52-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter for the Legends. Declan Warrington and Jakob Zimmerman both had rushing touchdowns. Max Stoldt went 11 for 18 for 117 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Jason Green Jr. went 27 of 51 for 190 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Lions. Logan Wendt had 105 yards and two touchdowns on 10 receptions, while Jaheim Clayton ran for 68 yards on 10 carries. Steven Ball had an interception and a fumble recovery on defense.
Lancaster hosts Hutch Tech in an AA contest at 7 p.m. Friday while Lockport travels to Kenmore West at 2 p.m. Saturday for both teams’ A North openers.
Grand Island 34, Cheektowaga 0
Grand Island scored 20 points in the second quarter to blow open a non-league contest against Cheektowaga on Friday.
Justin Horvath led the Vikings by going 12 of 18 for 215 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while also rushing for 39 yards and a touchdown. Brian Bielec ran for 36 yards and a score on five carries, while also making an interception on defense. Mike Coburn had four receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns, while Jackson Jones made four catches for 71 yards and a score. Josh Mallabar had six tackles and two interceptions.
Grand Island travels to face a tough non-league opponent in Orchard Park at 7 p.m. Friday. Cheektowaga hosts Burgard at 7 p.m. Thursday in B North action.
Starpoint 20,Hutch Tech 14
Starpoint snapped a seven-game losing skid dating back to 2019 with a non-league road win over Hutch Tech on Saturday.
Carson Marcus went 14 of 25 for 203 yards and three touchdowns for the Spartans, connecting with Evan Dean seven times for 125 yards and a touchdown. Evan Floss had two catches for 54 yards. Jason Richardson made four grabs for 24 yards and two scores, while making 15 tackles on defense. Luke Davis added 10 tackles and Thomas Browne had seven tackles and a sack.
Shamere Banks went 7 for 12 for 83 yards for Hutch Tech, while David Nixon had 101 yards on eight carries. Monte Mason had 57 yards and a touchdown. Ben Sabato had eight tackles and a sack.
Starpoint opens A North play hosting McKinley at 7 p.m. Friday. Hutch Tech travels to Lancaster for an AA contest at the same time.
Depew 19,Newfane 13 (OT)
A pair of fumbles proved costly for Newfane as Depew rallied for a win in overtime on Saturday.
Carson Alberti tallied 150 yards on 25 carries and scored all three Wildcat touchdowns. Chris Peters went 7 for 12 for 85 yards and was intercepted twice.
Ryan Kramp led the Panthers, going 9 of 18 for 71 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while also running for a touchdown. Chase Braman had 50 yards on nine attempts. Charles Larose had 12 tackles and two sacks, Simon Lingle made two sacks and Brett Bucolo had 11 tackles and an interception.
Depew opens C Central play hosting Springville at 7 p.m. Friday and Newfane hosts Medina in both teams’ C North opener at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Hamburg 36,Niagara Wheatfield 14
Hamburg used a pair of third-quarter touchdowns to pull away from Niagara Wheatfield in a Class A non-league tilt Friday.
Devin Collins ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries for the Bulldogs, while Nolan Heavern went 4 for 8 for 47 yards.
Xander Fletcher went 15 of 23 for 176 yards and a touchdown in defeat for the Falcons. Thomas Jessie added 103 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Jayden Baker had 66 yards on four grabs, while Shawn Watson had 65 yards on two receptions. Wyatt Cooper made eight tackles.
Niagara Wheatfield hosts Sweet Home at 7 p.m. Thursday to open Class A North play. Hamburg plays at Williamsville East in an A South contest at 7 p.m. Friday.
McKinley 14,Niagara Falls 0
McKinley pulled out a shutout win in a non-league defensive struggle Friday and did so by compiling 221 yards on the ground.
Tyrone Hughes tallied 92 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts for the Macks, while Darion Burt added 56 yards on 10 attempts. Azari Adugnae went 7 for 14 for 114 yards, adding a touchdown and an interception. Kevin Broden had two receptions for 72 yards and a score.
Jadon Sander had three sacks and a fumble recovery and Atress Kennedy had two interceptions as McKinley forced six turnovers.
The Wolverines open AA play at 7 p.m. Friday at Clarence, the same time McKinley travels to Starpoint for an A North game.
Clarence 63,North Tonawanda 12
Clarence jumped out to a 43-6 lead at halftime, scoring 22 points in the first quarter to pick up a non-league win as North Tonawanda dropped the first game of the Ben Bunker era.
The Red Devils ran for 337 yards and seven touchdowns on 16.9 yards per attempt. Scott Raymond did most of the damage, scoring on each of his four attempts and finishing with 118 yards. Garrett White also added 100 yards and a touchdown on three carries, while also going 6 of 7 for 127 yards and a touchdown through the air. Brady Culhane had 51 yards and two touchdowns on three carries.
The Lumberjacks host Kenmore East in an A North contest at 7 p.m. Thursday. Clarence hosts Niagara Falls in an AA battle at 7 p.m. Friday.
Albion 54, Roy-Hart/Barker/Lyndonville 2
Albion scored 32 points in the first quarter to upend Roy-Hart/Barker/Lyndonville in its return to 11-man football on Friday in Class B North action.
Sh’Kwe Riley led the Purple Eagles with 111 yards and two touchdowns on five attempts, while Jacob Hughson had 70 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Jahmeek Riley pitched in 46 yards rushing and a touchdown and had two sacks on defense.
Both teams remain in B North play at 7 p.m. Friday, as Albion travels to Maryvale and the Silverbacks travel to Lew-Port.