HS Football Week 2: Grand Island, Wilson look to build on wins

Paul Battson/contributorIn this Sept. 3 file photo, Wilson's Paul Smith grabs a Tyler Yousett pass during a season-opening home win over the Lewiston-Porter Lancers.

The opening week of the high school football season in Western New York brought a few tight games and a few surprises, but the action will not slow down this week.

Grand Island, Starpoint and Wilson look to build on wins, while other Greater Niagara Region teams attempt to rebound from tough losses.

Here is everything you need to know for Week 2:

Grand Island (1-0) at Orchard Park (0-1), 7 p.m. tonight

Grand Island made a big statement in its 34-0 win over Cheektowaga last week, but now it gets a major test in traditional Class AA power Orchard Park. And the game may come down to who combines quarterback play with a strong rushing attack.

Justin Horvath posted one of the best games of his career for the Vikings, going 12 for 18 for 215 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Week 1. He also has a pair of talented receivers in Mike Coburn and Jackson Jones. Meanwhile, the Quakers have a talented quarterback of their own, as Ben Gocella threw for 321 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in a 38-27 loss to Jamestown.

Grand Island had a committee approach in the backfield, but Orchard Park is coming off a game in which Jamestown’s Jaylen Butera ran for 339 yards and six touchdowns. The Quakers only managed 43 yards on 16 attempts, while the Vikings had 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Niagara Falls (0-1) at Clarence (1-0), 7 p.m. tonight

Niagara Falls’ rushing defense was heavily tested in Week 1 and it will not get any easier against Clarence in its Class AA opener this week.

The Wolverines allowed 221 yards on 6.1 yards per attempt in a 14-0 loss to McKinley last week and will face a Red Devil rushing attack that totaled 16.9 yards per rush and seven rushing touchdowns in a 63-12 win over North Tonawanda.

Niagara Falls must stop dual threat quarterback Garrett White, who missed one of his seven pass attempts and put up 227 yards of total offense last week. Running back Scott Raymond will also be a focus after running for 118 yards and scoring on all four of his touches.

Roy-Hart/Barker/Lyndonville (0-1) at Lewiston-Porter (0-1), 7 p.m. tonight

One team will come away with a Class B North win after struggling to put points on the board in their respective opening-week losses.

Lew-Port’s lone points came on an 11-yard keeper by quarterback Trent Reid in a 13-7 loss to Wilson, but should find a bit more success against a Silverback defense that surrendered 54 points on 13.5 yards per carry against Albion a week ago.

RBL will have to generate more offense this week after posting 161 total yards, although running back Drew Sandolfini found success, running for 48 yards on 4.4 yards per attempt.

Medina (1-0) at Newfane (0-1), 2 p.m. Saturday

Newfane was moments from winning its first season opener since 2007, only for a pair of turnovers to set Depew up for an overtime win. Now the Panthers must contend with the defending Class C sectional champions, fresh off a breeze against Bishop Timon.

Xander Payne went 10 of 16 for 164 yards and three touchdowns for the Mustangs, but the Newfane defense could be a stiff challenge after intercepting Depew’s Chris Peters twice in the opening week.

The key for the Panthers will be revving up an offense that had some promising moments. Senior quarterback Ryan Kramp provided rushing and passing touchdowns in his first start, but opening up the rushing attack should be a focus this week.

Lockport (0-1) at Kenmore West (0-1), 2 p.m. Saturday

Lockport saw how a few big plays can turn a tight game into a blowout quickly last week in a 48-14 loss to Lancaster, but that has not diminished expectations as its Class A North slate begins with Kenmore West.

Jason Green Jr. threw 51 times for the Lions in the opening week, and while he completed 52.9% of them and tossed two touchdowns, he could see more action as a runner this week. Lockport rarely called a designed run for Green in Week 1 and his athleticism should provide a pop, opening up more holes for bruising back Jaheim Clayton.

The Lions were able to use pressure off the edge to force a pair of fumbles and an interception against Lancaster, something that could become a factor after Kenmore West quarterback Conner Walker was intercepted four times in a 22-14 loss to Pioneer.

Wilson (1-0) at Cleveland Hill (1-0), 2 p.m. Saturday

Wilson and Cleveland Hill both built early leads and hung on to win last week and now meet in a clash of styles this week in a Class C North matchup. The Lakemen built a 13-0 lead to top Lew-Port 13-7, while the Golden Eagles led 20-0 at halftime and escaped Maryvale with a 20-19 win.

Cleveland Hill only threw two passes in Week 1 and will likely continue to feed Larry Burgin, who ran for 62 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Josh Walters and quarterback Chase Williams will also be threats in the run game.

Wilson, however, will put a lot on the plate of quarterback Tyler Yousett, who threw for 112 yards and a touchdown strike to Chris Dispenza. Luke Atlas was the team’s leading rusher with 57 yards, but the Lakemen typically find their big plays through the air.

 Nick Sabato can be reached via email at nick.sabato@gnnewspaper.com or on Twitter @NickSabatoGNN.

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