Leading off today:
Favorites held serve for the most part Friday night to open a big weekend of clashes between ranked New York high school football teams.
Chief among the showdowns as Class B action in Western New York, where No. 2 Alden defeated No. 4 Depew 34-13 as carried 29 times for 252 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for a 6-yard score late in the third quarter that built the lead and sewed up the win with a 29-yard gallop in the fourth.
Alden is on a 25-game winning streak against Section 6 opponents.
"Our offensive line really controlled the game in the second half, and overall we were very consistent defensively," Alden coach Dick Diminuco told The Buffalo News. "We played Bulldog football."
Alden appears on a collision course with No. 5 Geneva, which turned back No. 9 East Rochester/Gananda 36-21 in Section 5. Panthers QB Shane Sweeney continued his torrid start, throwing for 283 yards and four touchdowns.
St. Joe's dominates Aquinas: No. 8 Buffalo St. Joe's broke to a 21-0 lead at the half and defeated No. 3 Aquinas 27-14 in a big Class AA matchup in Rochester.
Davis Archer threw three TD passes in the first half, the last a 16-yarder to Ilo Nobel in the final minute.
Aquinas freshman Jake Zembiec was 14-for-26 for 254 yards and one TD, but he was intercepted twice in the end zone.
Aquinas had won 25 consecutive games against Monsignor Martin Association competition since 2005.
Strong effort by Shaker: No. 9 Shaker did not attempt a pass en route to a 35-8 win over No. 14 Shenendehowa, rushing the ball 41 times for 450 yards. The Blue Bison held the Plainsmen off the scoreboard until the last play of the game.
“The fact that the guys responded in the big environment is very pleasing,” Shaker coach Greg Sheeler told The Times Union.
Shaker took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards in 14 plays, the last a 1-yard score by Chris Landers. Tyler Oppelt opened the second quarter with a 47-yard touchdown run, and Shaker was up 21-0 at the half.
Ryan Griffin rushed for a game-high 148 yards in the win.
Livingston County battles: A scrambling Cory Dillon found Jake Kiehle in the end zone for a 16-yard TD on fourth down and just over a minute to go to left Perry to a 44-36 upset of LeRoy.
Perry is ranked 11th in Class D and LeRoy is fifth in Class C in the latest NYSSWA rankings.
Dillon finished with 210 passing yards and four TD throws -- three to Kiehle. He also rushed for 83 yards.
The second half was scoreless before LeRoy’s Tom Kelso returned an interception 48 yards for a score to tie the game at 36. The only other score was Kiehle's winning throw to cap a 60-yard drive.
Next up for Perry is a trip to No. 4 Caledonia-Mumford, which will be smarting from a 39-8 Class D loss to No. 7 Avon.
Avon QB T.J. Crye went 8-for-13 for 128 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried eight times for 64 yards.
Scary injury: Saratoga's game with Guilderland was delayed more than 15 minutes as senior fullback Travis Mooney was removed from the field on a stretcher after losing consciousness and flown by helicopter to an Albany hospital, The Saratogian reported.
Mooney missed most of 2011 with a leg injury and sustained a lower-body injury in Week 1 of this season. The nature and extent of the latest injury were initially unknown, but he was reported to be doing well early Saturday after a battery of tests came back negative.
League championships devalued? I'll agree with the premise of a story -- the state tournament has contributed to a de-emphasis on the significance of league championships -- in the Utica newspaper this weekend, but I'm not entirely buying into the sentiments of some Section 3 football coaches.
The Observer-Dispatch reported on a concern that the state tournament was the tail wagging the dog in the world of NYSPHSAA football. The story noted that the season starts earlier than in the pre-tournament days and that the choice of most sections to go to federation-style scheduling (with teams grouped by playoff class rather than geographic leagues) has affected rivalries as well as the importance of winning the league.