2021 Week 6 (New York & Pennsylvania)

2021 Week 6 (New York & Pennsylvania)

If any week didn’t go as planned, it would be this one. It started out with plans to see a Thursday night game in New York, a Friday night contest in Smethport, and then back to New York for an afternoon game between St. Joseph’s and Erie, and head back to Erie for a night game at Mercyhurst Prep. All four games would’ve been new places for me.

But, then those preliminary plans started unraveling. First, the Thursday game was cancelled when Gowanda/Pine Valley was unable to complete their game with Fredonia the week prior. And took the forfeit against Southwestern for Thursday night.

Luckily, there was another southern Thursday night game. With Salamanca hosting Fredonia at one of the best little stadiums in southwestern New York.

Being two of my favorite teams in the state, it wasn’t a hard sell to go there once the Gowanda/Pine Valley game was axed.

I still had my hotel booked and the rest of the week looked to go as planned.

I left home with a decent amount of time that I took the scenic route through the Allegheny National Forest along Route 66 to Kane and continue up at an angle to Bradford on 219. I stopped at my hotel to get my room, and then made the quick drive north to New York and Salamanca.

#34 – Salamanca v. Fredonia

I’ve been to Veterans Memorial Park several times now. it’s a great small park secluded in a wooded area east of the school. It’s a football/baseball amalgamation, rather than the hybrid. As the two fields don’t actually overlap. It has turf, and great lighting. A great, bright, and incredibly loud scoreboard in the southeast corner.

This time, unlike in the Spring, the visitor stands were set on the turf behind the visitor sideline. Though the views from them were probably less than optimal. They did add some banners around the field’s fencing.

The two teams traded TDs in the first quarter, and Salamanca was punching above their weight for a while. After falling behind 14-7, Salamanca scored to tie it with 1:48 left. But, the PAT was no good, and Salamanca trailed, 14-13. And the crack in their steely facade grew.

Fredonia’s Simon Davis returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD. And that 21-13 lead seemed insurmountable. The third quarter was a slow grind with another Fredonia TD clinching the competitive portion of the game. As the fourth quarter saw two more Fredonia TDs, matched only by one TD for Salamanca. Fredonia would win, 42-19.

For the game, it was fun seeing my photos streaming on the video board as the halftime screensaver. And, during the halftime, there was a fitting tribute to indigenous youth and their treatment at “resident schools” in both the US and Canada. Essentially, trying to ‘civilize’ natives by literally whitewashing their history. It’s a rather important issue and one shown with respect in Salamanca. Which makes sense given…

After the game, I drove back to the hotel in Bradford. And though this was the third time I’ve stayed at the Holley Hotel, it is quite… concerning.

But, it’s incredibly cheap. And it’s 119 years old. Things were just built different.

The next day, I finished up the photos, and went around Bradford. It was homecoming weekend, and I didn’t realize a parade was going to be going right past the hotel. Luckily, I had gotten out for a late lunch before heading to Smethport.

I went over to Beefeaters, a few blocks over. It had rave reviews and located in a very old building. A split level, where the restaurant is a half floor above the street. High ceilings, and everything is ancient.

The food, however, was phenomenal.

And a bit pricy. But, it was worth it. The water, though, in this area of the country has a very strong mineral taste. And it’s not filtered. Even at some of the fast food restaurants, the taste is very distinct and a bit disappointing. As a lot of times I like to just drink water with a meal.

After that, I snaked through Bradford around the closures for the parade, and made my way south and east to Smethport.

Arriving in Smethport, this was my first time even seeing the school. It’s a few streets off US6, and I had just never mosied over there in all the time I’ve been through. I was informed a few years ago that the view from the stands was noteworthy, and I was hoping it would live up to the expectation.

#35 – Smethport v. Redbank Valley

I had seen both of these teams previously. Smethport twice, at Sheffield when the Wolverines won their first ever division title back in 2013. And in 2018 for a Monday night doubleheader for the District 9 playoffs when they played Coudersport at Karns City.

This was a rematch of the 2020 District 9 Championship, and Smethport was undefeated, looking to avenge their undefeated season being derailed last year. And Redbank Valley did it again.

They opened with a TD, and Smethport answered with their own. But the 8-6 deficit seemed devastating. In the second half, Redbank Valley would tack on three more touchdowns and pull away easily from the Hubbers, 27-6.

That night, I returned to my hotel, and got the photos finished from the night. And then headed out in the morning for a nearly two hour drive to the north side of Buffalo.

St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute was hosting Erie at 1pm. I had seen both teams previously. Erie at the Western PA v. Everyone kickoff at the Wolvarena, while St. Joseph’s was several trips to Steubenville and a couple of Monsignor Martin Athletic Association playoff games at Ralph Wilson Stadium (now Highmark Stadium).

#36 – Buffalo St. Joseph’s v. Erie

Both of these teams had struggled so far this season. St. Joseph’s was winless, while Erie had managed a single win. But the game was expected to be competitive. And it was. For a bit. Erie scored first, on a 1 yard TD run, and St. Joseph’s tallied a 27 yard TD pass to make it 7-7 after one. Erie responded with two second quarter touchdowns to gain some breathing room. And the second half was all Erie.

A 48 yard run, a 40 yard pass, and a 38 yard run in the third quarter gave Erie a surprisingly easy finish, winning it 43-7 with a running clock.

Robert T. Scott Field at the Sports Complex of the same name is a rectangle located in the rest of the block behind the school. The track surrounds the fields and is a curved corner square. The football field sits next to the baseball field. With seating only on one side. The home team sat on the far side of the field, which was a but unusual. With the game progressing into the afternoon, it made the home side facing into the sun lowering to the horizon.

After the game, I had a two hour drive to Erie. A trip I had made many times. So frequent, in fact, that I was certain I had time for dinner. And stopped at a favorite of mine, near St. Francis High School, called Peg’s Place.

After leaving, I headed past the school and made the right onto US20 near the thruway. Intending to take the free route to Irving, getting cheaper gas at the Seneca Nation gas stations, and then getting back on the toll road.

However, my car had other ideas. As soon as I made the turn, I heard a pop, and the engine lost power to the wheels. I coasted to the side, and the engine cut off.

Now, my car I’ve been driving around most of this season and last season is a 2003 Regal. It has issues. And I knew eventually this day would come. I had considered replacing the head gasket and getting the transmission replaced (it had a horrible linkage issue at low speeds). However, the rust beneath the car did not match the clean exterior of the vehicle itself.

Strangely, it seemed to be a combination of the two. Engine had overheated, while the transmission wouldn’t let me downshift to run at higher RPMs to keep the slipping at bay.

So, I let the engine cool. Added water. Called AAA, and there was no available trucks to tow me home. Even with Premier membership. Also, I found, I wouldn’t be able to ride from New York in the wrecker. So, I started it. It started. The temp was reading coolish. And I headed out. Keeping an eye on the gauge. I made it to the first gas station in Irving, and had access to a garden hose. Filled up a few gallon jugs I had. Sprayed off the radiator and away I went. But, by this point, getting to the night game was going to be close.

And I made it into PA. I was already late at this point. So, I stopped at the Country Fair to check the water level. At this point, the car was pushing water through almost as fast as it could pump it. I filled up every jug I had. Sprayed off the radiator and engine again. Topped off the radiator. And decided, already in the second quarter, to try and make the trip home. I knew that this was the last trip this engine was going to take. And probably the car, itself. As I have ordered a truck that should be delivered in mid November.

I made it about 23 miles, before I had to stop again. The temperature reading high again. After that, I made it all the way to the Cochranton exit. But, not much past that as the temp gauge had, I believe, falsely reading cooler than it was. Which meant that last 20-30 miles was at far too high a temp.

Closer to home, it only took 20 minutes for AAA to get to me, and tow it home. The problem is, aside from my wife’s car, I don’t trust, or want, to drive my other two cars for long trips. I have a 1987 F-150 with a V8, which is the least fuel efficient vehicle you can find. On a good day, you get 10 miles per gallon.

But, at around 1am, I was finally home.

And, that brings me to Monday. I took my daughter to school in the morning, and then headed to my parents for lunch at Red Lobster. I got there, and found out that there was a doubleheader happening that evening at Pittsburgh. I originally passed on it. As I was going to be busy that week. I’ll get to in the next update. And partly why this update is late.

But, with plans changing, I decided to make the trip to Pittsburgh for the two games. At least make something of an unfortunate ending.

I got into town with enough time for what I thought was a 5:30pm kickoff. Luckily, I’m punctual. As the game was kicking off at 5pm.

#37 – Perry v. Allderdice

I’ve seen all six of the Pittsburgh City League schools in the past. I had been to Cupples Stadium (previously named South Stadium), 12 times already. And, it’s a great, underrated venue located on Carson Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

The two teams were very close for the first half, 6-6, and then Allderdice unloaded with two scores in the third, then followed with a safety and another score in the fourth before giving up a late TD to Perry, to win, 28-14.

After that, I sat up in the stands while Westinghouse faithful readied the stands for their homecoming/senior night game.

#38 – Westinghouse v. USO

For those that haven’t followed along before, USO is a co-op between three city schools. University Prep, Science & Tech, and Obama Academy are three smaller schools in the city after the last reorganization, and co-op together as USO. However, both the Post-Gazette and the PIAA insist on calling them University Prep, even though other schools that have formed co-ops elsewhere in the state use a combined name. Such as Union/ACV or Central Clarion County in District 9.

For the game, Westinghouse was the prohibitve favorite, and tallied a blocked punt return for a TD in the first quarter, and three more in the second. Taking a commanding, 25-0 lead and very close to getting a running clock.

Toying with it on the opening kickoff, as it returned for the score. But, it was called back. And a turnover was turned into USO points, on an 11 yard TD run. Two more scores made it 25-19. USO would have a last minute crack at the endzone, but wouldn’t score on 4th down. And Westinghouse would see the final seconds run off. Westinghouse would hang on, 25-19.

In the end, the weekend was a fun one. And though the impending car issues were expected eventually. It was a bit disappointing I couldn’t make it through the course of my weekend schedule.


For the weekend, I drove 638 miles for the five games. Total cost was $310. $100 for a hotel, $141 for food, and the rest for miscellaneous or gas.

Photos of the Week

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 New York

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

2021 HSF Wk 6 Pennsylvania

Next Week

This is a week late, so I already know what eventually happened. I was going to be around Pennsylvania for a few games up in District 4 and 9. But, that changed on Monday, and I was going to be spending the weekend in Kansas.

Strange that it took years to see my first Kansas game. A Thursday night game at Wichita’s South High School, and now I was expecting my 5th and 6th games in the Sunflower State.

Thursday was, very specifically, going to be the Junction City game against Topeka. Junction City had just opened up their new school and stadium on the outskirts of town. But, my Friday game was limited. So, I looked for a few schools I had seen in passing, and try one of them.

2021 Statistics

38 Games
72 Teams
28 Stadiums

6 States

28 New Teams
15 New Stadiums

1,325 different teams
431 different stadiums

1,208 total games

For more, and larger, photos from this weekend, click HERE.

For photos from previous weeks and seasons, visit http://www.flickr.com/sykotyk/sets/

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