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Macks Follow Fields to Semis

Before South Park became the first team from the City of Buffalo to win a State Championship, it was the McKinley Macks who had the early success when the Buffalo Public Schools began playing in Section VI, making the playoffs the first five years, until missing last year.

On Friday night, the Macks returned to the playoffs, as the #2 seed in the Class A South division and showed why they belonged, with a commanding 25-7 win over the Williamsville South Billies, the #3 seed from the North in a Class A semi-final match-up.

The Billies got on the board first when QB Josh Foster found receiver Chris Nelson in the endzone for a 36-yard touchdown. Will South recovered the ensuing kickoff, but the Billies’ momentum stalled.

After giving up the first score of the game the McKinley defense stepped up. For the rest of the night the Billies’ offense had trouble moving the ball as the defense got in the backfield and covered well in the secondary.

“We overcame some adversity, in the first quarter getting down 7-0, our defense played great the rest of the game not allowing them to score” said McKinley Head Coach Brain Hillary.

In the 2nd quarter, the Macks finally got on the board as sophomore Kaiyer Fields ran it in from two yards out. With less than two minutes left, another McKinley drive ended on a 2-yard touchdown run by Fields to give the Macks the 13-7 lead at the half.

After getting off to a slow start in the first quarter, Fields said simply, “We picked it up and did our jobs”.

Early in the third, the Mack offense picked up just where they left off. McKinley QB Taelon Hollaman found sophomore Taivonn Martin for 25 yards, putting the Macks deep into Will South Territory. The drive ended with a 25-yard field goal by Anthony Arguelles. Arguelles kicked another field goal from about the same distance to give the Macks a 19-7 lead heading into the fourth.

Fields scored his third touchdown of the game on a 21-yard run with nine minutes left to put away the game for the Macks.

According to Hillary, the sophomore is a key to the team’s success, “we relied on (Fields) a lot, it’s amazing he’s only a sophomore. Very proud of the way he played today and also proud of the way our offensive line paved the way for him” said Hillary.

Friday’s game is also McKinley’s sixth straight win, after starting the season 0-2.

“They’re a really good team, we had some chances that we didn’t take advantage of”, said Williamsville South Head Coach Kraig Kurzanski, “I’m proud of our guys.”

McKinley advances on to the Section VI semi-finals. The Macks will travel to Starpoint next week to take on the Spartans. Starpoint is the number one seed from Class A North who defeated West Seneca East 25-7 in their quarterfinal game on Friday night.

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