The Lumberjacks got out of the gates slowly, as visiting St. Francis cruised to an easy win in a much-anticipated matchup between public and private schools.
Red Raiders quarterback Delano Fabor had four touchdowns (one rushing, three passing) as St. Francis scored 35 points in the second quarter to take control.
Quarterback Keith Bogdan threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Davis and running back Adam Kibat scored on a rush from 17 yards out to account for NT’s points.
Clarence 23, NT 20
The Lumberjacks started a season 0-2 for the first time since 1998 with the loss to the host Red Devils. Clarence scored the go-ahead touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, as quarterback Joshua James hit Greg Stevens with a 26-yard strike.
Davis opened the scoring for the Lumberjacks on a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown, while Bogdan crossed the goal line on a 1-yard quarterback sneak and running back Ryan Hawkins added a 52-yard touchdown run.
NT 55, Niagara-Wheatfield 21
Things got headed in the right direction with the start of play in Class AA North. The host Lumberjacks avenged a 2006 home loss to the Falcons by putting up a ridiculous 627 yards rushing in a dominant performance.
Fullback Jeff Zellner finished with more than 230 yards on only 18 carries. He also scored three touchdowns. Hawkins also added three touchdowns, while reserve running back Mark Christopher rushed for more than 130 yards on just five carries and got his first touchdown of the season.
NT 24, Niagara Falls 6
At Sal Maglie Stadium, Bogdan opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run before Zellner continued his hot streak, scoring two more touchdowns. Bogdan also added a 32-yard field goal as NT evened its record on the season and stayed unbeaten in league play.
“They were big up front and we thought their defensive line was their strength and that held to be true, but we stuck together and did a good job,” NT coach Eric Jantzi said after the win.
NT 48, Williamsville North 0
Turning in what Jantzi called the team’s “most complete performance,” host NT improved to 3-0 in Class AA North by dominating all three phases of the game. The Lumberjacks rolled up 302 rushing yards and scored in every quarter on its way to its first shutout of the season.
Kibat finished the night with three carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Hawkins added six rushes for 42 yards and a TD, while sophomore Steve Kijowski, in his most extensive action of the season on offense, had seven carries for 45 yards and a TD.
NT 35, Kenmore West 0
The showdown between Class AA North unbeatens was dominated by the visiting Lumberjacks, who came away with their second straight shutout.
For the second time in 2007, the Lumberjacks rushed for more than 500 yards, led by 197 yards and four touchdowns from Bogdan. With a fourth-and-goal from the NT 2-yard line, Blue Devils running back Warren Hemphill was stacked up a foot short of the end zone. NT then went on a 99-yard scoring drive, making it 21-0 and turning the momentum squarely in favor of the Lumberjacks.
NT 41, Lockport 13
Bogdan finished off an impressive league campaign with 15 carries for 71 yards and two touchdowns. He also went 2-of-3 passing for 61 yards and a TD to Davis as the Lumberjacks completed their undefeated run through Class AA North, winning the league title for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
Also for NT (5-2 overall, 5-0 Class AA North), Zellner finished with 107 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown, while Hawkins gained 62 yards on seven carries and scored twice. Defensively, Kijowski had nine tackles, including five for losses.