BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — In its 51st season, the Connolly Cup will be presented to the most outstanding high school football player in Western New York. Below are the athletes nominated by the selection committee for their Week 4 performances.

Hayden Arrison, Clarence — Made 10 tackles and assisted on another six.

Tyrone Clark, Lackawanna — Rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Amir Douglas, Lackawanna — Accounted for 100 yards with rushing and receiving touchdowns. Made seven tackles and an interception.

Christian Earnst, North Tonawanda — Rushed for 278 yards and scored four touchdowns on 17 carries. 

Kaedon Holcomb, Portville — Ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Had seven tackles, an interception and recovered a fumble.

Noah Irby, Maryvale —Made five tackles and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Ryan Isenberg, Olean —Rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. Made eight tackles.

Elijah Kimble, Canisius —Rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.

Alex Krupa, Lancaster — Completed 19 of 26 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Brandon Liggans, McKinley — Completed 5 of 6 passes for 185 yards. Rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. Also made five tackles.

Keith Miller, Jamestown — Rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. Made eight tackles.

Blake Minsterman, Lancaster — Caught nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Coy Patterson, Akron — Completed 15 of 24 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. Also ran for a touchdown and had 4 tackles.

Hunter Smith, Franklinville/Ellicottville Rushed for 203 yards and four touchdowns on 10 carries.

Ja’Meer Thomas, Bennett — Ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.

Week 4

Carsen Bane, Jamestown — Ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Made 11 tackles with four assists.

Jahkwon Davis, Lockport — Rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns.

Brayden Gibbs, Chautauqua Lake/Westfield/Brocton — Completed 66% of his passes, with three touchdowns.

Dalton Giboo, Pioneer — Accounted for 160 total yards and four touchdowns. Had five tackles and a fumble recovery.

Chris Gill, Lancaster — Gained 177 yards and scored two touchdowns on 22 carries.

Logan Halladay, Pioneer — Accounted for 10 tackles and a forced fumble.

Bryce Hinsdale, CSP — Caught eight passes with two touchdowns. Scored on a 42-yard run.

Tyler Pagano, Depew — Two touchdowns and 156 receiving yards helped lead his team to a late come from behind victory.

Terrence Pendergrass, St. Francis — Rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries. Added three 2-point conversions. Also made eight tackles.

Isaac Towne, Franklinville/Ellicottville — Completed 50% of his passes and threw three touchdowns.

Jameson Walsh, Southwestern — Gained 233 yards and scored three touchdowns on 18 carries. Also had 14 tackles, three sacks and three tackles for loss of yardage.

Landon Welka, St. Francis — He completed 17 of 28 pass attempts for 235 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw three 2-point conversions. He contributed eight tackles on defense.

Noah Willoughby, South Park — Threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. Completed 15 of 28 pass attempts.

Patrick Wind, Clarence — Set school record with 184 receiving yards on nine catches, with three touchdowns. Also added a 2-point conversion.

Julian Woodworth, Medina — Ran for 150 yards and four TDs.

Week 2

Sam Atzrott, Fredonia Gained 171 yards on 18 carries while scoring four touchdowns. Made nine tackles on defense.

Trevor Barry, Iroquois — Rushed for 296 yards and six touchdowns on 26 carries in the first half.

Carter Capozzi, Gowanda/Pine Valley — Completed 12 of 18 passes for 255 yards and six touchdowns.

Antwan Ceasar, Health Sciences — Rushed for 124 yards and four touchdowns on seven carries.

Isaiah Hill, Maryvale — Ran for 190 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Also made four tackles, forced a fumble and had a sack.

E’Ryan Lawrence, Bennett Scored on offense, defense and on special teams. Ran for two touchdowns, returned an interception for a touchdown and returned a punt 70 yards for another score. All in the first half of the game.

Zach Markham, Falconer — Returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Also made 10 tackles.

Gerald McCloud, Bishop Timon He had four receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns. One touchdown came off a short pass that he ran 72 yards to the end zone.

Lucas Sopak, Falconer — Completed 12 of his 14 passes for 172 yards and four touchdowns.

Daquan Stone, Sweet Home Rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.

Cayden Stupak, West Seneca West — Passed for 159 yards and three touchdowns.

Carter Switek, Orchard Park — Rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Made four tackles, two for loss of yardage.

Bryce Tubin, Clarence — Completed 17 of 26 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Also ran for 45 yards and a TD.

Lamont Watkins, Cheektowaga — Rushed for 208 yards and scoring three times on 26 carries, along with a 2-point conversion. Also led the team with seven tackles with one tackle for loss.

Shey Williams, Lockport — Had eight receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Returned a kickoff 75 yards for another TD.

Week 1

Nate Blair, Iroquois — Caught eight passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Also had a sack, two tackles and blocked a punt.

Brandon Carroll, Health Sciences Scored twice while making three receptions for 145 yards. Also accounted for two interceptions and five tackles.

Tate Catanese, CSP Completed 19 of 24 pass attempts for 255 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 52 rushing yards.

Rob Gillette, Lake Shore Accounted for five touchdowns. He completed 12 of 17 pass attempts for 161 yards and three touchdowns. Carrying the ball 27 times he rushed for 139 yards and another two touchdowns.

Michael Hanlon, Dunkirk Ran for 279 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.

Kaedon Holcomb, Portville Gained 155 yards and scored three touchdowns on only four rushing attempts.

Layne Jaworowicz, Alden — Rushed five times for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Also had a touchdown reception.

Marcus Johnson, Williamsville South Gained 299 yards and scored two touchdowns on 13 carries. Made five tackles on defense.

Justus Kleitz, Iroquois Completed 18 of 22 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns

Jeff Long, Clarence Completed 10 of 14 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Also ran for 59 yards and another score. Had an interception and three tackles on defense.

Te’Shaun Mathews, Niagara Wheatfield Rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Recovered a fumble and returned it 45 yards for a third TD. Made 10 tackles with a sack on defense.

Nigel McDuffie, McKinley Rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

James McNeil Jr., Bishop Timon Rushed for two touchdowns on five carries in the first quarter. Also had a 30-yard interception return for a third score.

Brayden Tryon, Maryvale Returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and totaled 178 return yards. Also rushed for 105 yards.

Davion White, Fredonia Completed 10 of 14 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Carried the ball 16 times while gaining 169 yards and a touchdown. Defensively he contributed seven tackles.


Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.