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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Canisius Gets Revenge With Rout of St. Francis

The Canisius High School football team still hasn’t gotten over the sting of last season’s Monsignor Martin Athletic Association championship game, a contest that saw the top-ranked Crusaders routed by St. Francis.

Those same Red Raiders came to the Stransky Complex on Saturday – and Canisius was ready for revenge. The Crusaders dominated the highly-anticipated match-up from start to finish and rolled to a 55-13 win to reclaim its perch atop the MMA.

“It’s a great feeling after what they did to us last year,” senior RaeQwon Greer said. “We’ve been thinking about that for nine months and we couldn’t wait to get out here.”

Greer showed how ready he was right from the get-go. He blocked St. Francis’ first punt and recovered it at the Red Raiders’ 5. Two plays later, he ran it into the end zone and the Crusaders were off to the races.

In the championship game last Nov. 19, Canisius also scored first. But St. Francis responded with six unanswered touchdowns in a shocking 42-7 rout at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

This time around, the Crusaders never lost control. Quarterback Jayce Johnson followed with touchdown throws of 44 yards to Cole Burniston and 37 yards to Zeke Margaritis to put the game away early.

“Redemption,” Johnson said. “It was great to come out here and give them a slice of the pie after what they did last year to us.”

Johnson was 5 for 8 with three touchdowns – also finding Paul Woods for an 8-yard score in the third – and finished with 106 yards through the air.

Mason Hoose ran for a second-quarter TD and then the Crusaders turned it into a blowout with three long runs by reserves in the fourth, two by Kenyatta Huston (77 and 52 yards) and another by Dan Harig (75 yards).

Burniston led a dominant performance for the defense with three sacks. The Crusaders also forced five turnovers and improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the MMA.

“It feels really good,” Johnson said. “We’re going to feel good about this but we’ve got to get ready for Alden on Friday.”

That rare Section VI game for the Crusaders will be followed by a trip to Youngstown (Ohio) and a game against power Cardinal Mooney, followed by the annual showdown against St. Joe’s.

Meanwhile, St. Francis fell to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the MMA. Jerry Hickson threw for 235 yards and touchdowns to Retson Daley (5 yards) and Dylan McDuffie (9 yards).

“Today, we came out and we were not at our best by a longshot,” St. Francis coach Jerry Smith said. “We got beat by a way better team.”

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