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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Canisius Picks Up First Win of the Season Against Unbeaten Maritime/Health Sciences

For all intents and purposes, the 2019 season wasn’t supposed to start this way. Entering week four of the regular season the perennial powerhouse Canisius Crusaders found themselves with an 0-3 record while the upstart Maritime/Health Sciences Falcons were looking pretty at 3-0.

So entering Saturday’s non-league matchup between the two, it would make sense to expect a close, hard-fought battle between the schools. But that wasn’t to be as Canisius dominated in all facets of the game, beating Maritime/Health Sciences 40-0 for its first win of the season.

For the Falcons, the 40 points allowed were nine more than the team had given up through the first three weeks combined.

“I told the guys we can’t walk around like we’ve done something because we’re 3-0,” Maritime head coach Ty Parker said. “That’s one more win than we had last year.

“Canisius was going to come out there with a chip on their shoulder. It’s is a very, very well-coached program. They’ve been for years.”

One week after a disappointing outing against rival St. Joe’s, the Crusaders were determined to not let mistakes cost them another victory. In fact, it was Canisius forcing mistakes that ensured their victory over the previously unbeaten Falcons.

“We kept it pretty simple and we just wanted to play really fast,” Canisius head coach Rich Robbins said of his team controlling the play. “We wanted our kids to be really confident in what they saw; we knew kind of formation wise and play wise what was coming from the film.”

The scoring started early thanks to a 24-yard scamper on a screen by running back Joseph Dixon less than a minute into the game. The Crusaders followed that up by forcing a fumble on the Falcons first possession of the game which led to another quick score on a 4th and 26.

After forcing another turnover late in the first half, Quarterback Tyler Baker would add his third touchdown pass of the day when he found Wisken Whited for a 31-yard strike.

Baker finished with four touchdown passes on the afternoon before being relieved by backup James Vogel. Dixon finished with three scores – two rushing, one receiving — while receiver Nik McMillan also joined in on the action with two touchdowns of his own.

“All week we scouted them and watched a lot of film on what they would show,” Baker said. “We had a great gameplan coming in, and we felt we knew what to do [the whole game].”

Defensively, it was a swarming Crusaders back seven that caused headaches all day for a Falcons offense that just couldn’t find an answer. In addition to stopping them three times on fourth down, Canisius forced six fumbles and added an interception.

“Coach Taylor, all this week, wanted turnovers, turnovers, turnovers,” Dixon, who also plays safety for the Crusaders, said. “We knew it would help us win the same, so that’s what happened. That’s what we did.”

Baker added that the defense couldn’t have been more impressive than what they were during the game.

For the Falcons, the game is being used as a learning experience for a still-developing program.

“I got to do a better job of having my guys ready,” Parker said. “Players win games, coaches lose them. So I got to do a better job at getting my guys prepared for the big games.”

Maritime won’t have much time to dwell on this one as they have a big Class B matchup next Friday against Medina. For Canisius, it’s a non-league contest against visiting Erie High School from Erie, Pennsylvania.

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