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Crusaders Preps For Clash With Mooney

The Crusaders are continuing with the simple mantra of being humble, but hungry. “No matter what we do each week we’re humble and we’re hungry for the next week,” said head coach Rich Robbins.

“We’re taking it one game at a time. I know that’s cliché but this is a very good group. Very good senior leadership, Mason Hoose, Cole Burniston and some of our leaders do a good job of keeping us focused and in the now. We know that if we take care of each week’s opponent a lot of those big picture goals will be there for us at the end of the season.”

The Canisius Crusaders, which are 5-0 and the No.1 ranked large school in WNY will face one of their biggest challengers of the year on Saturday when they roll into Youngstown, Ohio to face powerhouse Cardinal Mooney Cardinals.

“It’s great going out of state and knowing that Mooney doesn’t care about our record at all,” said QB/DB Jayce Johnson.

Currently riding the three game winning streak, the explosive Cardinal offense is led by quarterback Antonio Page and running back Jaylen Hewlett, and are coming off of a 42-12 win over Lake Catholic last week.

The Cardinals (4-1) will also likely get an emotional boost from the fact that the school’s 2006 state championship squad will be honored during a halftime ceremony.

“I think last year definitely humbled everybody, knowing that we can be beat and we’re not invincible,” said Johnson.

“So we have to take everything as seriously as we possibly can.”

“The first strength of Mooney is just who they are,” Robbins added. “Cardinal Mooney is a long time championship program. They have a huge pedigree there’s a lot of tradition there. So anytime you play a school like that you’re facing that (level of a legacy). We’re going into play them at Youngstown State University at a big stadium out there. They’re very physical. It’s Ohio football. They’re 4-1 this year, they’ve got a good team. They have a couple guys that have offers from Division I schools. It’ll be a big challenge for us. They’re a big, physical team. They’re defense is always tough. They’re very tough to run the ball against. On offense they present a lot of problems with their size and athleticism.”

While Mooney will certainly present a tough challenge, there is plenty of talent on the Canisius side of the field as they have strong special teams mixed, as well as a balance of talent on offense and defense. Most of all, they have that unselfish mentality that is the crucial ingredient to success in team sports.

“We have a great group this year, with that big team little me mentality,” said Robbins. “It’s not about who scores as long as we score.”

RaeQwon Greer (RB/DB), Kenyatta Huston (RB/DB) and Jeremy Cych (TE/LB) have also been key contributors.

“I think, as far as the team goes, anytime you’re 5-0 you’re playing well and doing some good things,” said Robbins.

“So as a team we’ve accomplished our goal to this point. I know individually guys are still finding it a little bit and working towards their potential so we’ve always got work to do as we continue to get better and these next four weeks will certainly be a good test for us.”

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