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Lewis’ record-breaking day powers St. Mary’s to Division B title

Christian Lewis knew his name could go down in the history books entering the MMHSAA Division B title game against Bishop Timon. It took him nearly all game, but on the Lancers’ final offensive play, he broke a record while putting the exclamation point on a dominant St. Mary’s performance. Lewis broke the MMHSAA single season rushing yards record as the Lancers shutout Timon, 52-0, in route to their second straight Monsignor Martin Division B title on Friday night at Depew High School. “I’m super proud,” St. Mary’s head coach Matt Ard said. “We hadn’t won in 16 years last year, and for these guys to come back and put the work in, it’s great … It feels great.” The record-breaking play for Lewis came with just over a minute to play, as he broke a run to the outside and scampered 17 yards into the endzone. The late score gave him just enough yardage to break former St. Francis running back Akeel Lynch’s record from 2011 that stood at 2,136 yards.

Christian Lewis of @Football_SMH breaks the @MonsignorMartin single-season rushing record on this TD late in the 4th quarter St. Mary’s beat Bishop Timon 52-0 to win the MMAA Class B Championship @SMHAthletics @stmaryslancers pic.twitter.com/VscHc57ij3 — WNY Athletics (@WNYAthletics) November 13, 2021

Lewis finished the day with close to 250 yards and three scores. “This was a big accomplishment,” Lewis said. “My line played phenomenal this season, I couldn’t have done it without them. I had a great quarterback throwing the ball, getting me open for runs. I love everyone on this team. We all did this record, I didn’t just do it, we all did it.” After a sloppy first quarter that saw the Lancers turn the ball over twice deep in Lancer territory, the game remained scoreless entering the second quarter. Needing a spark, it was provided through Marcus Johnson just over two minutes into the stanza, as the sophomore burst through the line of scrimmage and a Timon punt to block the kick. The ball rolled out of the back of the endzone for a Lancer safety to make it 2-0, and St. Mary’s didn’t look back. “I think the blocked punt was the catalyst to get us going,” Ard said. “I told the guys all week that this Timon team was going to be ready to go and we did not match their intensity in the first quarter, so the blocked punt got that going for us. To block that punt and score the next drive, it put us in a much better place.” The scoreless first quarter and turnovers forced by the underdog Tigers put St. Mary’s against it early, but they just couldn’t keep up in the end. “I got kids who came out and fought as hard as they possibly could,” Timon head coach Matt Weiser said. “They held a really good offense for a long time … These kids have the biggest hearts you could ask for, they’re incredible.” St. Mary’s quarterback Jayden Wilson connected with Johnson on a 16-yard strike for the Lancers’ first touchdown of the day, and Wilson wasn’t done there, as the senior would score on a lengthy scramble of 50 yards, making multiple men miss in the backfield, to extend the Lancer lead to 16-0 at halftime. A 33-yard Wilson scramble, Lewis’ two other scores (seven and four yards, respectively), and a defensive score that saw Johnson recover a Shalion Scott forced fumble in the endzone contributed to the St. Mary’s onslaught in the second half. The 52-0 score line marked the Lancers’ fifth straight shutout and sixth of the season, and Ard had nothing but passionate things to say about his defense. “I got a lot of dogs on that side of the ball,” he said. “They go after the football and like to hit people. We’re a very physical football team … Our D-Line is able to control the line of scrimmage so often which helps us in coverage.”

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