A thing of beauty it was not. But the Canisius High School football team will sure take the end result.
The Crusaders overcame a barrage of penalties and missed opportunities and pulled away from arch-rival St. Joe’s for a 27-6 victory on Saturday afternoon in Monsignor Martin Athletic Association action at the Robert T. Scott Sports Complex in Kenmore..
“It’s always nice to come to your rival’s territory and beat them, Canisius senior RaeQwon Greer said.”We just had to keep our head up and get it done.”
The Crusaders did just that in the second half. In the first half, the Crusaders committed nine penalties – including a pair of holding penalties that wiped out two long rushing touchdowns and a personal foul at the St. Joe’s 1-yard line on a drive that ended in a field goal.
Field goals of 38 and 33 for the Crusaders by Ohio State-bound Blake Haubeil provided all the offense as Canisius took a 6-0 lead into the locker room.
“We were a little slow in the first half so we just had to come back and show them what we can do,” Canisius running back Kenyatta Huston said. “We’re on a higher pedestal than everyone; we just have to show what we can do.”
The Crusaders finally found the end zone – without a flag – after a special teams miscue by the Marauders. A Haubeil punt was muffed and recovered by Huston, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run for Greer.
St. Joe’s had an answer as sophomore quarterback Casey Kelly went 53 yards around the left side of the line for a touchdown but Huston took over from there.
The junior speedster broke runs of 80 and 53 yards for touchdowns – his seventh and eighth of the season – to put the game away.
“I know I have a great line and great receivers out there blocking for me,” Huston said. “I was able to use my speed and get away.”
Huston finished the day with 151 yards to lead a committee approach for the Crusaders (7-0, 3-0 MMAA). Greer added 54 yards and quarterback Jayce Johnson ran for 30 yards and passed for 91.
The win was the seventh straight in the rivalry game for Canisius, which hasn’t lost to St. Joe’s since the classic 2011 MMA semifinal game when current Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly threw a last-minute touchdown pass and two-point conversion for a 48-47 win.
Casey Kelly led the Marauders (2-5 overall, 2-2 MMAA) on Saturday with 72 yards rushing and 52 yards passing. Jaden Lofton added another 40 yards for St. Joe’s.
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