Countdown to Friday Night Lights / Msgr. Martin Assn. - The Buffalo News
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Countdown to Friday Night Lights / Msgr. Martin Assn.

Who’s who: The six-team league consists of the Bishop Timon-St. Jude Tigers, Canisius Crusaders, Cardinal O’Hara Hawks, St. Francis Red Raiders, St. Joe’s Marauders and St. Mary’s Lancers. The Nichols Vikings compete as an independent.

This year’s alignment shift: No changes.

Last year’s champion: Canisius lost extremely close games in Week Two at Aquinas (3-0) and in Week Seven at Cardinal Mooney (9-7), but roared to the title with a 41-7 rout of rival St. Joe’s at Ralph Wilson Stadium during which Qadree Ollison (now a freshman at Pitt) ran 20 times for 240 yards and five touchdowns. The Crusaders finished in a tie with Jamestown for the No. 1 position in The News large school poll.

Last year’s records: Canisius 9-2, 5-0; St. Joe’s 7-4, 4-1; St. Francis 5-6, 4-1; St. Mary’s 4-4, 1-3; Bishop Timon-St. Jude 3-7, 1-4; Cardinal O’Hara 1-7-1, 0-4. Nichols was 2-5.

2013 All-Western New York underclassmen: Canisius DL TJ Wheatley-11 (first team), Canisius LB Brad Zaffram-11 (first team), Canisius DB Josh Huffman-11 (second team), Canisius K Michael Tarbutt-11 (honorable mention), St. Joe’s WR Justin Jones-10 (HM), Timon-St. Jude DB Derick Simpson-11 (HM).

2013 all-league first-team underclassmen: St. Mary’s QB Justin Hersey-11, Cardinal O’Hara OL Tyler Jansen-11, St. Joe’s OL Austin Greenwood-10, St. Joe’s DB Justin Jones-10, Canisius K Michael Tarbutt-11, Canisius P Terius Wheatley-10, Canisius DL TJ Wheatley-11, Canisius LB Brad Zaffram-11, Canisius DB Josh Huffman-11, St. Francis DB Francisco Guzman-11, St. Francis DL Charbel Dabire-11.

Week One must-see games: They are all nonleaguers, and the tough schedules played by league members start right away as St. Joe’s heads to Long Island power St. Anthony’s and Timon is at defending Class AA state champion Aquinas. On Saturday, there are three local 1 p.m. games that are familiar matchups: Holy Trinity (L.I.) at St. Francis, Rochester’s McQuaid at Canisius and Nichols at O’Hara; St. Mary’s opens at Rochester’s University Prep.

Scrimmage Saturday: Saturday was the first day teams could scrimmage other schools. See a photo gallery and video at

At Go to the high school home page to watch exclusive video of South Park coach Tim Delaney’s initial address to his team and look over the entire 2014 week-by-week schedule. The PrepTalkTV and live chat schedule will be released soon.

The countdown concludes: This is the final installment of the countdown. You can review this and the other five editions (Section VI’s Class AA, A, B, C and D) at the high school sports home page at

Season preview coming Thursday: Our 12-page annual preview issue will have capsules and schedules for all 74 teams in Western New York, along with feature stories, photos, a must-see cover and everything else one needs to know about the 2014 season.

Attention coaches & ADs: As soon as they are determined, Section VI coaches need to send a roster – in spreadsheet form – to Monsignor Martin coaches should email rosters to

#PrepTalkLive at Every weekend, the place to monitor all of the Friday night and Saturday afternoon action is and the Prep Talk blog. We will have video reports, photos, live updates from several top games and you will again be a part of the team via Twitter: Tweet game updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag and those will appear in our live blog.

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