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Saturday's intriguing football games

-- Cathedral Prep Ramblers (9-0) at Canisius Crusaders (6-2), 1 p.m. Saturday at Stransky Complex in West Seneca. This is just Canisius' second home game of the season and it's the ninth week of the season.

The contest is perhaps the most interesting one on a light Saturday docket (including Section VI playoffs). It's a clash of state champions with each side having big-time future Division I recruits suiting up for this one.

The Ramblers of Erie, Pa., bring a 14-game winning streak into this contest as they won the state title last season with a flawless record. They have several impact players back from that team including Notre Dame-commit Matt Bauer. The middle linebacker leads Prep in tackles (63), tackles for losses (15.0) and sacks (6.5). Two-way tackle Fredrick Scruggs, an all-state selection in Pennsylvania, is committed to Penn State. Quarterback Joe Mischler has started since his sophomore season and is committed to Ohio. This season, he has completed nearly 68 percent of his passes for 2,372 yards, 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Canisius' big-play offense has been led by senior quarterback Jayce Johnson, who has passed for 1,159 yards and rushed for 404. Eleven of his 20 touchdowns have come through the air. His favorite targets have been Rutgers-commit Paul Woods (14.9 yards per catch, six touchdowns) and senior classmate R.J. Brandon (18.7 yards per catch, three TDs), who has an offer from Dartmouth. Joe Jamison and Joel Nicholas have filled in quite well at running back for injured starter Kenyatta Huston and will get the bulk of the work Saturday. Both average more than 8.0 yards per carry and have combined for 16 TDs.

This will be the third year in a row these teams have faced each other with Cathedral Prep winning the first two 21-17 and 28-24. This will be a challenging game for the Crusaders, but their nonleague schedule is filled with tough opponents with the goal to get them prepared for the postseason.

In the 2015 meeting, Prep returned an interception and kickoff for touchdowns. Last year, the Ramblers struck for two long TDs.

The key for both teams will be limited each's big-play ability and protecting the football.

Canisius has a turnover ratio of minus-4 in its two losses this season.

In other key games Saturday:

-- Maryvale Flyers (7-1) at Lackawanna Steelers (7-1), 1 p.m. Veterans Stadium. A good football team will walk off the field disappointed after this Class B semifinal whose winner advances to the Section VI championship game at New Era Field.

Lackawanna has pitched three straight shutouts as a lean, mean defense led by Jakwon Ingram and Khalil Horton have caused teams problems throughout the season. Both also are tough powerful runners, with Horton – a third-year starter getting the bulk of the carries. Maryvale is trying to get to a final for the first time since 2006, when it lost to Lackawanna. Rashad Law is a playmaker on both sides of the ball for the Flyers but not their only one as Dylan Casey, Ray Blackwell and quarterback Connor Desiderio are among the many contributors to their success.

-- Silver Creek/Forestville Black Knights (6-2) at Cleveland Hill Golden Eagles (7-1), 2 p.m. at Carl J. Kuras Field. Defending Class C champion Cleve Hill brings a seven-game winning streak into this contest. Its ground and pound has thrived with Aaron Wahler (1,147 yards, 17 TDs) receiving the bulk of the carries behind a strong offensive line. SC/Forestville also likes to run, which could lead to a battle of wills should this game be played in wet conditions on the natural grass field at Cleve Hill.

#PrepTalkLive

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Review our #PrepTalkLive coverage from Friday night’s action, including photo galleries and a live blog of how the night transpired. Our scoreboard page also has additional details from several games.

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2017 Football Polls

Large schools

Rk. School (Cl.) Record Pts LW

1 Lancaster [7] (AA) 8-0 87 1

2 Canisius [2] 6-2 83 2

3 West Seneca West (A) 8-0 69 3

4 Williamsville North (AA) 8-0 65 4

5 South Park (A) 8-0 56 5

6 West Seneca East (A) 5-3 36 9

7 Iroquois (A) 6-2 32 NR

8 Jamestown (AA) 5-3 17 NR

9 Grand Island (A) 6-2 15 6

10 St. Francis 3-5 13 8

Small Schools

Rk. School (Cl.) Rec Pts LW

1 Cheektowaga [10] (B) 7-1 100 1

2 Maryvale (B) 7-1 88 2

3 Frank/Ellicott(D) 8-0 73 3

4 Cleveland Hill (C) 7-1 68 4

5 Dunkirk (B) 7-1 62 6

6 Lackawanna (B) 7-1 59 5

7 Southwestern (C) 6-2 31 10

8 Maple Grove (D) 7-1 29 9

9 Newfane (B) 6-2 22 8

10 Albion (B) 6-2 11 7

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