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Msgr. Martin football changes up league scheduling, playoff format

The Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association has opted to change things up for the coming season following the review of the 2017 season.

The biggest news is that instead of one six-team division, the league will now be split into two divisions featuring three teams each. The A Division consists of Canisius, St. Francis and St. Joe's. The B Division features Bishop Timon-St. Jude, Cardinal O'Hara and St. Mary's of Lancaster.

Each division will have separate playoffs with the division champion receiving a bye into its respective final. However, only the A Division playoff champion will advance to the New York State Catholic High Schools Athletic Association championship game against the New York City Catholic High Schools champion.

Each Monsignor team will play four league games, including division members one-time each. The other two league games will be crossovers against predetermined opponents.

The crossover games are:

— Bishop Timon-St. Jude playing St. Joe’s and St. Francis.

— Cardinal O'Hara facing St. Francis and Canisius.

— St. Mary's meeting Canisius and St. Joe's.

Each team is then responsible for filling out the rest of its respective nine-week schedule with five nonleague games.

Another rule change: The Msgr. Martin plans to adopt a 35-point differential rule for interdivisional games. If a team leads by 35 or more points, the game will be played with a running clock until the differential falls below 35 points.

"League members feel this is in the best interest of our schools at this juncture, and we will continue to work to provide the students of our member schools a quality athletic experience," said Pete Schneider, the executive director of the Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association.

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