Give Naaman Roosevelt an inch and he'll take a mile, whether he's using his arm or his legs.
The St. Joe's junior quarterback threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as his Marauders defeated archrival Canisius, 21-6, Saturday in a Monsignor Martin League AA battle before about 3,000 at St. Joe's.
Roosevelt fired a 64-yard scoring bomb to John Greer on the first play from scrimmage, then baffled the Crusaders' defenders with a bevy of time-killing scampers as the Marauders were burning the clock in the second half.
"That felt good right off," said Roosevelt, who rushed 12 times for 74 yards and went 4 of 10 through the air for 127 yards. "We faked to the running back, that made the safety come up, so (Greer) was just wide open."
The Marauders never looked back in taking a 40-25-3 lead in the series, which began in 1921.
"We said to expect something on the first play of the game," said Canisius coach Joe Bremer, whose team wasted a superb effort by Russ Rizzuto, who carried 22 times for 203 yards -- including 121 in the first quarter -- and a score out of the single wing.
"We expected some trick play, maybe, but they came out and threw," Bremer said. "It wasn't like we weren't expecting it, but they did catch us flat-footed."
Roosevelt hit Luke DeLuca for a 26-yard scoring strike and the Marauders led, 13-0, just 4 1/2 minutes into the game. Roosevelt set up that score with a 16-yard punt return, then a 14-yard run.
"I think Naaman is the best quarterback in Western New York," said coach Bob O'Connor, whose Marauders (6-2, 2-1) will host Timon/St. Jude at 2 p.m. Saturday in a MMA semifinal.
Canisius got within 13-6 on Rizzuto's 24-yard TD scamper with 1:02 left in the first quarter.
Roosevelt's scintillating 9-yard touchdown bolt midway through the third quarter capped the scoring. He was pressured attempting to pass, rolled right, then turned the corner into the end zone.
"I've seen the look on (defenders') faces when he's put a move on them and it's just a look of sheer disbelief," St. Joe's end Chris Koller said of Roosevelt. "They don't know how he's done it. It's really amazing."
Both teams squandered scoring chances. Canisius (4-4, 0-3), which plays at St. Francis next, lost two fumbles in St. Joe's territory and had a potential fourth-quarter TD pass negated when receiver Matt McCauley was ruled out of bounds in the end zone. St. Joe's missed a field goal and had a potential second-quarter TD pass called back because of a penalty.