Share this article

print logo

Canisius gives St. Joe's the boot again

Canisius simply had too much Andrew for St. Joe's to cope with Friday night.

Andrew Rogowski booted a 20-yard field goal with 6:55 remaining to put the Crusaders ahead, 17-16, then Andrew Zdrojewski led a spirited defensive effort that kept the Marauders from responding on their final two drives.

When the smoke finally cleared, Canisius had defeated its archrival for the second time in six days, this time before about 3,100 at All High Stadium in the semifinals of the Monsignor Martin Association League AA playoffs.

"It just took forever," Zdrojewski said of the final St. Joe's possession, which was derailed at the Marauders' 44 following three sacks of quarterback Phil Scaffidi. "You see one second after another and you never think the clock is going to run out."

John Magnano's sack on fourth and 15 ended it with an exclamation point and was the ninth sack by the Crusaders, 4 1/2 credited to Zdrojewski.

"Man, it seemed like it took forever," said Canisius first-year head coach Brandon Harris, who, by beating St. Joe's twice in a row, accomplished something the Crusaders -- who trail, 43-27-3, in the series that began in 1921 -- had been unable to pull off since 1976 and '77. "But the bottom line is that our kids found a way to win and that's what champions do."

Rogowski's field goal was set up by Sean Brady's 50-yard strike to Zdrojewski, who caught three passes for 100 yards -- all in the second half.

Rogowski's boot came less than three minutes after Tim Huebsch had nailed a 37-yarder to put St. Joe's up, 16-14.

Scaffidi escaped what looked like it would be another sack, then scrambled 23 yards for a touchdown with 1:02 left in the third quarter. But Huebsch's extra point attempt clanged off the left upright, leaving the Marauders down by one.

"It all comes down to the fact we've been making the same mistakes we've made all year," said coach Bob O'Connor, whose Marauders finished 2-8. "We drop a big touchdown pass, we miss an extra point. That's the kind of stuff that's been a part of us all year long."

Zdrojewski's 32-yard catch down to the St. Joe's 3 set up a scoring run by the Crusaders' Justin Volk that gave Canisius a 14-7 lead. But Zdrojewski fumbled after an 18-yard gain later in the third quarter, setting up St. Joe's for the drive that resulted in Huebsch's field goal.

"Andrew's that kind of kid," said Brady, who went 7 of 19 for 209 yards, including a 71-yard TD pass to Justin Young in the second quarter. "I knew for a fact that once he got back on the field, he'd step it up."

Canisius (6-4), assured its first winning season since 1999, will meet St. Francis (7-3) at 2 p.m. next Saturday in Ralph Wilson Stadium for the title.

e-mail: tborrelli@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment