The scoreboard at Canisius High's Robert J. Stransky Memorial Athletic Complex read this way: Aquinas 14, Canisius 7.
Canisius coach Brandon Harris looked at it this way:
"We feel like we were the better team, and from the way they ran out and stormed the field, they knew they got away with it," Harris said. "We could have gone up on them but we left the opportunities out there. We are a good football team. These kids are the real deal. We just made too many mistakes. I guess they took advantage of us not taking advantage of the opportunities we had."
Canisius had several potential scoring chances against the Little Irish (5-0), who are the defending Class A state champions and are ranked first in the state in Class A. The Crusaders (2-2) had first-and-goal at the 5 that failed in the final seconds after a run, a spike to stop the clock and two incompletions.
"Our defense played great," said Harris. "We took them out of what they like to do, and it gave us an opportunity to do some things but we just didn't get it done. It was a real bad time on offense. We drove up and down the field but we just couldn't punch it in. We had it five times inside what we call the 'green zone.' We're disappointed."
Canisius senior quarterback Sean Brady, who battled illness throughout the game after taking an SAT exam Saturday morning, was 12 of 19 for 179 yards and no interceptions. He hit Jimmy Gaines for a 4-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Aquinas tied it by halftime and took the lead on a 50-yard Casey Vogl run in the third quarter.
Ricky Pringle carried 18 times for 151 yards while Anthony Fulham had five catches for 101 yards. The Crusaders defense was led by Andrew Zdrojewski (two sacks), Rick Fickhesen (10 tackles) and Derek Brin (five tackles). Canisius hosts St. Francis next Saturday.
V-Kearney 48, Cardinal O'Hara 12: Shaquille Dudley ran nine times for 97 yards and threw a TD pass while freshman Anthony Tate had seven tackles for the Hawks (2-3).
North Tonawanda 55, Niagara-Wheatfield 21: The Lumberjacks completed the AA North season a perfect 5-0 behind Aaron Davis and Brandon McClinsey. Davis ran for three touchdowns during an eight-carry, 40-yard day and also had a 43-yard interception return while McClinsey carried seven times for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Niagara-Wheatfield is 1-4, 1-3 in league play.
Lockport 38, Williamsville North 14: David Fluellen racked up 310 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries while Brynell Middleton had two interceptions for the Lions (3-1, 3-2), who will play Kenmore West next week for second place in Class AA North. Glen Gronkowski had both of North's touchdowns on a 21-yard touchdown catch and a 20-yard interception return.
Kenmore West 29, Niagara Falls 16: Damour Bailey (11 carries, 114 yards, one touchdown) and Tim Hersey (17 carries, 96 yards, one touchdown) helped the Blue Devils improve to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in Class AA North; Falls is 1-3 in both.
Sweet Home 42, Starpoint 14: Casey Kacz completed 7 of 11 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score as the Panthers (5-0, 4-0) clinched home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs and at least a tie of the Class A North title. Deshanaro Morris ran 12 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns as Sweet Home raced to a 35-7 halftime lead over the Spartans (2-3, 2-2).
Amherst 26, Hamburg 7: Bert Smith ran for three touchdowns and 240 yards on 25 carries, added 30 yards receiving and had 10 tackles on defense as the Tigers owned the second half, 19-0, to clinch a playoff spot. Robert Flint had 12 tackles and Alex Dennis had 10 for Amherst, which is 2-2 in Class A South with one league game remaining. Kevin Ford had an interception and Tyler Winfield had a sack as well as a forced fumble, which was recovered by Pharoah Gayles. Hamburg is 1-4 overall and 1-3 in league play.
Kenmore East 21, Williamsville East 14: Mike Doherty amassed 135 yards on the ground and 96 yards in the air as the Bulldogs won their first game of the season in a matchup of the bottom two teams in Class A North. Doherty ran 23 times -- including touchdowns of 1 and 33 yards -- and caught six passes from Jon Anthony Wiltberger (12 for 21, 162 yards). Williamsville East (1-4, 0-4) has lost four straight.
Springville 32, Eden 0: After dropping their first three games, the Griffins have outscored their opposition, 53-0. Brett Connors had two interceptions -- one of which set up a touchdown -- and also caught a touchdown pass from Chris Wolfley. Four different ball carriers scored for Springville (2-3, 2-2): Chase Jackson, Bubba Gernatt, Cam Trinkle and Kevin Lutz.
Clymer 33, Forestville 0: The Pirates ran, passed and played tremendous defense to win a battle of unbeatens. Nick Heil ran for 139 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries while Andy Bemis ran for 131 yards and two long touchdowns (65 and 52 yards) on nine carries.
Riverside 36, Lafayette 0: Junior David Drayton, in his second week starting at quarterback, completed 6 of 13 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns while also running for a score as the Frontiers built a 28-0 halftime lead. Donnie Bender had three catches for 58 yards, including two touchdowns for Riverside (4-1, 4-0). Terrell Bolden (71 yards) and Troy Williams (41 yards, touchdown) each ran eight times.
Hutch-Tech 14, Burgard 12: Parrish Fitzgerald ran 14 times for 105 yards and also had a fumble recovery for the Engineers (4-1, 4-1), who held on by stopping the Bulldogs eight times inside the Hutch-Tech 15 in the final two minutes. Mark Horne completed 7 of 13 passes for 130 yards, hitting Justin Hawkins on three passes for 72 yards. Breon Daniels completed 12 of 20 passes for 320 yards and had two touchdown passes. Burgard is 1-3, 0-3.
Bennett 12, South Park 8: Charles Jefferson's second long touchdown of the game, a 64-yard connection with Daniel Andrews early in the fourth quarter, made the difference as the Tigers (2-1, 2-1) foiled the Sparks' hopes for their first win. A fumble recovery by Darryl Abrams set up Jefferson's 25-yard pass to Cornelius Jones.
On the Web
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