Anyone have the fever for the flavor of a Pringle?
Canisius High School did Saturday afternoon, as the Crusaders relied on a steady diet of big plays from senior running back Ricky Pringle to stuff Jamestown, 28-2, at Canisius' Koessler Field.
An estimated 1,500 attended this rare football matchup between large schools from the Monsignor Martin Association and Section VI. It was the first meeting between Canisius and Jamestown -- both former Western New York powers attempting to recapture past glory.
Pringle made sure the Crusaders secured the 'W' in this matchup of desperate 0-2 teams. He finished with 227 yards from scrimmage, two more than Jamestown amassed as a team, rushing for a 144 yards on 17 carries. The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder scored on runs of 40 and 43 yards and also took a screen pass 63 yards for a TD as Canisius bolted to a 21-0 halftime lead in its home opener.
"He's a difference maker," Canisius coach Brandon Harris said. "We wanted to give him the football and he took advantage of the opportunities out there. You've got to give credit to our offensive line."
"My line said [in practice] that they wanted to get me in the end zone at least three times," Pringle said. "I was just following the horses."
Canisius dominated the line of scrimmage in this penalty-filled game (18 total, 15 against the Crusaders). It opened holes for Pringle, it gave junior quarterback Travis Eman (8 for 14, 189 yards; five carries, 42 yards) time to make plays with his arm and legs, and it thoroughly disrupted the Red Raiders' offense.
The Crusaders finished with five sacks, with Paul Rubino recording two of them. Jimmy Gaines -- who along with left tackle Willie Ruiz made the blocks that sprung Pringle on his TD catch -- finished with a team-high 16 tackles, recorded a sack and forced a fumble as Canisius outgained Jamestown, 381-225.
This was the second of three games between public and Catholic large schools in Western New York this season. St. Joe's opened with a 40-19 win at Niagara Falls, while Bishop Timon visits Williamsville East next Saturday.
"Anytime you can get teams playing together and just letting the kids play that's a great thing," Harris said. "It was a great opportunity for two good teams to match up and hopefully more [games] will happen in the future."
Bret Heath completed 14-of-23 passes for 117 yards for the hard-luck Red Raiders (0-3), while Darin Butts tackled a Canisius receiver in the end zone early in the third quarter to break the shutout.
Jamestown, which hosts Class AA South foe Frontier Friday, has lost all of its games to teams that played for postseason championships last year. The good news for the Red Raiders? Two of the losses were nonleaguers which means the playoff dream lives.
"Our season is going to be made on league play so with four back-to-back games left I feel like the season is young and we have an opportunity to show everyone in our league the talent that we have," Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy said.