For the second week in a row, Canisius found itself in a fight to the finish. And for the second week in a row, the Crusaders found a way to extend their winning streak against a quality opponent.
Canisius has reason to feel good about itself after knocking off DePaul Catholic of New Jersey, 17-14, before an estimated 3,000 at the Stransky Complex.
Senior quarterback Tyler Stranahan passed for 181 yards and one touchdown in guiding a Crusaders offense that managed to win without a running game. The News’ No. 1 Large School and state’s top Class AA team took down a team with 10 Division I prospects, including Ohio State-commit running back Kareem Walker and did so by playing a more disciplined game than a Spartans team that doesn’t exactly play a cupcake schedule.
Among the foes on DePaul’s docket, national No. 7 St. Joseph’s (Montvale, N.J.) and Good Counsel, which is ranked third in Maryland. The Spartans also play nationally ranked Bergen Catholic on ESPNU on Oct. 9.
"This win lets them know inside in our hearts and as a team that we can do anything we put our minds to," said senior Justin Jones, one of few returning starters from last season on the importance of earning this signature win.
Player of the game: Stranahan, who guided a one-dimensional offense to victory. He withstood pressure to make big throws. He absorbed hard hits and still found ways to make plays with his arm and legs. Coach Rich Robbins called it the best performance by a Canisius quarterback during his tenure with the program.
Play of the game: Stranahan’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jones on Canisius’ first offensive play. Gave Crusaders momentum and reason to believe.
Filling the void: Canisius didn't run much or gain much on the ground with top running back Cole Burniston sidelined by injury. RaeQwon Greer did rush for a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter to help the Crusaders take a two touchdown lead -- providing yet another jolt of confidence in the team.
Stats: DePaul finished with 226 yards in offense but Kareem Walker, the top-rated running back prospect and Ohio State-commit, only rushed for 75 yards on 12 carries. That's roughly around his yards per carry average for the season. Considering he came into the game with more than 3,400 career rushing yards and with impressive credentials, Canisius did a decent job containing the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder. His two longest runs came in the second half (23 and 19 yards) when DePaul trailed 17-0. Stranahan was the offense for Canisius, which finished with just 3 yards rushing.
Quotable: “Everybody thought we were going to lose. We came out here and defended our house and showed them we are the best team,” said linebacker Colby Moultrie, who sacked Shelton Applewhite on DePaul's penultimate play of the game, setting up a fourth-and-very-long play the Crusaders knocked down.
Hi, my name is: Future Ohio State teammates Blake Haubeil of Canisius and Walker of DePaul didn't talk too much but did exchange pleasantries during the hand-shake line after the game.
“I said I’ll see you at Ohio State," said Haubeil, a junior who is a year behind Walker. "He was pretty excited to see me. Other than exchanging a little conversation (we didn’t talk) too much.”
Halftime stats: Canisius 133 yards, DePaul 92. Canisius 141 yards passing.
Records: Canisius is 4-0, DePaul falls to 1-3.
Next: Canisius visits St. Francis at 7 p.m. Friday. At the same time, DePaul hosts Bergen Catholic in a battle between New Jersey powers.
Chow report: The pizza was delicious as was the hotdog, but not as good as Friday's meal at Depew. Grade: A.