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State Catholic football final set for Sunday at Fordham

The New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association championship football game between Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association champion Canisius and New York City champ Cardinal Hayes will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at Fordham University.

It'll be the third season the downstate and upstate Catholic league champions will meet for the NYSCHSAA crown.

Canisius (9-2) has won its last two games -- including the MMHSAA final over St. Francis on Nov. 17, after dropping a seven-point decision at Bishop Timon-St. Jude and a four-point verdict at Cathedral Prep in Erie, Pa. -- by far the closest any of the MMHSAA teams played the Pennsylvania power this season.

Hayes (8-4) has won eight of its last nine games, ending defending state Catholic champion Archbishop Stepinac's title reign with a 41-39 triumph on Nov. 19. In fact, the Cardinals defeated teams they lost to during the regular season during their postsseason run.

Cardinal Hayes, which is in the Bronx, beat Mount St. Michael, 43-24, last Thursday during the teams' annual rivalry game, which is part of the Thanksgiving Day rivalry slate in New York. Stepinac also was part of that schedule which is the reason the state Catholic final, originally scheduled for Nov. 26, had to be moved to this upcoming weekend.

Cardinal Hayes is making its first state Catholic final appearance.

Canisius won the inaugural state Catholic title in 2014 when it defeated Stepinac at Mitchell Field in Uniondale. That game also was played the first Sunday in December due to the November storm that dumped more than 6 feet of snow in parts of the area. That delayed the playing of the MMHSAA final between Canisius and Timon by a week.

Last year's Catholic final, played during the final Saturday in November, took place at Grand Island High School with Stepinac beating St. Francis.

Tickets at the gate on game day are $10.

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