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NYSCHSAA football final at a glance: St. Francis vs. Stepinac

Who: St. Francis Red Raiders-MMHSAA (5-6) a Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders-NYCHSFL (7-4)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: Archbishop Stepinac, White Plains.

Coaches: Jerry Smith, St. Francis, 30th season (161-136-4); Mike O’Donnell, 31st season (212-140-1).

In state final: St. Francis lost in its only appearance in 2015 to Stepinac, 42-28. Stepinac is 2-1, defeating Canisius, 49-28, in 2017 and St. Francis in 2015. The Crusaders lost, 23-10, to Canisius in 2014.

St. Francis key players and stats: So. QB Jake Ritts (209-334-3,089-35 TDs; 6 rush TDs), Jr. RB Xzavier Janczylik (97-681-7 TDs; 35-535-8 receiving), Sr. WR/LB Dominik Thomas 52-934-14 TDs; 66 tackles), So. WR Noah Kunzman (39-431-3 TDs), Sr. LB Dawson Tyger (77 tackles), Sr. CB Dan Browning (66 tackles, 4 INTs).

Stepinac key players and stats: Jr. QB Joey Carino (127-222-2,050-22 TDs passing; 77-324-4 TDs rushing), Sr. RB Malik Grant (146-1,366-9 TDs rushing), Sr. Shawn Harris Jr. (56-1,151-11 TDs receiving), Sr. LB Kevin Gray (127 tackles, 4.0 TFL), Jr. LB Kevin McKenna (113 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 9 sacks), Sr. DE Dougie Simmons (11 sacks, 15 hurries).

How they got here: The Red Raiders defeated Canisius, 20-16, in the Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association championship to earn the spot in the final.

Stepinac defeated Cardinal Hayes, 29-18, to win the NYCHSFL Class AAA title and earn the right to represent its diocese/league in the state final.

Pre-snap read: Stepinac doesn’t have the wealth of talent it had last season but still has plenty of playmakers that St. Francis must account for in 1,000-yard rusher Malik Grant and 1,000-yard receiver Shawn Harris. Stepinac has three Division I-caliber linemen who weigh more than 300 pounds. St. Francis is going to have to gang tackle, win the time of possession battle and put up points if it wants the long bus ride home to go by that much faster.

What’s next: Season’s over.

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