Canisius Crusaders (5-5)
Coach: Rich Robbins, ninth season.
Home field: Stransky Complex.
Program founded: 1913.
Outlook: The Crusaders figure to run behind a strong line anchored by senior and returning All-Catholic Donovan Cornelius. Nigel Dabney and Joe Dixon are among a host of running backs who look to explode through the holes the line opens. Dixon is a junior who transferred from Niagara Falls. Linebacker C.J. Ozolins leads the defense and can squat more than 500 pounds. Canisius, which has won five league and two state playoff titles since 2012, also has height and speed at receiver.
Sept. 6 at Euclid (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at McDowell (Pa.), 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 St. Joe’s, 1 p.m.
Sept. 28 WNY Maritime/Health Sciences, 1 p.m.
Oct. 5 Erie (Pa.) 1 p.m.
Oct. 12 Cathedral Prep (Pa.), 1 p.m.
Oct. 19 Timon-St. Jude, 1 p.m.
Oct. 25 at St. Francis, 7 p.m.
Nov. 2 at Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.
St. Francis Red Raiders (5-7)
Coach: Jerry Smith, 31st season.
Home field: Polian Family Field.
Program founded: 1947.
Outlook: Call it an unusual championship formula, as the Red Raiders celebrated their third league postseason title since 2011 by overcoming a 2-6 start. Junior quarterback Jake Ritts broke school and Western New York records for passing yards (3,369) and TDs (36). He has nice throwing options in Mark Arrizza and Antonio Corsi. Running back Xzavier Janczylik also can catch the ball out of the backfield. Division I recruit Eric Schon anchors a line that includes junior 325-pounder Zach Jaworski.
Sept. 6 at Erie (Pa.), 7 p.m.
Sept. 13 at Steubenville (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 Walsh Jesuit (Ohio), 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 Mentor Lake Catholic, 2 p.m.
Oct. 5 St. Joe’s, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11 at Dover, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 St. Mary’s, 1 p.m.
Oct. 25 Canisius, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1 at Timon-St. Jude, 7 p.m.
St. Joe’s Marauders (5-5)
Coach: Derek Landri, fourth season.
Home field: Robert T. Scott Complex.
Program founded: 1897.
Outlook: The Marauders return nine starters and add a key transfer as they look to overcome the graduation losses of Division I linemen Tyler Doty and Cole Gambino. Quarterback Callum Wither, a 6-3 transfer from Canada’s Clarkson North, is a sophomore with three Division I offers (UB, Bowling Green and Kent State). Last year’s starting QB, Micah Brown, who was named All-Catholic and is fast and elusive, is likely to shift to receiver. Other key returnees include seniors Vinny Lomeo (S/WR), Sam Kline (WR/OLB), Jason Walker (DE) and Sam Murphy (MLB). Derek Landri said he moved some pieces around on the line and is very excited with the outcome. Sophomore Jimmy Scott returns for his second season at running back.
Sept. 7 McDowell, 1 p.m.
Sept. 14 Bennett, 1 p.m.
Sept. 21 at Canisius, 1 p.m.
Sept. 27 LaSalle, 5 p.m.
Oct. 5: at St. Francis, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: at Erie, 7 p.m.
Oct. 19: Cardinal O’Hara, 1 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Chaminade (Ont.), 1 p.m.
Nov. 2 St. Mary’s, 1 p.m.