Prep Soundly Defeats Buffalo’s Canisius Crusaders
Written by: Keegan Welka on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018
Cathedral Prep went back to back on blowout wins Friday night, defeating the Canisius Crusaders 52-15. Billy Lucas once again had a solid performance on the field, rushing for 189 yards off of 22 attempts. Colin Johnson also had a good game, throwing for 56 yards and also rushed for 82 yards. In addition, Johnson had two 40 yard touchdown runs, further proving his versatility as a dual threat quarterback.
After Canisius won the coin toss, it was decided that Prep would receive possession first. Billy Lucas once again carried the offensive load on the first drive, leading the Ramblers into the red zone with several large rushing gains. Because of the field position provided by Lucas’ rushes, Prep was able to score a touchdown off of a short pass to Michael Lupo for 2 yards. After the extra point, Prep was ahead 7-0 with 6:01 left in the 1st Quarter.
Because of the intense wind blowing against Prep on the kickoff, the Ramblers decided to roll the dice and go for an onside kick. They actually recovered the ball during the play, but a referee threw a late flag and called offsides on Prep. With that, the Crusaders would start the drive at their own 35 yard line. However, they were called for unsportsmanlike conduct and pushed back to the 14 yard line.
After these calls, the Crusaders’ drive was short lived. Canisius had only executed four plays before Prep cornerback Jordan Adams intercepted a tipped pass and returned it into the end zone. Following the pick six and extra point from kicker Colin Kelly, Prep’s lead was increased to 14-0 with 3:50 remaining in the quarter.
The Ramblers continued to hold down the Crusader offense, allowing only one first down on their next drive. Canisius reciprocated, however, and forced a punt following the end of the 1st Quarter.
The back and forth stops continued for both teams, highlighted by Canisius recovering a fumble from Lucas and Skyler Neely intercepting a pass a few plays later, giving back ball possession to Prep.
The interception from Neely energized the Prep offense, with the Ramblers finally scoring a touchdown with 6:35 left in the half. Lucas was again responsible for the six points, crashing his way into the end zone for 4 yards. After the extra point, Prep extended their lead to 21-0.
The Crusaders finally put some points on the board during their next drive. Starting at Prep’s 44 yard line, Canisius had great field position. Quarterback Chris Veilleux rushed for 38 yards on the drive, while also throwing an 8 yard touchdown pass to JT Boyland. On the PAT, the center snapped the ball high, causing kicker Tr Vandenberg to run back and throw the ball in a last ditch effort. And as fate had it, his pass went right into the arms of Canisius player Eric Kegler, resulting in 2 points. With 4:16 left in the 2nd Quarter, the score was 21-8.
Infuriated by the impromptu 2 point conversion from Canisius, Prep put their foot to the gas pedal on offense. On the return, Darius Williams ran to the 48 yard before being hit out of bounds. After his kick return, Lucas ran for 12 yards, followed by quarterback Colin Johnson taking the ball himself for over 40 yards into the end zone. After the extra point and touchdown, Prep racked up 7 more points, making the score 28-8 with 3:27 left in the half.
The Ramblers scored once more before the end of the half. After stopping Canisius from getting a first down, Prep regained possession and made steady progress down the field. But the Crusaders didn’t back down, forcing a kick after sacking Johnson on 3rd and 7. Kelly’s 35
yard kick was good though, and the lead was slightly increased, making it 31-8 with 1:06 remaining in the 2nd Quarter.
After stopping a driving Canisius offense at the end of the half, Prep had momentum coming into the 2nd half. This was made clear after the Rambler defense stopped Canisius once more and instigated a high snap. The snap rolled all the way back onto the Crusader 7 yard line. This was all the field position needed for Prep’s offense, who quickly turned to Lucas to convert on the opportunity. On the first play of this possession, Lucas tallied on another six points to the scoreboard. With Kelly’s extra point, Prep had a commanding 38-8 lead with 10:32 left in the 3rd Quarter.
After forcing yet another punt, the Ramblers got the ball back on offense but were pushed back to their own 12 yard line after an unsportsmanlike conduct call. The penalty didn’t halt their momentum at all, with the Ramblers scoring in just five plays off of a 10 yard pass to Joe Scarabino. After the PAT, Prep increased their lead to 45-8 with 6:52 remaining in the quarter.
On the kickoff, Canisius standout player Joe Jamison was on the return. But during his return, he was hit in midair, flipped, and fumbled the ball. Prep smothered the ball around the 20 yard line, giving them back possession. And after a 41 yard run by Johnson on the drive followed by Kelly’s extra point, Prep put the nail in the coffin with 4:27 in the quarter, while also sitting on a 52-8 lead.
After the score, both teams decided to give some of their backups some playing time. After stopping the Crusaders again on defense, Prep regained possession at the 35 yard line. Backup quarterback Tamar Sample was subbed into the game, but seemed a bit shaky on the first drive. After a botched play on 4th down following the end of the 3rd Quarter, Tamar was sacked, turning the ball over to Canisius.
Although the Crusaders were aware they’d most likely lose the contest, that didn’t stop them from at least attempting to score. After 8 plays, Canisius was in scoring distance at the 3 yard line. Running-back Nathan Drilling was given the ball at the 3 yard line, who crashed into the end zone for six points. After his score and the extra point, the Crusaders reached double digits on the scoreboard. With 5:00 remaining in the contest, Prep still had a huge lead with the score being 52-15.
After Drilling’s touchdown, neither teams scored for the remainder of the game. Canisius had the ball at the end of the game, but they were unable to convert on the opportunity.
“It was a great team win for us,” lineman Logan Braendel stated, “I’m glad that we have momentum going into the rest of the season.”
The Ramblers will be traveling next week Athol Springs, New York to face off against Saint Francis high school. Usually Prep defeats the Red Raiders in every face off the two teams share, but that doesn’t mean the Ramblers should go into this game feeling invincible.
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