ADVERTISEMENT

Who: Canisius Crusaders (8-2) vs. St. Joe’s Marauders (7-3)

What: Monsignor Martin Association championship game.

When: Tonight, 7.

Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Tickets: $7 (available in schools today and at the ticket office tonight).

Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (delayed; will be broadcast at 2:30 p.m. Friday).

Internet broadcast: St. Joe’s audio and video via www.audiosportsonline.net/2013Fall/StJosephMarauders.htm (the link is at the sjci.com home page).

Buffalo News large school poll (last poll Nov. 12): Canisius No. 2, St. Joe’s co-No. 3 (with Williamsville North).

New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA poll: Canisius No. 7; St. Joe’s No. 29.

Canisius at The Ralph: Defending champion Canisius owns two playoff titles (2009, 2012) and is 2-3 in championship games since the current playoff system began in 2002. Canisius lost in 2002 to St. Francis (34-6), in 2007 to St. Francis (21-0) in 2008 to St. Francis (16-7); it won in 2009 over St. Joe’s (58-34) and 2012 over Bishop Timon-St. Jude (28-20).

St. Joe’s at The Ralph: 3-4 in championship games with titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010. St. Joe’s lost in 2003 (34-14) and 2004 to St. Francis (21-6); then beat St. Francis in 2005 (39-6) and 2006 (39-10). It lost to Canisius in 2009 (58-34). It beat St. Francis in 2010 (49-20) and lost to St. Francis in 2011 (37-16).

Last time: Canisius won the teams’ rivalry game at home on Nov. 2 (Week Nine), 21-0.

All-time series: This is the 83rd meeting of the rivals. St. Joe’s leads, 47-32-3, in a series that dates to 1921. It is the second championship meeting in the current format (Canisius won, 58-34, in 2009). In the only other four seasons in which the Monsignor Martin Association determined its champion with a playoff, the title was won by one of the rivals: St. Joe’s in 1956 and Canisius in 1975, ’76 and ’77.

Coaches: Canisius, Rich Robbins, third season (22-9, 2-2 vs. St. Joe’s); St. Joe’s, Dennis Gilbert, fourth season (29-14, 4-2 vs. Canisius).

How they got here: St. Joe’s had one of its best games in weeks in beating St. Francis, 38-12, behind a two-touchdown, 143-yard rushing performance from senior Nigel Davis (he also kicked a field goal). Canisius routed Bishop Timon-St. Jude, 30-0, recording its sixth shutout in eight victories this season while its starting defense kept up a season-long streak of not giving up a touchdown.

Canisius key players (and statistics): Sr. QB Zach Liberatore, 5-10, 185 (32-55, 58.2 pct., 544 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs; 48-149, 2 TDs rush); Jr. QB Jacob Loucks, 5-9, 165 (24-40, 60 pct., 329 yards; 9-49 rush); Sr. RB/DB Qadree Ollison, 6-1, 220 (176-1,102, 14 TDs; 3-16 rec., 7 tackles); Sr. LB/RB Brad Zaffram, 6-1, 210 (23-99, 2 TDs; 51 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT); Jr. RB Solomon Renfro, 5-8, 200 (21-130, TD); Jr. WR/DB Josh Huffman, 5-11, 175 (8-124 rec.; 8 tackles, INT); Sr. WR/DB Ryan Richards, 6-2, 205 (16-253, 3 TDs rec.; 34 tackles, INT); Jr. TE/DE TJ Wheatley, 6-6, 245 (13-146, 2 TDs rec.; 30 tackles, INT); Jr. WR/DB Mitchell Thomas, 5-10, 170 (21 tackles, 2 INTs); Jr. LB/RB Jerome Brundidge, 5-11, 190 (30 tackles); Sr. LB Michael Sharpe 6-1, 220 (29 tackles); Sr. OL/DL David Koeppel, 5-11, 290 (21 tackles); Sr. WR/LB De’Anthony Simpson, 5-11, 190 (5-161, 3 TDs rec.; 21 tackles, 2 sacks, INT); Jr. LB/RB James Thomas, 6-0, 190 (2 sacks, 12 tackles, INT); Sr. Keon Garrett, 5-11, 195 (10-32 rush; 19 tackles, 2 INTs); Jr. K Michael Tarbutt (20 kickoffs, six touchbacks; 7 punts-38.71; 22-22 PATs, 1-4 FG, 26 yards).

St. Joe’s key players (and statistics): So. QB Mike McCarthy, 6-4, 195 (53-116, 45.7 pct., 937 yards, 9 TDs, 7 INTs; 12-2 rush); Sr. RB/DB/K Nigel Davis, 5-10, 180 (139-1,035, 12 TDs; 11-85, TD rec.; 32 tackles, sack, INT); Sr. RB/LB Rodrick Payne, 5-10, 190 (35-172 rushing, 5-84 rec., 45 tackles, 7 tackles for loss — in six games; injured, out for season); Sr. TE/OL/DE Tyler Hill, 6-3, 245 (13-240, 3 TDs rec.; 11-28, 109 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs pass; 42 tackles, sack, INT); Jr. RB/DE/LB Cordell Owens, 5-11, 172 (44 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles); So. WR/LB Justin Jones, 6-2, 170 (13-380, 3 TDs; 34 tackles, sack, 2 forced fumbles, 2 INTs); Jr. RB/CB Myles Young, 6-0, 175 (20-112, 2 TDs; 10-102 rec.); so. RB/DB Ryan Conschafter, 5-11, 165 (36-162, TD; 41 tackles, sack, 2 fumb. rec., INT); Sr. DB/WR Alimayu Akono, 6-1, 155 (4 INTs); Sr. TB/LB/DE John Schmitt, 5-11, 180 (34 tackles, sack); Jr. DE/TE Connor McKenna, 6-2, 200 (30 tackles, sack); Sr. LB/OL Anthony Castellani, 5-10, 190 (71 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 fumb. rec., INT); So. OL Dan Carr, 6-4, 255; Sr. OL/DL Dan Hector, 5-9, 220 (27 tackles)

What’s next: The league finale is the final game of the season for both teams.

— Keith McShea