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Monsignor Martin Football: it’s championship season, baby

Photo courtesy of David Marino

blog by Dan Ludwig  • 

Usually, sequels are never as good as the first edition.  The Matrix, Spiderman, and Pirates of the Caribbean movie series all serve as proof that trying to improve upon an already good story usually results in disappointment—the subsequent products are not as satisfying as the first.

Tonight, the St. Joe’s Marauders will try to avoid the Red Raiders’ revenge when they battle St. Francis in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association championship game.  The tilt is a rematch of last year’s final, which St. Joe’s won handily, 49-20. 

In last week’s MMAA semifinal round, St. Francis breezed to an easy 53-8 win versus Timon, while St. Joe’s had to fight to the very end to come out on top against rival Canisius, 48-47.

Looking back on the season, St. Joe’s squeaked out a 27-20 win in a Week 5 match-up against St. Francis after the Marauder defense was able to withstand a late comeback from the Red Raiders.  The loss to St. Joe’s is the only blemish on St. Francis’ otherwise spotless record in league play. 

Regardless of who wins Thursday night’s game, fans can expect to see the scoreboard light up—the Marauder and Red Raider offenses are two of the most potent in MMAA history, with 403 and 402 points scored, respectively.  With the record for points scored in an 11-game season at 415 (Cardinal O’Hara, 2007), it is safe to say that either St. Joe’s or St. Francis will re-write the Monsignor Martin record books tonight.

St. Joe’s will be looking for another strong performance from quarterback Chad Kelly, nephew of Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly.  In the semifinal match-up against Canisius, the Clemson recruit tallied over 500 all-purpose yards, gashing the Crusader defense both through the air and on the ground.  On the other side of the field, St. Francis will need a dominant performance from their star, Akeel Lynch.  Lynch, a Boston College recruit, put up a staggering 1967 yards on 205 carries this season and added 23 touchdowns for good measure.

Prediction:
St. Francis would be wise to take notes from Canisius’ strategy against St. Joe’s.  The Crusaders did well to keep the Marauder offense off the field by varying their ground attack, including direct snaps to the running back—a Wildcat set.  With a horse like Lynch in the backfield, this run-heavy strategy would suit the Red Raiders well.  If they are able to dominate time of possession, St. Francis will minimize the chances that Kelly and the rest of the talented St. Joe’s offense have.  If the run game is working, St. Francis will beat St. Joe’s in an upset, 30-28.

TAGGED: akeel lynch, chad kelly, championship, high school football, marauders, monsignor martin athletic association, red raiders, st. francis, st. joe's

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