Tonawanda News — "He's got the full package — he's big, strong, fast, he's a punishing runner with good speed," Gilbert said. "We have to keep him from making big plays because he has the ability to score every time he touches the ball. I think both teams are similar in that we both have guys that can get it in the end zone any time they touch the ball. It's all about who makes plays and who doesn't."
Gilbert said the key to the game for St. Joe's will be the battle upfront: St. Joe's offensive line against the Crusaders' defensive line. He also said that his team must limit turnovers and take advantage of momentum swings.
"The biggest thing for the kids is understanding that there will be times in the game, like there is every year," he said. "It's about how fast you can get it back when it goes against you. You can't get rattled and you have to have the mindset of an assassin."
Rod Payne had 13 tackles last week against St. Mary's (4 TFL) and leads St. Joe's with 79 tackles on the season. He will have a big impact on the game and the Marauders count on his aggressive style to help limit team's rushing attacks.
The local football community will convene at Robert T. Scott Athletic Complex today and Gilbert said it's going to be great game.
"This is what high school football is all about," Gilbert said. "What better way than to go out and play your rival in the last game of the season for the championship in front of 5,000 people or however many people are there. Anybody that is a football purest will be on Kenmore Ave. tomorrow and they're going to see a heck of a game."Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.