Tonawanda News — ORCHARD PARK — The Canisius Crusaders were the dominant team in the Monsignor Martin Association in the regular season and proved to also be the most dominant team in the postseason as they took home the MMA Championship by defeating St. Joe’s 41-7 Thursday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The win gave the Crusaders their second straight MMA postseason championship and their sixth since 1975.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” head coach Rich Robbins said. “The whole team played well, and I’m especially proud of (senior running back) Qadree Ollison. He’s our leader and has been with us on varsity for three years. This one means a lot to him and to the rest of our seniors to beat our rival and to win a championship. It’s pretty special.”
The Crusaders set the tone on St. Joe’s second offensive play of the game. Senior defensive back Keon Garrett intercepted Marauders quarterback Mike McCarthy at St. Joe’s 20-yard line, giving the Crusaders excellent field position to start the game. Ollison — a Niagara Falls native who committed to the University of Pittsburgh early this season — cashed in two minutes later with a 6-yard touchdown run to give Canisius a lead it would never relinquish.
Senior running back Nigel Davis then took the following kickoff 66 yards for the Marauders to the Crusaders’ 30-yard line, but the Marauders weren’t able to capitalize as they were stopped on fourth-down — the first of three times in the first half where the Marauders were not able to convert in the red zone.
After an exchange of punts, Ollison scored the Marauders’ second touchdown of the game from 51 yards out to make the score 14-0. After stopping the Marauders again on fourth down, Ollison then took the ball 85 yards to the end zone to blow the game wide open for the Crusaders.