Prep Finishes Perfect Season After Defeating Canisius
Written by: Keegan Welka on Sunday, November 5th, 2017
The Ramblers finish another perfect season after beating the Canisius Crusaders 31-20. In the first half, Prep dominated by scoring 28 points. However, Canisius responded in the third quarter by scoring two touchdowns and a third in the fourth quarter. Prep was able to survive the Canisius’ scoring burst due to the phenomenal running of Billy Lucas in the fourth quarter. Rambler lineman Jordan Covatto was injured this game, making it two consecutive weeks where a starting player for Prep has been injured in a way that would severely affect playing time. Hopefully Prep’s players will be to rest and recuperate properly before their game on November 9 against University Prep, because the last thing the Ramblers need right now is more injury,
To start the game, Prep received the ball first. Terry Roberts returned Canisius’ kick to the 32nd yard line to begin Prep’s first drive. For Prep’s first play, Joe Mischler handed the ball off to Matthew Lupo for a gain of 5. Following this play, Mischler threw the ball to Adam Malesiewski for a gain of two. To get the first down, Mischler scrambled to the 46 yard line for a first down. Joe attempted to run the ball again, but only came up with two yards after being tackled by junior Joel Nicholas. Prep ran the ball again, giving the ball to Lupo for another first down ending at Canisius’ 36 yard line. Matt tried to run again the next play but only gained two yards. Although Prep seemed to have the momentum, Mischler threw two incomplete passes and had a holding penalty for the last plays of the drives, forcing Prep to punt.
Starting at the 8 yard line, the Crusaders were prepared to prove themselves against their toughest opponent of the year. Starting QB for Canisius was the 6 foot 5 athletic Jayce Johnson. To begin the drive, Jayce threw his first pass incomplete. Johnson then threw his next pass to receiver and Rutgers football commit Paul Woods, who broke away down the field all the way to around Prep’s 18 yard line. Unfortunately for Canisius, they were called for holding and were brought back to their own 7 yard line. Jayce responded by calling a QB draw, giving the Crusaders five yards. To follow this play, junior running back Joe Jamison rushed to the 24 yard line to give Canisius a first down. However, the Crusaders were called for a false start, resulting in a first and 15 situation. Jamison ran the ball again, this time to the 20 yard line before getting tackled hard by Prep’s William Burns. The next play, Johnson was sacked at the 12 yard line, putting Canisius in a desperate predicament. Jayce attempted to pass again, but it was broken up by Terry Roberts, putting the Crusaders in 4th down and effectively making them punt the football.
After a far punt by Canisius that landed at Prep’s 31 yard line, the Ramblers were more than ready to score their first touchdown. On the first play, Joe threw a high pass but it was brought down remarkably by Iowa football commit and receiver/cornerback Terry Roberts to bring Prep to the 42 yard line. Junior running back Billy Lucas followed up by rushing for another Prep first down. With nearly 9 minutes of the play clock nearly complete in the first quarter, Prep was more than ready to score. With an beautiful over the shoulder catch by Roberts from Mischler, Prep was able to make it into the end zone to get their first six points. Anthony Lupo made it seven points at 3:10 after his made extra point, giving the Ramblers the early edge.
With everyone on the field prepared for Canisius’ response, the unexpected happened. Prep orchestrated an unexpected onside kick which caught the Crusaders off guard, allowing the Ramblers to recover the ball and start their third drive. Infuriated, Canisius’ sideline claimed there was interference before a player was able to come up with the ball. The referees disagreed and determined the ball was recovered fairly by Prep, while also giving the Crusaders a sideline warning.
Starting the offensive possession at the 46 yard line, Prep was more than ready to take advantage of the successful onside kick. The star of this drive was Matt Lupo. To start, Matt ran for only four yards before getting brought down. Afterwards, Lupo ran once more for a gain of 11 this time. Unfortunately, offensive lineman Jordan Covatto was injured during this second run. Talking to him after his diagnosis by a doctor, he informed me of his injury.
“It’s a torn ligament. I should be out for multiple weeks but I think I’ll be able to come back for the second or third game of playoffs,” Jordan stated.
Almost in an act of vengeance, Lupo ran once more. In two of the following runs after Jordan’s injury, he was able to put Prep at Canisius’ 11 yard line. After being called for having an illegal player downfield, Prep still was able to gain yards by a Lupo carry, placing them at the 8 yard line. To conclude the drive and give the Ramblers a touchdown, Joe Mischler was able to walk into the endzone due to spectacular blocking by the offensive line. After Anthony Lupo’s extra point went through the uprights, the visiting team was ahead 14-0 with 1:13 left in the first quarter.
To return Anthony’s kick was Joel Nicholas, who brought the ball up on the kick to the Crusader 27 yard line. On first down, Jamison attempted to run the ball but was tackled in the backfield by Norte Dame commit and linebacker Matthew Bauer. During second down, Jayce threw the ball to Woods, but he was brought down by Terry Roberts, putting Canisius at a tough 3rd and 11 situation. Before the Crusaders attempted to get a first down, the first quarter ended.
After another incomplete pass, Canisius was once again forced to punt. But during the play, linebacker Joseph Campbell blocked Tristan Vandenberg’s punt, which was recovered by Prep at the 27 yard line. Following this recovery, Mischler threw to Terry Roberts once again to give Prep another touchdown. At 11:38, Prep was up 21-0 after Lupo’s extra point.
For Canisius’ 4th drive, Joel Nicholas returned Anthony Lupo’s kick to the 30 yard line to start. Jamison then gained 8 yards on a running play before getting pushed out of bounds by Bauer. Attempting to run again, Jamison tried to run up the middle but was stuffed for a gain of only 1. During 3rd and 1, Matt Bauer stepped up and pushed threw the defense to sack Johnson for a loss of 9 yards. After a punt by Vandenberg to Roberts, Prep started their fifth drive.
Beginning at the 33 yard line, Lucas ran the ball first to give the Ramblers a gain of 2 yards. Billy then ran for 3 more yards, putting Prep at 3rd and 4. Prep nearly got a first down the next play, but Mischler’s pass to Adam Malesiewski was dropped and called incomplete. On fourth down, Mischler called a quick punt, which landed at the 21 yard line.
On Canisius’ first play of their fifth offensive possession, a flag was thrown against Prep for passing interference on a pass thrown by Johnson. On top of that, the Ramblers were given a sideline warning, now placing the Crusaders at the 36 yard line. After that, Prep was called for another penalty. This time there was a call made against a late hit by Matt Lupo. Because of this infraction, Canisius would now be at the 49 yard line. However, they were then called for delay of game, forcing them to concede five yards and move back to the 44 yard line. Finally after all of the calls, the action of this drive began. Jayce attempted another pass, but it was swatted down by Prep cornerback Amory Coleman-Reeves. On second down, Scruggs came out of nowhere and sacked Johnson, keeping the Crusaders at the 45 yard line. Prep nearly ended the offensive possession on the next play, but unfortunately they were given their second passing interference call of the drive. Now on 3rd and inches, Johnson attempted to pass the ball but he was sacked by Prep’s Hunter Orlando, keeping the Crusaders at 4th and 4. Canisius stood determined however, because after risking a fourth down conversion, they were successful after Johnson passed to receiver John Minogue, who was able to take the ball to the Prep’s 38 yard line for a first down. After a quick pass made by Johnson, the Crusaders were able to gain one yard to put them at 2nd and 9. Canisius then got even closer to the end zone after Prep was called for a personal foul, placing them now at 24 yard line. Jayce attempted after this foul to run the ball himself, but he was eventually forced to run out of bounds in the backfield, putting Canisius at 2nd and 12. Jayce responded by handing the ball off to Jamison the next play, but he fumbled the ball, which was almost recovered by Prep of it wasn’t for Johnson diving on the ball. On 3rd and 16, Jayce threw the ball right into a Frederick Scruggs’ hands, who trucked a pursuing tackler and took the ball all the way to the end zone resulting in a wild pick six. Unfortunately, the touchdown was called off because of a block in the back call against the Ramblers, but the interception stood and Prep would start their next drive at the 44 yard line.
On the first play, Joe attempted a pass to Tyler Oedekoven but it went incomplete. Changing it up, Mischler handed the ball off to Lupo for a gain of five. On 3rd and 5, Lupo turned on the jets for another carry, leading to Prep’s fourth touchdown off of Matt’s 41 yard run. With his brother’s kick, the Ramblers were now ahead 28-0 with 2:29 left in the half.
After a kick resulting in a touchback, the Crusaders were starting their drive at the 20 yard line. On the first play of the drive, Johnson attempted to pass the ball to senior receiver Jarrett Benton but it fell incomplete. Realizing that he was struggling, Jayce handed the ball off to Jamison in the next play, who ran for 25 yards and gave the Crusaders a first down. Jayce then threw again, but his pass went incomplete. On second down, Prep’s defense was able to sack Johnson once again, putting the Crusades in a 3rd and 19 situation. Right after this play, Prep was able to sack Canisius’ quarterback consecutively for a loss of two, this time by Scruggs. With no choice but to punt, the Crusaders ended their possession with Vandenberg punting to Roberts.
Prep’s seventh drive was shirt due to there being limited time in the second quarter. On the first play, Mischler threw to Oedekoven for a gain of five. Following this reception, Mischler again attempted to pass but it was swatted down and nearly intercepted by a Canisius defensive back. On third down, Billy Lucas ran the ball for a first down. With almost no time left on the clock, Prep attempted to pass to Skyler Neely but the pass went incomplete. This concluded the first half.
On the kick return, Jamison was able to bring the ball to the 30 yard line before getting tackled by Neely. On the first play of the drive, Johnson scrambled for a gain of three. For a gain of seven on the next play, Jamison ran the ball before getting tackled by Matt Bauer. Following this play, the Crusaders attempted a QB draw, but Johnson slipped and was sacked by Hunter Orlando, bring Canisius back to the 34 yard line. Jayce then attempted to pass to Woods, but his attempt went incomplete. On 3rd and 16, Jayce is almost sacked but he somehow escapes the defensive onslaught, rushing for a gain of 15 yards before getting tackled. On the next play, the Crusaders didn’t run a huddle and just had Johnson take the ball as the keeper. With a gain of one, Canisius was able to escape the fourth down. At the fifty yard line, Joel Nicholas was the ball carrier this time, gaining only one yard before Bauer got the tackle. Jayce then attempted to pass, but his throw was nearly intercepted and dropped by defender Nick Maloney. On 3rd and 9, Canisius was finally able to have a successful pass. With Minogue as the receiver, he was able to take the pass all the way to Prep’s 37 yard line. On the following play, Jamison attempted to run but was stuffed by Prep’s defense. On second down, Tyler Vandenberg caught a pass from Johnson, giving Canisius another first down, this time ending at the 17 yard line. After this play, Jayce attempted once more to run the ball himself, this time for a gain of two yards. Hoping to gain more yards, Johnson once again tried to run the ball but was tackled by Scruggs for no gain. Realizing this wouldn’t work, Jayce instead passed to John Minogue, who landed right in the end zone for Canisius’ first touchdown of the game. After Vandenberg’s extra point, the Crusaders were on the board with 7 points with 4:50 left in the 3rd quarter.
On Prep’s 8th drive, the Ramblers started at the 20 yard line due to a touchback. For the first play, Billy Lucas ran the ball for a gain of seven. Following this run, Billy ran once more, gaining 5 yards. Mischler then pitched the ball to Lucas on the next play, resulting in a gain of 3 yards. On second down, Lucas rushed for a gain of 3 more yards. On 3rd and 4, Mischler attempted to take the ball himself but he was tackled before he could get the first down. After a quick punt by Joe landing at the 13 yard line, Canisius was ready to score again.
Starting off hot, Paul Woods caught the ball as the receiver off of a screen, running up the field for 9 yards before getting pushed out of bounds by Billy Lucas. On the next play, Jamison attempted to run but was tackled in the backfield for a loss of 4 yards. Johnson then attempted another pass, but it went incomplete. However Prep was called for pass interference, giving the Crusaders a first down and better field position at their 33 yard line. Jayce the attempted to throw consecutively, but his pass was tipped and knocked down by Hunter Orlando. After this play, Hunter came off the field due to a mild injury. Taking advantage of this injury, Canisius passed to a wide open Paul Woods, who ran the ball for 66 yards and a touchdown. After Vanenberg’s kick through the uprights for an extra point, the score was 28-14 led by Prep with 1:03 left in the quarter.
After yet another touchback, Prep was to start their drive at the 20 yard line. Matt Lupo started the possession off with a gain of 1 before getting tackled by Joel Nicholas. On second down, Mischler was able to throw a dart on the run to Oedekoven, resulting in a gain of 16 yards and a first down. Hoping to keep up this success, Joe threw again but it was incomplete, intended for Neely. On second down, Matt Lupo caught the ball and ran for a gain of seven, but the yards were called back due to a holding calls on Prep, bringing them back to the 32 yard line. This play concluded the 3rd quarter.
After some phenomenal pass coverage by Canisius’ defense, Joe Mischler scrambled in the backfield but was sacked, resulting in a whopping 3rd and 35 situation. Desperately, Prep gives the ball to Lucas, who looks like he can almost get the first down, but he is eventually tackled by defenders. With Colin Kelly as the punter, the ball was received by Canisius and returned to Prep’s 24 yard line.
Prep’s defense did not start off well on this drive. Prep was first called for offsides, allowing the Crusaders to advance to the 19 yard line. Johnson then took the ball himself for a gain of five, give Canisius a first down. Jamison then took the ball off of a handoff right into the end zone for a touchdown. However, Vanenberg’s extra point was blocked by Prep’s defense, giving the Crusaders only 6 points at 9:55.
Tristan once again kicked the ball for a touchback on Canisius’ kickoff. With a Canisius comeback imminent, Prep needed to act fast. Putting their hopes on Lucas, Prep committed to the run game. On the first play, Billy ran for nine yards. After this, Lucas rushed for another 9 yards, giving Prep a first down. After a face mask call on Canisius, Prep advanced to the Canisius 40 yard line. Lucas then ran the ball again, this time for a gain of 2. Giving Lucas a quick reprieve, Mischler called a play action pass, having Terry Roberts receive the ball and take it to the 22 yard line. After a false start on Prep, however, the ball was moved back to the 27 yard line. Lucas responded by running for a gain of 4. Lucas then broke away and ran to Canisius’ 16 yard line for a first down. On 3rd and 4, Lucas ran once more for a gain of 5. On first down, Prep ran the ball again with Lucas, this time only coming up with 2 yards. Lucas relentlessly carried the ball again, but came up short with only 1 yard. On third down, Prep attempted to pass the ball but Joe was forced to run out of bounds for a loss of 2, putting Prep at a 4th and 9 situation. With a 27 yard kick, Anthony Lupo was able to give Prep 3 points to put the Ramblers ahead 31-20 with 5:21 left in the contest.
On Canisius’ 11th drive, the Crusaders started at the 10 yard line. After Jamison rushed for a gain of 3 on the first play, he followed up by running to the 21 yard line for a first down. On his next run, he was stuffed for no gain. Deciding to change things up, Jayce threw again but his pass went incomplete. On 3rd and 10, Johnson ran the ball himself once more, barely missing the first down, putting his team at 4th and inches. He then snuck the ball for one yard to get the quick first down. With time running fast in the fourth quarter, Canisius was desperate to score. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, linebacker Joe Campbell penetrated the defense and sacked Johnson for a loss of seven yards. Jayce then attempted to pass the ball but it went incomplete. Putting the nail in the coffin, Matt Bauer came out of nowhere and sacked Jayce again, this time for a loss of six yards. After a failed pass that’s as broken up by Coleman-Reeves, the Crusaders turned the ball over
Starting at the 27 yard line, Matt Lupo ran for a gain for four yards. Following this run, Matt ran the ball for another three yards. Trying to milk time off the clock, Mischler took the ball and kneeled, putting Prep at fourth down. At 4th and 5, Mischler attempted a pass but it was incomplete, resulting in a turnover on downs. With less than a minute left in the game, the Crusaders attempted two more passes before the game ended. The final score was 31-20 with Prep taking the victory.
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