Leading off today: Canisius
scored two touchdowns in the final nine minutes and a 2-point conversion after time expired to edge Cardinal Hayes 25-24 for the Catholic High School Athletic Association football championship Saturday.
It was the third CHSAA title for Canisius, which finishes 7-5.
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Baker threw 13 yards to classmate Nik McMillan to pull the Crusaders to within 24-23 and senior fullback C.J. Ozolins ran in the winning conversion, helped by a Hayes penalty that moved the ball inside the 2.
"When we got the half the distance to the goal line penalty, that certainly made the decision easier for me, and when your senior captain runs up to you, grabs you by your coat and says, 'Give me the ball; I will get in,' I had to give it to C.J.," coach Rich Robbins said. "And he got in. What a great moment."
Hayes had taken command 24-10 early in the fourth quarter on a 57-yard TD run by Jalen Smith (212 rushing yards), but the Cardinals missed the 2-point attempt and Baker (22 of 35 for 213 yards) drove Canisius nine plays to a TD.
After a defensive stop, Canisius got the ball back on its own 15 with 1:58 left. Baker completed 9 of 13 throws on the drive, including lofting the 13-yarder to the double-covered McMillan in the left corner of the end zone on fourth down with the final seconds ticking off the clock.
New Ro gets back to final: Playing on a sprained ankle, sophomore quarterback Tariq Benjamin (6 of 8, 110 yards) threw fourth-quarter TD passes covering 49 yards to Gary Phillips III and 28 to Raymond Dixon to rally New Rochelle past Shenendehowa 24-17 in the NYSPHSAA Class AA semifinals.
The Huguenots will play McQuaid for the championship next weekend at Syracuse University, where they were runners-up a season ago.
New Rochelle, which got 125 rushing yards from Jessie Parson on 17 carries, broke to a 10-0 lead and then gave up the next 17 points.
"The coaches told us to stay focused and not let the roller coaster affect us," said senior linebacker Kayshaun Thomas, who had nine tackles. "We stayed focused and we played our game."
McQuaid dispatched Cicero-North Syracuse 42-28 to reach its first NYSPHSAA final on the strength of three rushing TDs by junior quarterback Joe Cairns (11 of 17, 194 yards) and two from workhorse Andrew Passero (36 carries, 180 yards).
Class B: Dubbs Haqq, Matt Paske and Lucas Scott scored two touchdowns apiece as Chenango Forks outgunned Western New York Maritime Charter/Health Sciences 41-20.
The Blue Devils earned a state-record 12th title-game berth and sixth in seven years.
Haqq (144 rushing yards) raced 64 yards to the end zone early in the fourth quarter to give the Devils a 34-20 lead. Chenango Forks recovered an onside kick and then rode Scott (160 yards) down the short field to another score by the running back with 4:21 to play.
Forks' opponent in the final will be Schuylerville, an 8-7 winner against Port Jervis. Sophomore Carson Patrick's partial block of a last-gasp field-goal attempt made Evan Jeffords' touchdown and Jacob Vanderhoof's 2-point conversion in the first half stand up.
Patrick got a piece of Liam Tomasi's 40-yard attempt with :36 left in regulation, preserving Schuylerville's 10th consecutive win.
Class C: Junior tight end Patrick Cooper caught the go-ahead touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Susquehanna Valley's 35-28 semifinal victory over Southwestern at Cicero-North Syracuse.
Susquehanna Valley, winner of 25 straight games, will go for back-to-back state titles Friday against Gouverneur, which defeated Valhalla 14-11 in the other semifinal.