It was another thrilling weekend of high school football for local teams in the postseason. Filled with exciting moments, games such as the Monsignor Martin Association championship featuring Canisius vs. St. Francis and Section V’s Letchworth-Warsaw vs. Southwestern, left an impression. Following the matchups, the Bills and ADPRO Sports selected head coaches Justin Mann and Rich Robbins as the winners of the High School Coach of the Week program.
Robbins, the Buffalo Region Coach of the Week, and the longtime sideline boss for the Canisius Crusaders, led his team to a one-score win over St. Francis on Saturday, Nov. 16. Coming into the contest, St. Francis had an edge on Canisius and was ranked No.1 in Western New York for 10 consecutive weeks. Starting fast, St. Francis scored a 27-yard TD pass to put the Red Raiders up 7-0. The momentum quickly swung the Crusaders’ way after that. Finding the end zone three times, Canisius went into the half with a 20-7 lead. The Crusaders kept it rolling early in the third when ball carrier Jojo Dixon scored on a one-yard run to add to the team’s score.
It was a different game in the second half though. Finding rhythm, St. Francis cut into the deficit 27-21. In the end, the effort wasn’t enough to seal the win. Paving the way for Canisius was Dixon, who recorded 112 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Signal caller Tyler Baker was 10 for 16 on pass completions for 109 yards passing. The sophomore also rushed for 52 yards and a TD. On defense, CJ Ozolins put on quite a performance. The senior managed 20 tackles, seven of which were solo, and one that was for a loss of yardage.
With the victory, the Crusaders will move on to face Cardinal Hayes of the Bronx on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 1 p.m.
Although his team did not come away with a win in the Far West Regionals, Rochester Region Coach of the Week, Justin Mann, had plenty to be positive about. Under his guidance, Letchworth-Warsaw ended the campaign 9-2 and won their second straight Section V title. The head coach of the program since 2017, Mann has found success in his short time calling the shots. Over the last two seasons, he’s helped usher his team to an 18-4 record and has brought the best out in his athletes along the way.
Senior Brett Vasile closed out 2019 completing 69 of 98 passes for 590 yards and five touchdowns. He also compiled 267 yards rushing and another 10 TDs. On defense, linebacker Mason Johnson led the way with 70 tackles, seven pass breakups and a pick.
With the season officially in the Books, Mann and his squad will look to build off their success in 2020.
Check back on buffalobills.com each week for the announcement of the Coach of the Week winners and tune in to "One Bills Live," presented by Kaleida Health, each Tuesday afternoon to hear the winners announced on the show. Good luck to all the high school football coaches this season from the Buffalo Bills and ADPRO Sports!
About the program:
The Buffalo Bills are once again proudly partnering with ADPRO Sports in 2019 to recognize some of the best high school football coaches Western New York has to offer, through the High School Coach of the Week program. During the 2019 high school football season, the Bills and ADPRO Sports will recognize 11 coaches from both the Buffalo and Rochester regions on buffalobills.com. The winners will be selected by a committee of high school football experts from each region.