McQuaid and Aquinas to decide Class AA title

One team is looking to win its first title since 1978. The other wants to win its third straight. McQuaid and Aquinas will meet Saturday to decide the 2019 Section V Class AA Football Championship. Here’s the breakdown:

No. 1 seed MCQUAID JESUIT KNIGHTS (9-0) vs. No. 2 seed AQUINAS L’IL IRISH (8-1)

How they arrived here: McQuaid (No. 6 NYSSWA) defeated No. 8 seed Monroe, 57-0, in the quarterfinals before downing fifth-seeded Pittsford, 20-7, in the semis.

Aquinas (No. 8 NYSSWA) beat No. 7 Rush-Henrietta by a 35-14 score in the quarterfinal round. The L’il Irish took down No. 3 Hilton, 35-19, in the semifinals.

Points scored per game: McQuaid (35.3), Aquinas (40)
Points allowed per game: McQuaid (10.6), Aquinas (20.9)

Last time they met: McQuaid defeated Aquinas, 27-21, in the season opener.

Trends: McQuaid has surpassed its win total of eight from last season. The Knights have outscored their opponents, 77-7, in the postseason. Aquinas is on an eight-game winning streak and has eclipsed 34 points in every contest in that span.

Names to know: McQuaid – Joe Cairns Jr. QB 914 passing yards; Andrew Passero Sr. RB, DB 520 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns

Aquinas – Will Benjamin So. RB, S 816 rushing yards, 591 receiving yards, 16 touchdowns, 26 tackles, 1 interception; Joseph Debonis Sr. T, DE 65 tackles, 9.5 sacks; Brian Magee Sr. RB, S 594 rushing yards, 7 touchdowns; Ulysees Russell Jr. WR, S 980 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns, 37 tackles, 3 interceptions; Tyler Szalkowski Jr. QB 2,241 passing yards, 25 touchdowns

Coaches: Bobby Bates (McQuaid), Derek Annechino (Aquinas)

History 101: McQuaid is seeking their second sectional title in program history and first since 1978. Aquinas is the two-time defending champion and coming off a state title. The L’il Irish have won five sectional titles in the last seven years and eight state titles in program history – five in class A (2010, 2007, 2002, 2001, 1998) and three in AA (2018, 2015, 2013). This is the second straight year these squads will match up in the sectional final.

What they’re saying: Bates – “This is one of the most together and connected teams that I have ever been around. All year long, our motto has been ‘Embrace the climb.’ It is our goal to play our best football Saturday night.”

Annechino – “I believe that this is going to be a great football game and we are looking forward to competing against the best team in the area.”

What’s at stake: A spot in the NYS Far West Regional against the winner of the Section VI final between Lancaster (No. 23 NYSSWA) and Orchard Park (No. 17 NYSSWA).

An 8 p.m. kickoff is scheduled Saturday at the College at Brockport.

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