Derek Bryant, Ty Scarborough and Shaq Newkirk got the job done offensively for the Crusaders racking up 507 yards and scoring five of touchdowns on the ground and the Crusader defense held Pine Lake Prep to only 104 total yards and only two touchdowns to take a lopsided win on Friday night, 52-12 at Harrells Store.
Things were not looking very good early on for the Crusaders as they fumbled the opening kickoff and a punt early in the first quarter. Each time, the Pride would take advantage and score, but the tenacious defense would keep the Crusaders in the game until the offense got heated. When it did it was lights out for the Pride.
Following the first fumble, Pine Lake would take only four plays from scrimmage capped off by a 14-yard pass reception from Will Harwood to Alex Wrench for the score. The conversion failed, putting the Pride up 6-0 with 8:24 remaining in the first quarter.
The Crusaders would answer by putting together a 65-yard drive as Scarborough was the workhorse carrying the ball six of nine times and scoring on a 22-yard scamper. The conversion run failed and the score was deadlocked at 6-6 with 4:26 remaining in the first quarter.
The Crusader defense would stiffen on fourth-and-1 from the 44-yard line. They would hold the Pride and the Crusaders would take over on offense. Two plays later, Newkirk busted through the Pride defense and strolled 47 yards for the touchdown. The conversion was good as the Crusaders had a busted play and Harley Batchelor recovered the pigskin in the end zone for the score giving the Crusaders a 14-6 lead.
The Crusaders lost the handle on the punt and Pine Lake recovered on the 13-yard line. On the second play from scrimmage Harwood and Wrench would once again connect for a 12-yard touchdown reception. The conversion failed and the Pride were back in the game 14-12.
Harrells would then come to life when Bryant busted loose up the middle for a 55-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion run by Scarborough was good giving the Crusaders a 22-12 lead with 10:19 remaining in the second quarter.
After a three-and-out the Crusader offense would once again started in poor field position on their own 9-yard line. That’s when Bryant would scamper 72 yards to get to the Pride’s 20-yard line. Six plays later, Scarborough would score from five yards out and also on the conversion to put the Crusaders up 30-12.
After another three-and-out the Crusaders picked up where they left off putting together an 87-yard drive in eight plays, capped off by a diving 1-yard score by Bryant. The conversion pass from Gray Fussell to Jack Laslo was good and the Crusaders were in the driver’s seat 38-12 at the half.
The Crusaders would score on their first possession of the second half. Bryant had a big play of 44 yards and two plays later Fussell completed a 17-yard pass to Scarborough. The conversion run by Laslo was good and the Crusaders led jumped to 46-12 with 8:05 left in the third quarter.
The final touchdown came with 8:29 remaining in the game on a 3-yard run by Laslo to put the finishing touches on the game. The Crusaders would pick up their third win of the season 52-12.
Bryant had a great game, carrying the football for 207 yards and three touchdowns. Newkirk would tote the ball seven times for 133 yards including a touchdown run, and Scarborough carried the ball 20 times for 106 yards and scored one touchdown reception. Laslo picked up 58 yards and scored one touchdown.
The Crusader defense was led by Don Banks and Batchelor with five tackles each. Newkirk had four tackles, Jake Edwards and Jalen Washington had 3.5 tackles each, while Wilson Escalante and Derek Bryant each had 2.5.
Crusader coach Mike Brill was pleased with the team’s performance all the way around. Harrells only had three days to practice during the week leading up to the game because of the weather, but he credited coaches Johnson and Hall with putting together a plan that worked well.
“In last week’s game we had three starters injured in the first quarter so we had to make several adjustments. We also made some changes on our pass defense and it worked well,” Brill said. “Overall I’m tickled with the team’s play and improvement. We have a big game next week with Wake Christian and they are currently undefeated. We’ve already been working our butts off in prepping for the game.”
The Crusaders are now 3-3 overall, while Pine Lake Prep falls to 1-5 overall.
Melony Henderson can be reached at [email protected]