By James Zygadlo ‘24

The Crusaders battled against the reigning 5A state champions last Friday. The fate of the Roadrunners playoff hopes depended on winning this game. Little did they know, it would be one of the hardest 48-minute battles they would fight.

Senior Charlie Boyer said, “We had a good week of practice and thought we were well prepared. I was very confident we would come out with a W.”

The Crusaders’ preparation paid off for them early in the game. On the fifth play, Nazareth junior Logan Malachuk threw a pass that was called back for intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety. All the momentum was in favor of the Crusaders.

Going into halftime, Brother Rice was ahead 20-16. All the players were feeling confident coming back to the tent, but they needed to keep the pressure on. They knew this game was far from over.

After going back and forth on scoring drives, Nazareth had the ball with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. On second-and-10, Malachuk threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Jake Cestone to make the score 31-30. The Crusaders had 4 minutes, 47 seconds left in the game to score.

Unfortunately, the Crusaders came up short.

Senior Eddie Maloney said, “We’re going to bounce back stronger than ever.”

Next week the Crusaders play Montini Catholic at home for their homecoming game.

Senior Sean Curran said, “We’re going to prepare even more for next week. We are laser-focused on our next opponent and are going to put on a show.”

Hopefully, a great week of practice and lots of effort can put the Crusaders back on track.