By Jack Mallon ‘22

Last Thursday, the Crusaders took on the undefeated Neuqua Valley Wildcats at home.

The Crusaders beat the Wildcats 26-18 in a hard fought battle. Tries were scored by Rolando Sepulveda, Henry Ivers, Carter McAlilly, and Jack Mallon. Jack Welniak had a great day on the tee, going 3 for 4 on the extra points.

Mallon and Ivers both had break through runs which gave the Crusaders a big advantage in the first half. However, the Wildcats capitalized their performance with two quick tries near the end of the first half.

Senior Rolando Sepulveda said, “We knew this team was beatable from the start. We beat them last year, so we knew we could do it again.”

In the second half, the Crusader’s defense had a phenomenal effort. Henry Ivers had a chasedown tackle to prevent a try in the last couple minutes. Neuqua turned the ball over on the goal line, sealing the victory for the Crusaders.

Junior Henry Ivers said, “I was the closest to the ball and we needed this stop. There was no way I was letting him score.”

The big problem for the Crusaders this season was penalties. The Crusaders made sure this wasn’t the case this game. Low tackling was the main goal in practice this week. As a result, penalties were kept to a minimum and the Crusaders came out on top.

Sophomore Robbie Rutledge said, “We definitely needed this game and this week of practice felt a lot better now that we have some experience. Tackling drills helped us a lot especially against Neuqua’s big guys.”

The Crusaders had a rough start to the season, starting the year 0-2-1. This win was key for the Crusaders. The Crusaders needed to win out the rest of the season in order to make the playoffs. This week the Crusaders take on Mount Carmel at home.