By Jack Morrison ‘23

The Crusader freshman football team traveled to Wilmette for a CCL Blue matchup, where they won 21-0 against Loyola Academy.

The first quarter was a defensive battle between the two teams. Although the Crusader’s offense struggled to get things going, their defense was impressive. Freshman safety Michael Fitzgerald had an interception, which gave the Crusaders momentum going into the second quarter.

Fitzgerald said, “My defender tripped right in front of me, and I made a play on the ball. All week long we knew turnovers were going to be a big part of the game, so getting the interception was big.”

To start off the second quarter, running back Jaylin Green found himself in the end zone after a ten-yard rush. The Crusaders defense picked up right where they left off and stopped the Rambler offense. With time running out in the second quarter, quarterback CJ Gray rushed for a touchdown to take a 14-0 lead going into half time.

The Crusader defense was relentless. Linebacker Sean McGann started the second half with a big interception for the Crusaders. This put the Crusader offense in a great position to score. Jaylin Green capitalized on great field position and rushed for his second touchdown of the day.

Jaylin Green reflected on his performance and said, “I felt good, I felt great, if we keep playing how we are, then we are unstoppable.”

With a 21-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Crusader defense stepped up once again. With Loyola in the red zone, defensive end King Liggins had a huge sack to force a turnover on downs and secured the win for the Crusaders.

“All week at practice, we preached to the boys how big this game was. They were able to put the pieces together and have fun while winning,” said offensive coordinator Coach Rob McDonnell. The freshman Crusaders are now 4-1 on their season.