Crusaders Fall to the Eagles

Luke Wuthrich ’18

In a truly great battle at NRG Stadium on Friday night, September 4, Strake Jesuit fell to St. Thomas 42-35. Our student section was full, yelling support for the football team the entire game.

The Crusaders started off slow, falling behind 7-0 after one quarter of play. Then, in the second, the Crusader offense exploded for 21 points behind Michael Purvey, Zach Zubia, and Kevin Graff. The Crusaders held a 21-14 lead going into halftime. Meanwhile, as Chase Brosig ‘18 said,” The student section was absolutely insane! I lost my voice from yelling so much; it was a very emphatic game.”

In the third quarter, the Crusaders came out motivated and ready for the St. Thomas attack. Led by George Ikott, Joe Ferguson, and Andrew Eichelberger, the defense held St. Thomas to 7 points as our offense made another touchdown, putting the score at 28-21, Crusaders. The student section led by the Crusader Guard were hurling chants at the St. Thomas crowd louder than before.

However, in the fourth quarter, St. Thomas scored 14 unanswered points to put them up by 7. The Crusaders, with their backs against the wall on 4th and 7, and just minutes left to go in the game, seemed to find some magic when quarterback Zach Zubia connected with Michael Purvey on a bubble screen to find the end zone, tying up the game. It seemed that the football team had new life. As Liam Burhans ‘18 put it, “Everyone around me was wearing white and everyone was super pumped… when we made a good play it was insane and when we tied it up at 35; it was super crazy, like everyone was jumping into each other and pushing each other.” It truly was the play of the game, the play that the Crusaders needed to get momentum back on their side.

Unfortunately, the St. Thomas offense found the end zone with six seconds left in the game, putting the Eagles up 42-35. That was the final score as our last-second Hail Mary found its way into the hands of a St. Thomas defender. The Crusaders fought valiantly, finishing with 347 total yards and 1 fumble recovery. Their record falls to 1-1 for the season.

The student section was full and rowdy, and it stayed that way until the very end. The Crusader football team played their hearts out for the entire game, just narrowly ending up on the losing side. This outcome will further inspire the Crusader team the rest of the season–and their fans to pack the student the student section, just as they did for this game.