Crusaders down Eagles, 28-17
By Liam Smith ’20
In their first game of the season, the Strake Jesuit Fighting Crusaders Varsity Football team outlasted the St. Thomas Eagles, 28-17.
St. Thomas, a TAPPS high school, was up 14-10 on their UIL 6A foe. However, Jesuit running back—Dylan Campbell—broke off a 50-yard run with 4:15 left in the first half, taking the lead and momentum from the Eagles for the rest of the game. Fans in attendance complained that the game dragged on with penalties. Though Strake Jesuit did not gain 700 yards of offense and blow out their 55-year rival as happened last year, Head Coach Klay Kubiak said he was glad to have a win. “Now it’s time to focus on our next opponent,” he commented.
The Crusaders’ offense gained 70% of their yardage through Campbell. After breaking tackles and juking defenders, Campbell reached the end zone four times.
In his first start after transitioning from tight end to quarterback, William Dickason went 5/9 for 46 yards. Eight of those passes were screens behind or along the line of scrimmage. Coach Kubiak made sure to call plays that would minimize the chances of turnovers. Overall, our offense lacked deceptiveness and explosiveness (save for Campbell’s Bo Jackson-like running) as St. Thomas loaded the box and stopped our run nearly every play. The offensive line had at least four drive-killing false starts and holding penalties. “There were way too many pre-snap penalties. We just have to calm our guys down,” commented Coach Kubiak. Although Jesuit scored 28 points, they know there is still room for improvement throughout the season.
Strake Jesuit’s defense played stellar. Six returning starters added valuable experience. “We tackled really well. Nobody ran wild and gashed us. Having three turnovers is always great,” explained Defensive Coordinator, Mr. Fikac. Senior defensive back Nick Cassapo had two interceptions on the night: “I don’t know,” he said. “They always seem to come to me.” The defense also held St. Thomas to -3 rushing yards, 223 passing yards, and a 38% completion rate. When asked what the team could do better, Coach Fikac replied, “We need less penalties and a lot more speed. Westbrook is going to be really good.”
The second game for the season pits Strake Jesuit against the Westbrook Bruins in Beaumont on September 6. Westbrook knocked Jesuit out of the playoffs last year.