JV Crusaders upend Hastings, 34-0

By Alex Buettgen ’22

Thursday night, October 10th, in a Junior Varsity showdown, the Strake Jesuit football team bested the Alief Hastings team by a score of 34-0. It was a game dominated by great Crusader defense as well as long sustaining drives that ended in points produced by the Crusader offense.

In the first quarter, the Crusader offense was stagnant and failed to move the ball much due to penalties. The defense, however, forced a bad throw by the Hastings quarterback that was picked off and returned for a touchdown by sophomore cornerback Craig Royal. The defense returned to the field on the ensuing drive and yet again stopped the Hastings offense from moving the ball, bringing an end to the first quarter of play.

In the second quarter, the offense was stopped again by physical defensive play by the Hastings defense. On the very next play from scrimmage, the Hastings offense fumbled the football, and it was recovered sophomore defensive end Joey Garcia. Sadly, a missed field goal ended the drive, and the Crusader offense came up with no points. The defense trotted onto the field and stopped the Hastings offense, forcing Hastings to punt. On the punt, sophomore linebacker Sam Read sprinted through a gap in the line, blocked the punt, and returned it for a touchdown. On the next Crusader offensive drive, a big pass play on third down from junior quarterback Ryan Santry to sophomore wide receiver Will Taylor set up the offense with a first down in the red zone. On the next play, Taylor got the ball on a reverse and took off with a burst of speed down the sideline and into the end zone for the first offensive touchdown.

When halftime ended, the Crusaders kicked off to the Bears, but the Crusader kickoff team was able to force a fumble, which was recovered by sophomore linebacker Michael Oria, swinging possession into the hands of the Crusaders. The Crusaders kept possession of the ball for 6 minutes, slowly pushing the ball down the field, tiring the Hastings defense. On a crucial third down, sophomore quarterback Alex Buettgen connected with Taylor for a 33 yard gain, setting them up on the Hastings one yard line. On the ensuing play, Buettgen punched it in from the one-yard line, raising the score to 28-0. The Crusader defense once again stopped the Bears drive, sending the Crusaders into the fourth quarter with possession of the ball.

In the fourth quarter, the Crusaders were not able to move the ball significantly, as they were forced to punt. On the following drive, sophomore safety Anthony Hurtado cut the Bears’ offensive drive short with a crucial, game-sealing interception. On the Crusader drive, Santry connected with junior receiver Wyatt Muchard for a big 77 yard gain, eventually getting pushed out of bounds at the one yard line by a Hastings defender. On the next play, Santry powered it in from one-yard to widen the margin to 34-0, the eventual final score. 

The Crusaders played a very sound ball game. With zero turnovers and limited penalties, the Strake Jesuit was able to capitalize on long drives. The defense played intensely, causing four turnovers and even scoring on two of them. The JV Crusaders take on the Pearland Oilers JV at Clay Stadium on Thursday, October 17.