Crusaders Win Seaon Opener

8-23-13   Crusaders 34 – Hawks 24 

The Laurens Academy Crusaders opened their season in Greenwood on Friday night with a 34-24 win over the Greenwood Christian Hawks… The Crusaders have dropped back to 8-man football this year and it appears that Coach Tyler VanHook has his offense pretty much geared up for that and ready to go. 

The Crusaders got on the board at the 9:08 mark of the first period on an 11 yard pass from Ryan Holmes to Robert Williams that was set up when the Crusader defense recovered a Hawk fumble. The PAT failed and the score stood 6-0. The Hawks tied the game 6-6 three minutes later on a 21 yard run by Noah Hinzman. 

The Crusaders responded with a 55 yard drive that ended with Holmes again connecting with Williams or a 10 yard TD. Holmes then added a 2 point conversion to make it 14-6 with 18.1 seconds left in the first period.  The Hawks answered and another score (again by Hinzman) in the second period to make it 14-12. 

On their next possession, the Crusaders went 63 yard in 6 plays and scored on a 21 yard pass from Holmes to Caleb Greene. The extra point failed so the score with 8:33 left in the half was 20-12 Crusaders. 

The Hawks fumbled on their next possession and Hunter Elwood fell on the ball to set up the Crusader score which came with 4:34 left in the half with Holmes carrying it in from the 11. A 2-point conversion made it 28-12. 

The Hawks then drove into Crusader territory but  Adam Spoone fell on a Hawk fumble to end the drive and the Crusaders drove deep into Hawk territory but the half ended before they could score. A side note, the game was suspended in the first half due to lightning in the area for about 40 minutes.  

The Hawks received the kickoff to open the second half and returned it to the Crusader 18 where they scored 2 pays later but not being able to add the extra point so the score stood 28-18 Crusaders with 11:35 left in the 3rd period. 

Bothe teams then swapped possessions and on their 2nd possession of the second half the Hawks held the Crusaders forcing them to punt from the Hawks 39 yard line.   The Hawks mishandled the punt and Matthew Urick recovered the ball setting the Crusaders up on the Hawks nine yard line. On the first play, Williams scored but the extra point failed making the score 34-18 with 7:19 left in the 3rd period. 

The Hawks next drive was stopped when Williams intercepted a Hawk pass but the Crusaders could not capitalize. The Hawks last score came with 8:31 left in the contest making the score 34-24. Peyton Robertson also had a fumble recovery in the final period after which the Crusaders simply ran the clock out. 

After the game Coach Tyler VanHook was obviously happy to start the season off with a win but noted that there were still areas that needed improvement. He mentioned that conditioning was one of them as the Crusaders slowed down late in the game. 

The Crusaders will be on the road again this Friday as they travel to Mullins to take on Pee Dee Academy.