On a crisp early September night, the Crusaders played their first game on their new turf field against the Bushmen of Pine Bush.
The Crusaders entered the game with a 0-1 record having lost to Cornwall while the Bushmen stood at 1-0, having beaten Warwick last week.
The Crusaders charged down onto the new field and in front of a very large and loud home crowd battled the tough Pine Bush team to a 0-0 tie through the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the Bushmen’s run heavy offense finally broke through the as Gunner Meland scored on a 16-yard touchdown run. The Crusaders blocked the extra point to make the score 6-0.
The two teams exchanged punts throughout the quarter until the Bushmen connected on a long pass inside the Crusaders' five-yard line where they punched it in. When they added a two-point conversion they took a 14-0 lead into the half.
In the third quarter the Crusaders finally broke through when Anthony Campione hit Peter Mastropollo with a quick screen pass and he broke several tackles on his way to the end zone.
But the spectacular pass and run was called back on a holding call.
The Crusaders battled into the fourth quarter and Campione kept a late drive alive with his legs when he converted on a fourth and long with six minutes left in the game.
But the Bushmen’s defense rose up and stopped the Crusaders again .
From there the Bushmen’s rushing offense took over and they were able to run out the clock and hammer in two more scores as they went on to 28-0 victory.
The Crusaders' loss brings their record to 0-2 on the season. Their next game will be on Friday when they travel to Valley Central to face the Vikings.
- William Dimmit