The Crusaders return to Brown Field this Saturday at 1 PM to face William Jewell College from Kansas City. We were originally scheduled to play Wagner University from New York on this date. Wagner backed out after scheduling a guarantee game for this date. William Jewell had this Saturday open and we were able to work out a return game to Kansas City in 2014. It will be the first meeting between the two schools. On a side note, William Jewell is the alma mater of Dr. Homer Drew.
The Crusaders dropped a tough one Saturday at St. Joe. The game went back and forth with St. Joe kicking a field goal to take a 34-31 lead late in the fourth quarter. The Crusaders put a drive together that came up short on fourth down inside the Puma 40 yard line.
Our team played hard and competed all the way until the end. We limited St. Joe’s running game to less than four yards per carry. We tackled well except for the big pass play in the second half. One area we need to improve on is our pass rush. We gave the St. Joe QB too much time and you can’t do that with a good quarterback.
Jake Hutson had another excellent game. Eric Hoffman threw for three touchdowns. We generated seven explosive plays (12 yard runs or 18 yard passes). Fred Glandney got behind the St. Joe secondary on the second play of the game for a 73 yard touchdown pass. Tanner Kuramata took a slant pass 56 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Those were plays we were not getting last year. We were not as solid in our pass protection as we were at North Dakota, giving up four sacks. That will have to improve as William Jewell likes to bring pressure.
We do not know a lot about William Jewell as this is our first meeting. We did exchange video from last year. We have their first game of the year which resulted in a 30-15 loss to Concordia University-NE.
We will have to account for running back Thomas Cook. He is an excellent back who excels running and catching the football. He also returned a punt 70+ yards for a touchdown against Concordia. Quarterback Sean Shelton is a multi-talented player who can hurt you running and throwing. We will have to be disciplined in the execution of our front seven this week.
William Jewell was not bashful about bringing pressure in their opener. Their plan looks to be to blitz you right off the bus. They will bring corners and safeties so we must be solid in our pass protection. They are physical on defense and run to the ball.
Our Players of the Week for the St. Joe game were:
Off Prep: Alex Hentgen
Def Prep: Emmanuel Bara-Hart
Spec Teams Prep: Steve Holman
Offensive Line: Nate Koeneman
OL Knockdown: Stuart Barkley
Special Teams: Dale Cook
Defense: Alex Green
Offense: Jake Hutson
Big Plays: Fred Gladney
Bama Powell (2)
It will be good to play at home. I told the team on Sunday we just need to keep fighting. We must focus on our theme – What’s Important Now. Use today to get ready for tomorrow. Be the best that I can be in the moment I am in. Work to be disciplined in the execution of my responsibilities for the task I am assigned now.
We need a big crowd for the home opener. Hope to see you at Brown Field on Saturday at 1 PM.
#ShieldsUp Go Crusaders!