VYPE U: Strake Jesuit Just One Win from the Playoffs
After overpowering the Alvin Yellowjackets 44-14 last Friday night, Strake Jesuit heads into tonight's game against Alief Elsik just one win away from reaching the UIL Playoffs for the fourth year in a row. The Crusaders are coming off a couple of impressive performances on the ground. In the past two games, the halfback duo of Joel Crawford and Alex May have recorded eight total touchdowns, and last week, they both ran for over 100 yards.
While the rushing attack has been on fire for Jesuit, the passing game is featuring younger faces after the loss of Robert Smith due to a season-ending hand injury about a week ago. Starting quarterback Connor O'Hara will look to throw to a talented receiving corps in the junior class. The receiving group consists of Will Taylor (110 receiving yards, one TD vs. Alvin), Holden Maples, Leland Smith, and Thomas Jewett. It's safe to say that the Crusaders will continue to be in good hands next season after the current senior class graduates.
Nonetheless, Strake Jesuit is focused on clinching the last playoff spot in District 23-6A tonight at Crump Stadium. Faced with tougher teams in the district like Pearland, Dawson, and Shadow Creek at the start of the season, the Crusaders started out with a 1-3 district record. They would then go on to pick up two wins in a row against Alief Taylor and Alvin, outscoring those two opponents 79-31. A victory tonight for Klay Kubiak's Crusaders would finish their district play with a 4-3 record. Assuming this outcome occurs, the final district standings will end up with Jesuit in fourth place, one game ahead of Alief Hastings, whom they beat in the head-to-head matchup earlier this season.
Standout player and Harvard commit Jacob Psyk will lead Strake Jesuit on defense tonight. He has experienced the large atmosphere of the UIL 6A Playoffs in his past two seasons when the team went to the second round in 2018 and then the third round at NRG Stadium last year. Wanting to experience that exhilarating energy of the playoffs one last time, and make it further, is what will drive him to help his team gain a win over Elsik.
Alief Elsik is currently riding an 0-5 season record. Regardless of the ease that this game may present for Strake Jesuit, they will not hold anything back as this matchup will present great insight as to how the rest of their season will play out.