Strake Jesuit holds off Eisenhower; moves to 2-1
Strake Jesuit outlasted Eisenhower on Thursday night, 37-30, a score much closer than last year's matchup between these two teams (34-3, Jesuit victory).
When it seemed like the Crusaders had already run away with the game, the Eagles were quick enough to force a late comeback in the fourth quarter, cutting the score deficit down to seven. Nonetheless, Strake Jesuit's defense would go on to prove their dominance over Eisenhower and come out victorious.
Strake Jesuit quarterback William Dickason led the Crusaders' offense to two touchdowns in what seemed to be a slow first half between both teams. Midway through the first quarter, an interception by Jesuit outside linebacker Josh Cashiola set up the offense in scoring position. Dickason later was able to find the endzone on a quarterback scramble.
The Eagles would soon bounce back after with two successful field goal attempts, making the score 7-6.
The rest of the first half would remain quiet between both teams, until under a minute left, when Dickason threw a beautiful lob pass to junior wide receiver Robert Smith in the endzone, pushing the Crusaders to a 14-6 halftime lead. It was Smith's first varsity touchdown.
The Crusaders offense came out of the locker room in the second half rolling.
Strake Jesuit running back Dylan Campbell, who was the second leading rusher in District 23-6A last year, scored a touchdown with about six minutes left in the third quarter, followed later by a 31-yard field goal from kicker Max Castellanos, increasing their lead to 24-6.
Just when the score seemed too far out of Eisenhower's control, the Eagles were able to score a touchdown on a five-yard rush right before the third quarter ended, keeping themselves within reach of the Crusaders. Momentum continued to shift toward Eisenhower's favor when they recovered a fumble on defense at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
This didn't stop the Crusaders' defense from powering through, as they were able to hold the Eagles to only a field goal, making the score 24-15.
Strake Jesuit's defense was able to hold Eisenhower to a steady score throughout most of the fourth quarter, while the offense began to score more. Junior running back Alex May scored his first touchdown of the season when he ran for a five yard score, putting Jesuit up 31-15 with 5:34 left in the game. Campbell also added more to his scoring resume when he broke free of defenders on a 51-yard rushing touchdown with 2:39 left, making the score 37-23.
Eisenhower would not give up yet. With 1:21 left in the game, Eagles' quarterback Christian Sims scrambled fifteen yards to the endzone for the score, making it a one-score game. The Eagles were able to recover their onside kick, having field position at about their own 45-yard line. Fans from both schools were now on their feet in anticipation of what the game's outcome would be. Jesuit's defense ended up coming out on top, after making the Eagles turn the ball over on downs. The final score was 37-30, as the Crusaders were able to close in on their victory.
Strake Jesuit will now head into a bye week as they prepare for district play.
Last season, the Crusaders finished second place in their district with a 6-1 district record, only losing to Pearland. On September 27, they will face Pearland Dawson Eagles to open District 23-6A play. This time from Dawson High School, who they beat last year 55-32.