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Being down 14-0 midway into third quarter Friday night, Strake Jesuit would not be stopped from coming back and scoring 21 unanswered points to pull out a victory over their district rival Pearland.
For Strake Jesuit, this game meant more, as it was not just another district matchup for them. Last season, the Pearland Oilers shattered Jesuit's 6-0 undefeated start to the season on a rainy homecoming at Clay Stadium. Heading into the game this week, the Crusaders were already looking for revenge.
A second half surge led by senior quarterback William Dickason and senior running back Dylan Campbell would allow the Crusaders to go on and defeat the Oilers 21-14.
Pearland's side of The Rig was packed, as this time, it was their homecoming game.
Fans were doing synchronized chants and shouting at the other team, getting hyped as the game was underway. The Oilers were moving fast on their first offensive drive, picking up first downs off of runs from junior running backs Torrance Burgess, Jr. and Brandon Campbell and bullet passes from quarterback Layne Roblyer. Burgess had the first score of the game on a short run with 11:25 left in the second quarter, which allowed Pearland to take a 7-0 lead.
It took awhile for Jesuit to start executing on their offensive drives, but their defense was able to keep the game close. Jesuit's offense in the first half included a blocked field goal off of a fumbled snap and a turnover on downs.
Jesuit's offense still looked smooth in the first half. Dickason was able to elude pressure from Pearland's defense and find open receivers outside the pocket. He found sophomore tight end Thomas Jewett open for a twenty-five yard reception and junior receiver Robert Smith open for multiple downfield receptions.
The first score of the second half was a 15-yard touchdown run from Campbell, but from that point on, it was the Crusaders' game.
Their momentum first kicked in when Dickason fired a 37-yard pass to senior receiver Corlan Joubert, putting Jesuit on Pearland's 15-yard line. Two plays later, Jesuit found their first score of the game when Dickason ran 17 yards into the end zone on a quarterback draw with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter. The Crusaders' hopes of turning the game around were very alive.
On Jesuit's next offensive drive, Campbell put his foot on the gas and ran it 72 yards to the house with 1:14 left in the third quarter. Tie game. The rest of the game would be a battle between both teams to see who would score first and gain an edge over the opposing team.
Jesuit's defense stepped up the whole second half and especially in the fourth quarter when they held off Pearland's offense from potentially scoring and taking the lead again.
This defensive stand made way for their offense to score again, as the Crusaders were able to get the ball back and drive down field. With 6:39 left in the game, the Crusaders were able to trick the Oilers' defense on a 6-yard halfback pass from Campbell to Robert Smith—who was a key player in the Crusaders' Friday night win with seven receptions for almost 90 receiving yards—for a touchdown. Strake Jesuit was winning 21-14. The Crusaders' defense was able to shut out the Oilers for the rest of the game, securing their victory.
Friday night's win over Pearland is one of Strake Jesuit's biggest wins on the season so far, as the Oilers were the only district opponent who they weren't able to beat last season.
Moreover, their outlook on the playoffs are looking strong because they are now a front runner with Pearland Dawson in the District 23-6A standings. Strake Jesuit's momentum heading into their game next week against Clute Brazoswood looks very strong, as they will be coming off of a game of crisp offense, relentless defense, and very high energy.