The Crusaders had a rematch with one of their old adversaries from earlier this season. The Rose Hill Rockets journeyed to play on Wellington’s home turf this time last Friday evening. Fresh from their recent victory over Independence of 42-7 , the Rockets were feeling as confident as they had all season, having broken a seven-game losing streak.
The Crusaders were hoping to be the Comeback Kids by the end of the evening. Last Friday, their five-game winning streak came to a heartbreaking end with their 14-13 loss to Mulvane.
Tyce Carlson was the Rockets star player in the match-up with Independence. The Crusaders were going to have to deal with him, among others. For the Crusaders, it was going to be another night to see what Grey Hatfield would be up to. He had been their own star player for most of the season.
There was pressure on both teams tonight. For the loser, this would be it for the season. The winner, of course, would get the chance to carry on to fight and play another day.
It was the return of Gray Hatfield to the grid iron and he wasted no time in mixing it up with the Rockets. He gained plenty of yardage, with the Rockets doing their best to bring him down.
He was assisted by Crusaders such as De’Andre Washington in getting the ball down the field.
With 6:50 left in the first quarter, the Crusaders got onto the board first, thanks to Silas Popplewell, to make it 6-0, but failed on the kick.
The Rockets were able to make inroads into Crusader territory. They were able to score their first touchdown, thanks to Dalton Rapp, with just a little over three minutes left in the first quarter. They scored with the kick and took the lead with 7-6 over the Crusaders.
With just over a minute left in the first quarter, Hatfield scored with his first touchdown of the evening to make it 12-7. The Crusaders attempted a two-point conversion, but it failed.
That was how the first quarter ended, with both teams still competitive on the scoreboard.
Zane Cornejo stepped up next for the Crusaders with his own touchdown, thanks to a fumble recovery. The Crusaders were denied on the kick and the conversion, but still increased their lead to 18-7.
With less than a minute left in the first half, Hatfield scored another touchdown, with the kick successful this time, to make the score 25-7.
Coming back out onto the field with the score unchanged, it was crunch time for the Rockets as they knew it was either going to be their night or the Crusaders. Time was running out.
The Crusader advance did not stop, but it did slow down coming into the third quarter. Despite encountering resistance from the Rockets, the Crusaders were able to move the ball deeper into Rocket territory.
Near the end of the third quarter, it was Hatfield again--running 63 yards--to make another touchdown. The Crusaders failed on the kick again, but still made it 31-7.
Starting the 4th and final quarter, the Rockets kept up their fight, but with time running out, the writing was on the wall. With their season nearly over, the Rockets were going to try their best to go out fighting.
For the Crusaders, all they had to do was run out the clock. The game was theirs. As the fourth quarter came to an end, there was one last surprise. Freshman Michael Cullens was just able to score a touchdown, getting knocked over the line. Getting the point made it 38-7.
The Rockets had one last touchdown to get, though, making it 38-13, with the game nearly over.
With the final 38-13 score, the Crusaders were now set to advance to play against Buhler next Friday evening. Buhler had just beaten Winfield Friday evening, so the stage was set for the next big clash on the gridiron.