By Zachary Webb | 10.25.17
It’s do or die time. The regular season has wrapped up for the Crusaders D3 side. They enter the postseason 5-1; winning their last 4 games. Their only loss was a close 22-28 game early in the season against the Cleveland Rovers. The Bluesaders avenged that loss with a commanding 36-14 win on October 14th, which knocked the Rovers out of the top spot in the Northern Division.
The following week, a 35-22 win over Akron, and a Rovers’ loss to the Presque Isle Scalleywags, secured the only playoff berth for the Crusaders. This weekend the Bluesaders will take on the undefeated Pittsburgh Highlanders, a side which has amassed 376 points for, and have only allowed 28 points against, over a total of six games this year. Cleveland will be looking to their centers Joe Wollerman and Everett Chambers to deliver offensively and keep the middle of the field locked down on defense. The tandem has established themselves as a mainstay of this Crusaders side, particularly over the last few games of the season. Forwards Jay “Ninja” Mercier, Jake “Snake” Garver and Frank “Tank” Vitale will be expected to set the tone defensively.
After leaving three winnable games on the pitch this season, the Crusaders D2 side are in the wildcard hunt, along with the Chicago Blaze and Metropolis out of Minneapolis. The Midwest West, consisting of nine teams, is guaranteed two playoff berths. The Midwest East, consisting of only four teams, is only guaranteed one. The fourth playoff berth is a wildcard slot awarded to the top points leader of the remaining teams. In order to secure this spot the Crusaders will have to topple the undefeated Detroit Tradesmen, in Detroit. While the team has put themselves behind the eight ball, the Crusaders know this is a Detroit side they led 31-12 at the half earlier this season.
The Crusaders are up to the challenge. To get to the ring at the top of the mountain, we can’t go around em, can’t go under em, we have to go through them.