By Zachary Webb | 10.5.17
The Crusaders avenged their opening season loss to Pitt City with a resounding 47-17 win this past weekend. The two sides squared off on the sun-baked fields of Edgewater Park, along the shore of Lake Erie. A Pittsburgh player remarked after the game that he had not competed on such a barren, concrete like, dust-bowl since playing in Pretoria, in his home country of South Africa.
After the previous week’s landslide 95-3 win over the Rochester Aardvarks, the Crusaders knew success come if they played to their system and minimized handling errors. The first half was tight, with both sides trading leads, but Cleveland went into the break up 20-12 with plenty of wind in their sails.
The second half showed that the Crusaders have been working hard to develop the physical and mental discipline to put together 80 minutes of cohesive rugby. In open play both the pack and backs hit good support lines to create space for their teammates out on the wing and straight up the gut. Man of the match Doug Rawlings did his fair share of work on the day, running hard crashes and cheeky quick picks, recording 4 tries on the day. Backs Nick Musara and Dontez Smith tore it up out wide, each finishing with a try a piece and played quality defense, particularly in the second half. Musara was awarded defensive player of the game, and received the ceremonial shield for the week.
Both sides will be on the road this weekend, as the D2 squad travels to Indianapolis to take on the Impalas for the second time, and the D3 squad travels to Erie for their rematch with the Scalleywags.