Crusaders take game over again


Josh Luffred

Linfield’s Keegan Weiss just fails to down a 48-yard punt by Colton Ramos inside the 1-yard line in the Wildcat’s final drive of the third quarter. Mary Hardin-Baylor led 17-3 at the time and won the game 24-3.

Angel Rosas, Staff Writer

The rematch against Division III national champion Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Crusaders ended with a devastating defeat for the Wildcats.

Poor kickoff coverage, a dynamic opposing offense, and a lack of rhythm from the Wildcats offense led to a 24-3 loss for the home team.

Mary Hardin-Baylor’s quarterback, T.J. Josey, started the scoring by finding an open lane and making a 74-yard sprint to the end zone in their first possession.

Before the first half ended, the Wildcat defense was able to hold the current national champs to 10 points, only allowing a field goal by the Crusaders’ John Mowery.

The Linfield offense was able to get a scoring drive right before the end of the first half thanks to Willy Warne’s, ’19, field goal from the 51-yard line.

The second half started out with a bang, with Bryce Wilkerson, returning the kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown giving the Crusaders a twopoint lead.

The Wildcats defense was able to dominate the Crusaders’ offense for the majority of the third quarter. The Wildcats fended off the Crusaders from scoring but the ‘Cats offense could not get anything started.

The end came in the fourth quarter, when the Crusaders’ Josey completed a pass to wide receiver Isaiah Townes, for a 35-yard touchdown that led to a demanding 24-3 lead.

After the game, Wildcats Head Coach Joseph Smith said that as a young team, there was a lot to be proud of, such as good plays and great punting by Colton Ramos, ‘19.

However, Smith said there is a noticeable lack of physicality, which is something he wants to work on by focusing on basic fundamentals in the weeks to follow.

“It was just really disappointing,” said quarterback Troy Fowler, ‘19. Fowler talked about sharing the quarterback position with Aiden Wilder, ’20. “There is no bad blood,” Fowler said. “We both give 100 percent when we are out there.”

Smith added that whoever leads the offense in the quarterback position is a week-by-week decision.

Fowler said there is a lot of learning to do before the team takes on the Whitworth Pirates. He also said that the bye week will help the team improve, learn, and get to where they want to be.

The Wildcats play Whitworth on Sept. 30 for Homecoming weekend at the Catdome.