After being shut out by a worthy opponent in Week One of the 2021 football season back in August, the Crusaders of Bishop McDevitt have been averaging 52 points per game while only giving up a mere 56 total to post a 7-1 record as the regular season nears its end and the District 3 playoffs loom large in November.
The Crusaders always field great talent, with speed at every skill position, and to defend this unit is nearly impossible unless you can match their quickness and speed. No local team has come close to stopping this speeding locomotive that is barreling down the tracks.
Under center is freshman Stone Saunders, who is already Division I bound and has lit up defenses for 30-plus touchdown passes while amassing some 1,500 yards with his arm. In action against Red Land at West Shore Stadium in New Cumberland on Oct. 22, the Crusaders scored 49 first-half points against the Patriots, who never could contain the edge, giving the Crusaders ample room to run and throw. It was just not a fair fight given McDevitt’s multiple-threat offense.
When you score the ball the way the Crusaders do, there is little pressure on a defense to play tight coverage well and compete up front to stop a quality opponent’s running game. But, this Crusader defense also boasts size and speed, and come playoff time when making big stops against quality opponents in cold weather is crucial, odds are these 11 Crusader defenders will be bad to bet against.
Safe to say, few teams in the state of Pennsylvania are going to be able to match the pace of the Crusaders’ play. Do turnovers, costly penalties, defensive lapses or ill-timed injuries derail this speeding locomotive this late autumn, or are those questions answered with a “no” by this elite football program that is abundantly blessed with skill, talent and well-seasoned coaching?
(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness