The Cardinal Ritter Football Team had a dominant performance on Friday in their last tune-up game before the IHSAA Sectional Tournament begins this Friday. They had Indiana Crossroads Conference foe Cascade come to Marian University to show the CYO players in the house what Raider football is all about. The “Pirates of the Pigskin” “pillaged and plundered” any chance of the Cadets winning by dominating both sides of the field in a 46-0 win that had the Raider Nation singing “Yo ho, yo ho, a Raiders life for me” after the game. It was a great night for Cardinal Ritter, even our mascot came to hang out and cheer on the team and hang with the CYO players.
The “Beefy Buccaneer Brothers” of Aaron “Rhino” Roberts, Isaac Jzar, Onye Nwosisi, Daveion Hardin and Justin Gomez inserted their will on play 1 from scrimmage, opening a gaping hole for Gavin Crooke who took the first play 28 yards to the Cascade 36 yard line. On play 2, they opened another hole that someone could have driven a car through for Justin “Powder Keg” Browder fro a 14 yard gain. Crooke took the ball again on another huge hole but there was a penalty. That didn’t slow down the big guys in the trenches because 3 plays later the Raiders ran a screen play to Crooke from Browder who got behind the line and ran into the end zone almost untouched.
The Cadets managed just 1 first down before punting the ball to the Raiders 45 yard line. Cardinal Ritter was faced with a 3rd and long when Browder tossed the ball 20 yards down field to his right to Austin “The Enforcer” Sultzer for a first down on the Cadet 32. On the very next play the “Beefy Buccaneers” were on display and Crooke made the Cadets pay as he shot through the huge hole and into the Cadet secondary where he showed off his physicality knocking away 4 Cascade defenders for the Raiders 2nd touchdown. After the extra point by Ben Valle, the good guys were up 13-0.
Crooke and Timmy “The Galloping Ghost” Godsil wanted to show the Raiders were more than an offensive juggernaut and on the next defensive series, Crooke blasted the Cadet runner, forcing a fumble which Godsil quickly fell on for turnover. Sophomore, DeJuan Brown must have been studying Crooke on what to do on offense (get behind the big guys), and came in on his first play from scrimmage and ran 21 yards for another Raider score. This put CRHS up 20-0 still in the first half.
On the next Cascade drive, the Cadets managed 1 first down before being forced to punt the ball away again, this time to the Cardinal Ritter 29 yard line. The Raiders marched down the field and scored again, this time Brown ran right behind Roberts on the right side of the line and made it to the end-zone untouched. This put the score at 26-0 with 33 seconds left in the first quarter.
Cascade could do nothing again because of the strong Raider defense and gave the ball back. The Raiders marched down again with huge plays by Jordan Johnson on a pass from Browder and a 12 yard run right off of Roberts again for a touchdown. After the Valle kick was good, the Raiders were up 33-0 with 7:48 left in the half.
The Raiders stifling defense gave the ball back again to the offense where Crooke went to work again and had some big gains, then Sultzer had a punishing run where he ran through several Cascade arm tackles and stretched out just shy of the end zone. He was rewarded on the next play with a another run and a touchdown to put Cardinal Ritter up 40-0 after the Valle kick.
The second half was much of the same, with the Raiders dominating every aspect of the game. The young players were able to show their skills and Jay Roberts scored a touchdown to make it a final of 46-0.
Crooke led the team statistically both on offense and defense. He ran for 125 yards and 1 touchdown on 10 carries, caught a touchdown for a team high 34 yards receiving and led the team in tackles with 7. Adding to the rushing attack was Brown who had 72 yards and 2 TDs on 7 carries, Browder with 46 yards on 4 carries, Sultzer with 42 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 5 carries, Jay Roberts with 44 yards and a score on 10 carries and Kemari Robinson with 24 yards. Browder added a touchdown through the air and finished with a 129.9 QB rating.
The defense was a full team effort with 11 guys having 3 or more tackles. Behind Crooke was sack master Antwann Dix with 6, Brown with 5, Gabe Castaneda with 4 and Browder, Jay Gartrell, Godsil, Jordan Johnson, Troy Wilson, Jzar, and Gomez with 3.
The Raiders then moved on to the Sectional Tournament against West Vigo…
More to come…