NORTH ROBINSON — After the Colonel Crawford Eagles cruised to a week one victory on the road against Mount Gilead, they returned to their home field on Friday, September 1 for a clash with the visiting North Union Wildcats.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats offense was too much for the Eagles defense to handle as North Union rolled to the 55-20 victory. Colonel Crawford drops to 1-1 on the season with the defeat.
North Union got the scoring started in the first when Trevor Moran punched a touchdown in on a five-yard run and with an Anthony Padovano extra-point, it was the visitors up early; 7-0. Later on in the first, the ‘Cats would distance themselves further from their hosts as Carson Smith dashed his way to a 50-yard touchdown run and with the PAT, North Union sprinted out to the 14-0 lead. Late in the opening quarter, the hometown Eagles posted their first touchdown of the evening on a three-yard touchdown run by running back Dylan Knisely and proceeded to convert the two-point conversion attempt to pull within six at 14-8 heading into the second.
In that second quarter, the North Union defense would shine and hold the Eagles scoreless while the offense tacked on an additional seven points thanks to a Padovano to Smith touchdown pass of 29-yards with the added extra-point. The defense proved that it could not only hold the Crawford offensive push but shortly before the end of the first half, Smith picked off a Zye Shipman passed and sprinted off to a 100-yard pick-six. Padovano tacked on the PAT and the Wildcats headed into the intermission with a commanding 28-8 lead over the Eagles.
The third quarter would begin in much of the same manner with North Union striking first thanks to a Moran 39-yard touchdown run and a Padovano PAT. With the lead now stretched to 35-8, Knisely would run in his second TD of the contest, this time from five yards out but the extra-point attempt missed, making it 35-14 in favor of the visitors. Moran would continue his stellar game, also adding a 50-yard touchdown run in the third, paired with another extra-point by Padovano to make it 42-14. Crawford, however, refused to go down without a fight and got on the scoreboard again via a 75-yard touchdown run by Colton Rowland. With another missed PAT, the Eagles would end the third on the wrong side of a 42-20 score.
Moran added a two-yard score and Padovano another extra-point to expand the lead to 29 points at 49-20. Smith found the endzone again in the fourth on a 42-yard dash to bring the game to its eventual final score of 55-20.
The two teams would combine for nearly 1,000 yards of total offense on the night with the visitors racking up 527 (156 passing, 371 rushing) and the hosts notching 451 (148 passing, 303 rushing). North Union and Crawford would be penalized 11 times apiece throughout the contest with the ‘Cats costing them 66 yards and the Eagles 52. Colonel Crawford’s three turnovers proved to be costly as North Union protected the ball well despite committing one turnover.
Offensive statistics for the black and yellow in the loss were: Team- 18 first downs (NU had 20); Shipman- 6/14 passing, 137 yards, INT, 5 rushes, 24 yards; Brock Ritzhaupt- 2/4 passing, 11 yards, 2 INT; Rowland- 12 rushes, 137 yards, TD; Knisely- 24 rushes, 108 yards, 2TD; Tristan Cross- 4 rushes, 25 yards; Owin Seevers- 1 rush, 7 yards, 5 catches, 132 yards; Andrew Geiger- 1 rush, 2 yards and Chase Walker- 2 catches, 12 yards.
Colonel Crawford will be back on the road in week three action as they wrap their non-conference schedule against the Cardington Pirates (0-2). The Eagles will be at home on Friday, September 14 when they kick-off their Northern-10 Athletic Conference schedule against the Upper Sandusky Rams.