NORTH ROBINSON — Tears flowed at H. J. Gary Field in the aftermath of Colonel Crawford’s last-second loss to Fairview in the Division VI, Region 22 regional semifinal.
But a smile finally emerged on Tristan Cross’ face as he spoke about his team’s stellar 8-1 season and his record-setting career.
“We rolled on them a little bit and we had the lead for most of the game,” said the 215-pound senior who rumbled for 277 yards on 40 carries.
“They adjusted after halftime and started stopping us on offense. You have to give credit to them. They’re a very good offense. They just outscored us in the end.”
Cross was quick to give credit to his teammates, particularly the offensive line. He and his backfield mate Cade Hamilton (163 yards) comprised a powerful 1-2 punch for the Eagles, running behind them in an old-fashioned Wing-T formation.
“We would not be the ground and pound team we are without that line. I wouldn’t trade those guys for anybody in our league, in this region, anybody,” he said.
Cross came in to the game with 1,171 yards rushing, 8.5 yards per carry. Hamilton added 510 stripes. The pair combined for 28 touchdowns.
On defense, the linebacker was in on 74 tackles.
“I’ve been with those guys for a long time. They’ve worked hard. They’re great. I loved them; loved being behind them.”
Among that group are Carson Feichtner at tight end and linemen Nick Teglovic and Konner Moore at tackle, Parker Ketterman, Anthony Hill and Drayton Burkhart at guard and Brandon Britt at center.
This Eagles team will be remembered as one of the best in school history, led by its talented senior class. Coach Ryan Teglovic’s squad returned 16 starters from last season.
“We’ve definitely been talking about it since we were fifth, sixth, seventh graders. We had a rough three years at the start,” Cross recalled.
“We went from 4-6 last year to undefeated league champs. That just shows you how hard we’ve wanted it from the start. We’ve worked hard for it.”
The biggest difference other than experience may have been his team’s determination.
“We knew this was it. We are a team full of seniors. We know what it was like to lose and we didn’t want to go through that again this year,” Cross said.
“It paid off … even though it’s the end for us.”