Monroe-Woodbury Crusaders fight to stay on top

Central Valley. The tough game had Crusaders fans on the edge of their seats.

| 04 Oct 2023 | 10:56

On a misty overcast Saturday afternoon, the Crusaders took on the Middies of Middletown in a key league game in Central Valley. The Crusaders entered the game with a 2-1 record on the season after beating Valley Central 41-7 last week. The Middies came into the game with a 3-0 record on the season after beating Kingston in their last game 42-7.

The Middies ended the Crusaders season last year when they defeated the Crusaders 14-7 in the playoffs. The Crusaders took a 3-0 first quarter lead when Quincy Banker kicked a 32-yard field goal. Early in the second quarter, defensive back Kyle German stopped a Middle drive when he made the first of his three interceptions.

Unfortunately, the Middies answered right back when on the next play they returned the favor and intercepted a Crusader pass and scored to take a 7-3 lead. The Middies increased their lead when they scored on a 29-yard touchdown run and but missed the PAT and took a 13-3 lead.

The Crusaders answered back on their next possession when quarterback David Fennessy’s pass to a leaping Bryce Coulanges led to a 64-yard touchdown and the Middies lead was 13-10 at the half. The Crusaders took the lead in the third quarter when Fennessy hit a streaking Nate Shim and the speedster scored a beautiful 80-yard touchdown to put the Crusaders up 17-13. The Middies took the lead again in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run and with 2 minutes left led 20-17.

The Crusaders had time for one last drive. Fennessy hooked up with Shim again on a 28-yard pass that put the ball down on the Middies’ 5-yard line. With 1:30 left in the game, Nate Coulanges took a handoff and drove his way into the end zone and when Banker hit his three PAT of the game the Crusaders were up 24-20.

The Middies were not done and drove right down the field, but with time running out in the game Kyle German made his third interception of the game at the Crusader goal line to end the Middies threat. The Crusaders’ 24-20 victory brings their record to 3-1 on the season. Their next game will be on Friday when they travel to Pine Bush to take on the Bushmen.