Some wins feel different. Concordia Football’s 9-7 victory over St. Pius X Catholic High School on Friday, Sept. 24th was more than different, it was exceptional. At first read, the score looks like a battle on the baseball diamond, but in this defensive struggle, points were difficult to come by following some injuries from key offensive players from each team.
Huddy Yezak (Sr.) put Concordia on the scoreboard first with a 20-yard field goal in the 1st quarter. On Pius’ opening drive, LB Andrew Shrewsbury (Sr.) forced a fumble that Noah Marsh (Sr.) recovered. That was most of the action for the first half with the Crusaders leading 3-0 at halftime.
The endzones were only visited in the 3rd quarter, when Concordia QB Lou Lamar (So.) found TE Cole Merritt (Sr.) streaking up the field for a 27-yard TD pass to push the Crusaders lead to 9-0. The Panthers responded with a long, scoring drive of their own late in the 3rd quarter when RB Burke Battenfield (Sr.) found the endzone cutting into the Concordia lead, 7-9. Battenfield finished with 120 yards on 21 rushes as a bright spot for the Panthers offense.
Through most of the game, Concordia’s offense struggled to put drives together after starting QB Gideon Stark (Sr.) went out with an injury in the 2nd quarter. Insert running back and back-up quarterback, Lamar who managed the offense by relying on the ground game. Tate Elder (Sr.), Ryder Anderson (Jr.), Ayden Dominy (Jr.), and Lamar’s combined rushing attack resulted in 126 yards that kept the clock ticking. Only one pass attempt was made in the second half, but it was Merritt’s touchdown grab.
The Crusaders stout defense only allowed 7 points on 301 yards of Panther offense (almost 2x Concordia’s offense - 153 yards). Shrewsbury and Elder led the defense with 12 and 11 tackles respectively, while 15 other Crusaders registered at least one tackle. When it mattered most, Concordia repeatedly got stops on 3rd and 4th downs, including an impressive goal line stand in the first half where the Panthers walked away empty-handed.
At the end of the 4th quarter, the Crusaders tried to run out the clock and had the ball around midfield with less than 2 minutes remaining. Electing to go for it on 4th down, the Crusaders turned it over on downs. This gave the Panthers some slim hope with the ball in Concordia territory with less than 90 seconds to play.
After a couple successful out routes by Panther WRs to stop the clock, St. Pius QB Cale Skinner (Jr.) scrambled out-of-bounds for a first down. On the play, Concordia’s LB Shrewsbury was called for a personal foul unnecessary roughness that resulted in a fresh set of downs and the ball on the Crusaders 22-yard line. Following some failed endzone passes, the Panthers sent in their kicker to attempt the game winner. Senior leader RB/DB Tate Elder would not be denied on the edge. Elder beat the blockers and came flying in to block the FG attempt, securing the game for the Crusaders.
St. Pius X (2-2 Overall and 0-1 District) had previously dominated Concordia since 2012. Friday night’s victory was only the second time in school history for the Crusaders to defeat the Panthers.
In the 2012-2013 school year, Concordia moved up to TAPPS’ highest division and started playing in the same district as St. Pius. In 11 historical meetings (2012 and 2013 the teams played x2 a year during district play), the Panthers previously held a 10-1 advantage with the Crusaders lone win in 2013’s second match-up. Entering Fall 2021, St. Pius had outscored Concordia 452-246 over the course of the series.
Concordia’s Career Games vs. St. Pius X Catholic High School:
Fall 2012 - Lost 30-10 and Lost 49-20
Fall 2013 - Lost 51-49 and Won 39-38
Fall 2014 - Lost 31-20
Fall 2015 - Lost 49-3
Fall 2016 - Lost 34-0
Fall 2017 - Lost 53-42
Fall 2018 - Lost 34-14
Fall 2019 - Lost 36-35
Fall 2020 - Lost 47-14
Fall 2021 - Won 9-7
The win came on a big night for SaderNation with the student section hyped up and dressed in neon, the band rockin’, cheerleaders pumping up the crowd, and many guests on campus. Friday night was the annual middle school football association night for Trinity Klein Lutheran, Salem Lutheran, and St. Anne Catholic schools as well as a showcase half-time show from the Little Sader Cheer Clinic 1-8th grade participants.
Next up for the Crusaders (1-4 Overall and 1-0 District) is a well-earned bye week. Friday, Oct. 8th will be Concordia’s homecoming game hosting San Antonio Central Catholic (4-1 Overall and 1-0 District).