Friday, 20 November 2009 00:00
With a prodigious display of defensive prowess, the 10-year-old Hicksville Crusaders shut out the East Rockaway Raiders last weekend 7-0. Outstanding individual efforts by Alex Parciak, Nick and Steve Austin, T.J. Delfino, Ryan McBride and Connor McPartland all helped to completely neutralize East Rockaways offensive attack.
It wasn’t until, with only minutes remaining in the first half, that quarterback Peter Capel caught the Raiders defense flat footed. Capel called for a classic reverse that sprung running back Stephen Ketelsen. Devastating blocking by Alex Pierce, Jake Kinnaman, Tom Fleming and Matt Zwickel opened a lane that Ketelsen took full advantage of. As if he were shot out of a cannon, Ketelsen took the ball 42-yards putting the Crusaders on the scoreboard. Once Connor McPartland converted the extra point, the score was 7-0 in Hicksville’s favor.
The story of the second half was Crusaders ball control. Although they did not score, Hicksville kept the ball for eight minutes on the opening drive of the second half.
Hicksville’s fans had some cause for concern at the beginning of the fourth quarter when a fumble gave the ball back to the Raiders. The Crusaders defense showed what they are made of and the Raiders’ offense was stopped in their tracks on exceptional defensive plays by Capel, Ketelesen, Vincent Barretta and Tay-Veon Johnson.
Once Hicksville regained control of the ball, they dominated the clock. The key play in the fourth quarter was a fourth down quarterback keeper that allowed Capel to gain the most important first down of the game.
As time ran out and the final whistle blew, the celebration began. Although the 10-year-old Crusaders have accomplished more this year than ever before, they are still not finished.
On Saturday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Mitchell Field Athletic Complex, the Crusaders will meet the Farmingdale Hawks for the title. You can be sure that Coach Ketelsen will have his troops well prepared.