Mater Dei Crusaders 29, Hilltop Lancers 19

This game turned out to be a textbook example of why it is important to win the battle at the line of scrimmage. Mater Dei came out of the trenches with a 29 – 19 win over Hilltop.

There was lots of hard-nosed running between the tackles, with the occasional deep ball. It was the kind of game where the linemen deserve to just as much lauding as the men who they sprung for touchdowns.

The first quarter came and went with no score.

Finally Mater Dei got the scoring started with a Alex Golembiewski field goal.

Hilltop would answer two drives later with an Alex Tejeda 20 yard touchdown pass to Gus Ferreira. This would end up being the only time that the Lancers led in the game.

Late in the second quarter Mater Dei took the lead back for good on a 60 yard td strike from Chris Jones to Eli Shelton, one of the big plays set up by the pounding away at the line.

Early in the third quarter Mater Dei’s star running back CJ Verdell finally got his weekly highlight reel moment when he broke loose for a 75 yard touchdown run to take a 15 – 7 lead.

Hilltop pulled within 2 when Angel Pineda ran in a 1 yard touchdown but the Lancers wouldn’t be able to convert on the conversion.

CJ Verdell was there for the Crusaders to ice the game with his second touchdown of the night in another 100 plus yard night. 


This Friday things get medieval at Hilltop as the Lancers (3-4) host the Mater Dei Crusaders (6-1). This will be a battle of size against speed for two teams in need of wins for different reasons.

For Mater Dei a win means a chance to take over the top spot in Division 4. In order to accomplish that they will turn to the legs of CJ Verdell, who leads the team with an impressive 12 touchdowns this season.

“We’re smaller than them and that’s scary,” said Mater Dei coach John Joyner, “we need to make it a track meet and use our speed to win.”

Controlling the ground game and time of possession is they key for a Crusaders victory on Friday.

For Hilltop this game means a chance to climb back to .500 and get some momentum going for an end of the season run into the playoffs. Coming off of a solid victory against Lincoln last week, the Lancers know that consistency is key in order to string together wins.

“If we can eliminate the mental mistake on offense then we should be in good shape,” said Hilltop coach Cody Roelof.

The other big question will be how well can the Lancers defense get in the backfield and disrupt Mater Dei with their size. They have 19 sacks on the season and will need to add a couple more for a win.

The ball should stay pretty close to the ground on Friday as these two teams eat up a lot of clock and try to battle for every yard they can get. 

Categories: 2014 PPR Archive, 2015 PPR Features, 2015 PPR Features Part 2, Week 9: October 23, 2015