By Steve Svetovich
The Holy Cross Crusaders, after two straight wins to start the season, are now 2-3 after three consecutive losses.
The most recent loss came at the hands of Old Forge, 47-7, Friday, September 21.
Old Forge’s Tyler Carey took the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
The Crusaders (1-1 in the division) were only able to accumulate 21 yards total offense in the first half.
In contrast, Blue Devils back Kevin Pepsin scored on his first three touches. The diminutive back scored on runs of 15, 29 and 41 yards against the Crusaders.
Pepsin totaled 155 yards rushing on eight carries in the contest.
Holy Cross avoided a shutout when quarterback Jake Wiercinski broke away for a 31-yard touchdown burst on fourth-and-three on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Old Forge running back Jackson Lynwood scored on two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter.
Anthony Rios, who had 83 rushing yards on just two carries, scored on a 64-yard punt return in the second quarter for Old Forge.
Wiercinski led the Holy Cross running game with 50 yards on seven carries.
Holy Cross finished with 91 rushing yards in the contest, but only 89 total yards.
The Blue Devils rushed for 320 yards on 28 carries, but had no passing yards against the Crusaders.
The Crusaders suffered a 48-6 loss to a tough Northwest Rangers team Friday, September 14, at Shickshinny.
Still, Holy Cross scored the first touchdown on Northwest football’s new football turf.
Crusaders quarterback Wiercinski’s first two passes went to Justin Walker. The first resulted on a 60-yard gain on the first play of the game. The second resulted in a 36-yard touchdown toss.
Jeremy Fick led the Holy Cross running game with 65 yards on 22 carries. Wiercinski added 30 yards on 15 carries.
The win was Northwest’s first of the season.
Holy Cross suffered its third consecutive defeat.
Northwest quarterback David Piestrak was a one-man wrecking crew against the Crusaders. He scored six touchdowns, including three on runs and two on passes. He scored a sixth touchdown on a punt return.
Piestrak completed 9-of-17 passes for 144 yards and ran five times for 61 yards.
The Rangers Connor Hazlet caught six passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Wassel scored on a 15-yard pass play for Northwest.
The talented Wiercinski completed 4-of-9 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Crusaders in the loss.
Holy Cross totaled 98 rushing yards.
UPDATE: The Crusaders were shut down 49-0 during their game against Riverside last Saturday. This makes them 204 for the season thus far, and 1-1 in their division. Holy Cross will travel on Saturday, Oct. 6, for a 1 p.m. game at Susquehanna.