Hard-fought battle brings end to Crusaders’ run

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Injuries often have a way of changing games, but on Friday a pair of injuries didn’t just alter game plans, it caused seismic shifts in both offenses.

Friday’s game between Coon Rapids-Bayard and Fremont-Mills promised to feature two of the best backs in Iowa high school football. However early on in the contest the star running back for Fremont-Mills, Seth Malcom, who entered the game with over 1,500 rushing yards on the season, had to leave the game because of an injury.

While that could have helped the Crusaders exploit the hole left by Malcom on both offense and defense, their own star running back, Jeffrey Eagle wouldn’t stay in the game for too much longer.

A second quarter knee injury sidelined Eagle for the rest of the night.

From there, the game became a battle of wills, and the team with the most developed back-up players.

Fremont-Mills won the contest 22-6.

“We knocked which others running backs out of the game,” said head coach, Chris Mohr of the Coon Rapids-Bayard team. “The number of subs for both teams made the difference. They were able to rotate different linemen in on the defensive and offensive side of the ball late in the game. We just don’t have the depth at those spots.”

Coming into Friday’s game the Crusaders were busy trying to find running routes past a tall and athletic line for the Knights.

Both teams were able to score near halftime. Fremont-Mills scored late in the first half, but the Crusaders would answer to start the second half when Peyton Clipperton capped off the drive with a two-yard run.

With that the contest was tied at six.

Fremont-Mills had the advantage in the second half with fresh bodies along the line of scrimmage.

“It was very physical game,” Mohr said. “Both teams were hurting after the game. Again the advantage Fremont-Mills had was kids to rotate in on the line. By the fourth quarter we were wore down because of that.”

Fremont-Mills scored two touchdowns late in the game, including a game-sealing touchdown with less than a minute left.

“Never giving up,” Mohr said about something that stood out for his team on Friday’s game. “They left everything they had on the field. We moved the ball well. But really hurt ourselves with penalties all night. We struggled all night with recovering from the penalties.”

The Crusaders finished with an 8-2 overall record on the season.

Mohr said that the work ethic of this year’s team was unmatched. He also said that everyone on the team were proven leaders this season.

No individual game stats were available at press time.

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