Thursday’s 34-27 loss to the Walter Murray Marauders was easily the best performance of the season for the Carlton Crusaders football program.
However, some costly turnovers proved to be the difference at Max Clunie Field as the hosts fell to 0-4 in Saskatoon Secondary Schools Athletic Directorate play.
“Football is a tough enough game to play when you are trying to beat a team with different coloured jerseys, let alone when we’re making things harder for ourselves with a couple of fumbles and interceptions,” Crusaders head coach Lindsay Strachan said.
“If we take away a couple of those unforced errors, that’s probably the difference in the game, but that’s one of the side effects that comes with having a young football team and this is something that the guys will get better from.”
Despite the loss, there were still a lot of positives that the Crusaders were able take out of the contest, which was their closest game of the year to date.
“They competed right until the end once again and we saw a lot of good things tonight,” Strachan said.
“We know that we can throw the ball pretty well, but our running game has been a work in progress during the season. Our offensive line was able to establish some things right away and I think that set the tone for the rest of the night.”
Ryan Adamko completed a pair of passes to Tarynce Russin and Mason Harris for touchdowns, while Austin Belair and Justin Adamko had rushing scores for the hosts.
The Marauders, who improved to 2-1 with the victory, were led on offence by Grade 12 quarterback Koal Erixon as he threw three touchdown passes and rushed into the end zone twice.
“I try to use my arm and my legs as much as I can,” Erixon said. “There’s a lot of people out there on the field, so I try as active as possible during a game.
“It was a great game and both teams fought hard until the end. All of our guys came to play tonight, but there are lots of things we can get better at ahead of next week’s game against Aden Bowman.”
Meanwhile, the Crusaders will look to enter the win column next Thursday at Max Clunie Field when the E.D. Feehan Trojans come to town for a 6:30 p.m. affair.
“Tonight was the first time that we went right down until the end of a game this year, which is huge for this young team,” Strachan said. “We would have liked a different outcome of course, but we’ll regroup and come back next week at practice to get ready for Feehan.”
The Trojans fell to 0-3 for the season on Thursday with a 30-7 loss to the Bedford Road Redhawks in Saskatoon.