Despite losing their opening four games of the season, the Carlton Crusaders football team knew that they were getting better each time they got out on the field.
Their patience was rewarded on Thursday night at Max Clunie Field as the Crusaders picked up the first victory of the campaign with a 47-14 victory over the E.D. Feehan Trojans in Saskatoon Secondary Schools Athletic Directorate league play.
“We have a young squad this year but the guys are getting better with more time and more reps,” Crusaders head coach Lindsay Strachan said.
“We were looking to execute a little better in all three phases of the game tonight, and we did that. It’s great to see the guys get rewarded as they’ve been working hard and they now have a win under their belts.”
Although the Crusaders were coming off of a tough 34-27 loss to the Walter Murray Marauders last week, the team was able to build off of the positives from that game.
“We wanted to come back out and get the win tonight,” Grade 12 wideout Justin Adamko said. “We wanted to battle hard and have some fun along the way.
“We really came together as a group and we’re starting to get rolling in the right direction here before playoffs.”
Justin and his cousin Ryan Adamko led the way for the Crusaders on offence, especially in the first quarter at the hosts raced out to a 21-0 lead.
Ryan, a Grade 11 quarterback, scampered into the end zone from 34 and three yards out before connecting with Justin on a 56-yard touchdown pass.
Justin followed that up with a 10-yard run in the second quarter and a 90-yard kickoff return to start the second half, while Ryan got his third rushing touchdown of the night on a three-yard play.
“They’ve been huge for us,” Strachan said. “Justin was a defensive back last year but I kind of stole him a bit on offence, where he’s done a great job for us.
“Ryan’s been excellent all year when it comes to running and throwing the ball, which is nice to see.”
Austin Belair scampered across the goal line from 17 yards out late in the third quarter, while Rajd Alamin rounded out the scoring with a single point after his 19-yard field goal attempt went right of the goal post and went through the end zone.
The Trojans, who are now 0-4 on the campaign, got their points on short yardage rushing touchdowns from Zach Hein and Lars Thiemann.
Carlton will look to continue their winning ways next Thursday night at Max Clunie Field as they’ll take on the St. Mary Marauders in the Canadian Tire Classic at 6:30 p.m.
The 1-3 Marauders are in Saskatoon on Friday afternoon for a date with the 4-0 Holy Cross Crusaders.