Strong start pushes Crusaders past Bethlehem in regular season finale

Carlton Crusaders receiver Jordan Stene attempts to avoid a Bethlehem defender during high school football action at Max Clunie Field

A strong first quarter was all that was needed for the Carlton Crusaders as they defeated the Bethlehem Stars 49-14 in high school football action Friday night at Max Clunie Field.

“A couple weeks ago, we were really talking about getting on track and we’ve been real efficient since then and it’s been good. Lots of talk of finishing off what we started and we played well in all three phases tonight.”

Sullivan Smith-Windsor opened the scoring for the Crusaders with a two yard rushing touchdown just over three minutes into the contest.

Gage Prodaehl would catch a touchdown pass from 17 yards out and Tristan O’Connell would catch two touchdown passes to give the Crusaders a commanding 28-0 score after the first half.

Samuel Besong would get Bethlehem on the board at the 10:09 mark of the third quarter with a 32 yard touchdown reception.

From the second quarter on, Gage Prodaehl was on a mission as he did both the kicking, running and the catching for the Crusaders accounting for all of their points after the first quarter.

A one yard touchdown run, three one point conversions and a 28 yard touchdown reception gave the Crusaders a 43-6 lead going into the half.

Prodaehl continued to provide the offense for Carlton as he kicked two field goals in the second half from 35 and 16 yards to extend the Carlton lead.

Bethlehem would get their second score of the contest on a rushing score from Darius Obey in the fourth quarter with a two point conversion.

Friday night marked the last home game in Prince Albert for several Carlton football players. Strachan says the final home game can be a bittersweet moment.

“Itt’s always a bittersweet moment when we get to recognize them because we’re super proud of them but at the same time, there’s a little bit of sadness that we won’t get to see them on this field again. As always, we thank them for their time and energy and doing what we ask Crusaders to do everyday.”

With the win, Carlton is firmly in the postseason picture and their matchup will be determined by other high school games in action Friday.