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11-Year-Old Crusaders ‘Kick Off’ Season With 3-0 Start

Week 1

The 11-year-old Hicksville Crusaders opened their season against the Bellmore Braves. Hicksville won the coin toss and after receiving the kickoff the offense took the field with the end zone being the focus; it didn’t take long for Luke Walker to score the Crusaders’ first touchdown of the season.

After the defense held Bellmore to three Hicksville started their second possession which included a 35-yard pass play from quarterback Anthony Rolston to fullback Matt Roberts which put the ball inside the 10-yard line, from there Roberts pounded the ball up the middle behind the offensive line of Damian Cardelina, Nick Yanapolus, Martin Egan, Nick Pascucci, Matt Feaster, Ray Pietzak and Bob Barbosa for the Crusaders’ second touchdown. Hicksville’s third touchdown was scored by Sam Ingardia which made the score 21-0.

Defensively Hicksville stood strong all day with interceptions by Lou Valentino and Luke Walker who returned his for a touchdown. This brought the final score to 28–0 and earned the Crusaders their first win of the season.

Week 2

The Crusaders went on the road to play the Island Trees Cardinals. The Crusader offence got off to a great start when quarterback Anthony Rolston connected with Sam Ingardia for a 30-yard pass and run from there Nico Mueller took the ball the distance on a sweep to the left for the Crusaders’ first score of the day.

When the defense took the field they had a tough time holding the Cardinals who put together a very impressive drive. Fortunately the Crusader defense pulled together and stood strong and stopped the drive inside the 10-yard line. The defensive battle continued into the third quarter when Luke Walker finally broke loose and scored to put Hicksville up 12–0. That would be all the scoring for the day as Hicksville again stopped a Cardinal drive inside the five yard line when our defense forced a fumble which was recovered by Martin Egan which put the game away for good.

Week 3

The third week of play found the Crusaders back at home to play the East Rockaway Raiders. After losing the ball on their first possession the defense took the field and held the Raiders to a three and out possession. The offense took the field with determination and put the ball confidently into the hands of Nico Muller who took the ball on a sweep to the left for a for a 60-yard touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff the Raiders returned it the distance which put Hicksville down 7–6.

The Raiders went on to score another touchdown to make the score 13–6. The Crusader offense again took to the field moving the ball down field with a drive that ended with another touchdown by Nico Muller which made the score 13–12. With the second quarter winding down the Crusaders defense held the Raiders deep in their own end and forced them to punt with only one minute left in the half. After a risky but smart play by Sam Ingardia in fielding the punt the Crusaders took over in good field position with under a minute to play in the half. Anthony Rolston went right to work and hit Matt Roberts who caught the pass and ran 25 yards before powering his way into the end zone to put Hicksville up 18-13 at half time.

The Crusader offense came out strong in the second half and took most of the third quarter with a 70-yard drive with the ball carried eight times in a row by Sam Ingardia behind the blocking of Damian Cardelina, Lou Valentino, Ray Pietzak, Martin Egan, Nick Pascucci, Matt Feaster and Bob Barbosa. Ingardia capped the drive with the touchdown which put the Crusaders ahead for good and a final score of 24–19.