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Crusaders survive scary finish, top Eagles

Faith Lutheran survived a frenetic final five minutes Friday, sealing the game with a 52-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by freshman Christian Marshall as the Crusaders downed visiting Boulder City, 31-19.

The first half ended just as wildly and ended up with Faith Lutheran gaining a lead it would keep. With 1:19 to play in the second quarter, the Crusaders forced a fumble recovered by Max McPherson at the Boulder City 35. With 28 seconds remaining, Faith Lutheran quarterback Jake Deaville ran in from 18 yards out. A Trent Dolby PAT gave Faith Lutheran a 7-6 lead.

The Eagles struck first on a 5-yard run by Brooks Roe, then forced a Crusader turnover and proceeded to march 13 plays before being halted at the Faith Lutheran 5-yard line on a pass broken up by Ricco Gonzales. Faith Lutheran then took the ball from their own five yard line into Boulder City territory, but stalled out at the 44 yard line. Faith Lutheranaverted the first-half shutout sparked by McPherson’s fumble recovery.

The teams traded second-half touchdowns, Faith Lutheran striking first with an 8-yard run by Fabian Lagudi and Boulder City countering with its only complete pass of the night from Trenton Carmell to Roe for a 10-yard TD. But for the second time, Faith Lutheran stopped the Eagles’ PAT attempt and maintained a lead at 14-12.

Faith Lutheran (3-2) extended its lead to 24-12 on a 16-yard TD run by Keenan Smith and a 24-yard field goal by Dolby, but Boulder City (2-2) responded with a 79-yard TD run by Xavier Steel. The Eagles then attempted an onside kick, which Marshall nabbed at the 50 and scampered around the swarming Eagles defense for the game-clinching TD.

Faith Lutheran was led by 100 yards passing from Deaville, 107 yards rushing from Smith and 92 yards rushing from Lagudi.

Boulder City got 81 yards rushing each from Roe and Steel, who stung the Crusaders for 267 yards and four touchdowns a year ago.

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