Faith Lutheran senior Sagan Gronauer may be the top quarterback prospect in Southern Nevada’s senior class.
On Friday night, he showed why.
Gronauer, who has committed to Idaho State, completed nine of 15 passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another score in the Crusaders’ 48-7 road dismantling of Cimarron-Memorial.
“The offensive line played really well tonight, they played outstanding,” Gronauer said.“It’s a big shift from what we had the first couple of weeks playing tough opponents like Valor Christian, Chandler and JSerra. It was tough, but they progressed, and you saw the progression tonight.
The Crusaders (2-3, 1-0 in Northwest League play) started off slowly as Gronauer missed on his first three passes of the game. Faith Lutheran head coach Vernon Fox credited Gronauer’s physical and mental toughness and leadership skills for overcoming a slow start.
“We expect a lot of him, put a lot on his shoulders, and he responds,” Fox said. “He certainly isn’t perfect, but he does a lot of things well. We wouldn’t choose anybody else to be our quarterback.”
The Spartans (2-4, 0-2) responded to the defensive stand by pounding out a 47-yard driving score that was capped off by Jordan Norwood’s 3-yard touchdown run to take a surprising 7-0 lead.
After that, it was all Crusaders.
Gronauer tied the game on a 12-yard touchdown run, and followed with a 36-yard touchdown run by Julian Rohan.
Rohan scored again — from 14 yards out on a screen pass from Gronauer. Gregory Oliver then returned a punt for 51 yards for a score. Gronauer connected on his second touchdown of the night when he connected with Sebastian Burke on a 6-yard pass before the half to give the Crusaders a 34-7 lead.
The Crusaders hope the tough early season schedule of playing national programs helped prepared them for the grind of league play, but Fox is keeping his team grounded by emphasizing each week in order to keep his team from looking ahead.
“It’s all about being 1-0,” Fox said. “We’ll focus on each week as it comes. We’ll study (Saturday morning) and figure out what we can correct in this game, celebrate the things that we did well, and then it will be on to next week’s game.”
Norwood led the Spartans with 158 yards rushing on 35 carries.