Second-half surge gives Crusaders win over Desert Oasis

Faith Lutheran scored all three of its touchdowns in the second half and took the lead in the fourth quarter to top visiting Desert Oasis 21-13 on Friday night.

In the third quarter, Faith Lutheran (5-3) opened its scoring with a 77-yard reverse run by junior running back John Cartier. The Crusaders took the lead in the fourth quarter when sophomore quarterback Joe Portaro found wideout David Sperry in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Sperry finished with six catches for 63 yards.

With 1:41 to go in the contest, Faith Lutheran cornerback A.J. Finlayson sealed the win, intercepting a pass from Diamondbacks quarterback Brennen Stott on fourth down. That play lead to a 1-yard touchdown run by Portaro.

Portaro completed 11-of-19 passes for 121 yards and carried the ball eight times for 44 yards.

Desert Oasis (2-5) jumped to a 13-0 early lead with help from two touchdown runs from fullback Roycen Shepherd.

Shepherd scored on bursts up the middle from 2 and 4 yards out and the Diamondback defense held the Crusaders’ offense to 55 yards in the first half.

Desert Oasis was led by Shepherd, who rushed 14 times for 63 yards, and running back Dominique Banks, who rushed 22 times for 73 yards.    

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