Defense Leads Crusaders To Victory Over Limestone
Tigerville, SC – North Greenville’s win streak was extended to three games in a row after a strong defensive effort led the Crusaders to a 38-9 victory over the Saints of Limestone College on Saturday afternoon in Younts Stadium.
The Crusaders received the game’s opening kickoff and quickly drove down field, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run by freshman Tristen Jackson just 1:22 into the game for a 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Limestone used a 16-play, 71-yard drive to get on the board with a 27-yard field goal from kicker Jonathan Ray to make the score 7-3 in favor of North Greenville at the end of the first quarter of play.
The two teams traded possessions until North Greenville safety Cedric Proctor picked off a Trevar Soles pass and returned it 75 yards to the endzone to put the Crusaders ahead 14-3 with just over 12 minute to play in the first half.
Limestone scored again, this time on a 68-yard fumble return by Jamar Peete. However, the Saints missed the point-after-attempt, making the score 14-9 in favor of North Greenville. Junior quarterback Nelson Hughes would complete a six-yard pass to sophomore receiver Robbie Brown with just 30 seconds left in the half to give the Crusaders a 21-9 lead at intermission.
After the Crusaders’ first drive of the second half ended with a blocked field goal by the Saints, junior linebacker Taylor Anderson would put North Greenville ahead 28-9 with a 33-yard interception return on Limestone’s second drive of the half.
Sophomore safety Tony Godbolt intercepted a pass by Limestone’s Jonathan Clark and returned it 46 yards, setting up a short field for the Crusader offense. Jackson would take advantage of the short field, scoring his second touchdown of the game on a 10-yard rush to give North Greenville a 35-9 lead near the end of the third quarter.
The Crusaders’ final point of the game would come on a 43-yard field goal from senior Justin Gravely early in the fourth quarter as North Greenville and Limestone would both stall on offense, running out the game clock.
Hughes finished the game 27-for-38 for 210 yards and a touchdown, also rushing for 26 yards, while sophomore Mike Calabro was 3-for-4 in the game for six yards and 25 yards on the ground. Jackson led the ground game, rushing 11 times for 40 yards and two scores. Brown led all receivers with six catches for 69 yards and a score, while junior Ricki Delos Santos totaled four catches for 34 yards as 10 different Crusaders caught a pass.
The Crusader defense turned in its best performance of the year, allowing just 279 total yards and forcing five turnovers, including a school-record four interceptions in the game.
Sophomore Sam Houston once again led the attack, recording 10 tackles and two tackles for loss, while Anderson also totaled 10 tackles with an interception and a touchdown.
Sophomore Quan Weeks tied for the team lead with 10 tackles, as junior Darius Custard totaled five tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and a fumble recovery in his first career start.
Godbolt finished with four tackles, one interception and forced fumble, as C. Proctor and KJ McDonald also recorded interceptions in the game, while Johnny Burch totaled five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in the contest.
The Crusaders (4-1) will put their win streak on the line next Saturday, Oct. 11 as the travel to Hickory, NC for a 2 p.m. matchup with #6 Lenoir Rhyne University.