The Western Crusaders travelled to Ballarat for their second game of the cross Divisional series, against the Home side, the Ballarat Falcons.
The Crusaders welcomed back Quarterback Brent Weeks #12, who finally returned from injury to take the reigns of the offense. There were signs early that the Crusaders weren’t in the game, with the opening kickoff being fumbled and the Crusaders lost posession of the football.
There must have been a lot of rust and cobwebs in the Cru offense, as they struggled to get any kind of consistancy to start off with in the first quarter and found it difficult to move the ball. The Crusaders defense though came ready to play and apart from the occasional big play, Held the Ballarat Offense. The only blight in the game was a fumbled punt return by Reggie Raquel #25 on the Falcons second posession, giving Ballarat the ball back again. The Defense stood firm and held Ballarat out of the endzone. The first quarter went with neither team on the scoreboard.
In the second quarter, things started to turn around for the Cru offense and they were able to drive the ball with some dominant running by Chris “T.O.” Nguyen #15 and Jon Duvnjak #33 and some very good catches made by receivers Ed Ebinger #84 and Aristotle Hua #13. The Cru would go into the half time break up 21-0.
The scoreline wasn’t acceptable and Head Coach Kriss Guidotti, let the players know what they had to do in the second half. The Half time break spray from the coach seemed to have worked, with the Cru Offense dominating the Falcons defense, moving the ball and scoring at will. The Crusaders Defense didn’t hold back either with dominant displays from Chris “Slugger” Schlegel #53, Zak Ulku #95 and Simon Grima #52.
With the Crusaders taking control of the game, it was time to give some of the backup players some game time. Matt Hamill #31, got his chance to run the ball and on his forth rush play, scored the first touchdown of his career, leading to an eruption on the Crusaders sideline. Matt would score again later in the 4th quarter. With the Cru defense dominating and turning the ball over, giving the offense great field position to work in, it was decided to give Crusaders Offensive Tackle and Ballarat local boy Simeon Pantelich #77, the ball on a two point conversion after a Crusaders touchdown. Simeon was lead into the Endzone untouched, by the hard nosed blocking of Travis “Moose” McKenzie #72. Once again the Crusaders sideline erupted. With a massive second half, the Crusaders ran out comprehensive winners 62-0.