For The Dialog
WILMINGTON – Salesianum hosted Father Judge of Philadelphia on a muggy evening on Sept. 9, and the Sals held on for an impressive 16-13 win.
It was Salesianum’s first game of the season, while Judge came in 2-0 and had put up a lot of points. The Sals’ defense was stout throughout the first half, holding the Crusaders to only three first downs. Salesianum’s offense, however, could not capitalize, turning the ball over on downs three times. Finally, the home team took advantage of good field position, with quarterback Zach Gwynn finding senior wide receiver Mike Drake for the 7-0 lead.
Both defenses were playing well in the third quarter before the Crusaders had to punt from their own three with 1:25 left. The snap went out of bounds for a safety. Drake then took the free kick and returned it 68 yards for another touchdown to give the Sals a 16-0 advantage.
The Sals’ defense was without Drake at safety on the next series, and Father Judge took advantage with a 65-yard strike. The point after was no good, and it was 16-6 Sals heading into the final quarter.
Senior Jack Gruskiewicz came in at quarterback for Salesianum for an injured Gwynn, but it was the Crusaders who would score next on a three-yard run, cutting the home team’s lead to 16-13. On its next possession, Judge had the ball deep in its own territory, and Sals senior Josh Patrick tipped a pass that was caught by Drake to seal the victory.
“I’ve got to give credit to Josh on that play as he tipped it and made it easy for me,” Drake said.
The Sals (1-0) host Caesar Rodney on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The rest of their games are against Delaware opponents.