- FOOTBALL: Crete Wraps Up District Title, Defeats Pius X
By Jeff Motz
Not a lot of things are easy in life, but Kyle Bauer may think differently.
The Crete football player intercepted a short pass from one-yard out and returned it for a touchdown to give the Cardinals a 27-13 victory over Lincoln Pius X Friday night at Aldrich Field.
The win gives Crete (6-2) the B-2 district title and an automatic spot in the Class B football playoffs.
While Crete built up a 20-3 halftime lead, it wasn't an easy task of holding off Pius X.
The Thunderbolts (4-4) got a 40-yard field goal from Nathan Asselin with 4:02 in the 3rd quarter, after he connected on a 26-yard attempt earlier in the game. Crete would drive down field to wrap up the third quarter, but Alex McGinnis' pass was intercepted by Pius X's Robbie Hansen.
The drive would stall for Pius X early in the fourth quarter and Crete was back in business. However, the Thunderbolt defense would come up with another interception, this one from Justin Minchow and returned it to the Cardinal 15-yard line.
Running back Riley Gerch would add a 14-yard run to set up quarterback Ethan Andersen's one-yard sneak play into the end zone, narrowing the deficit to 20-13 with 8:45 remaining.
Crete would drive again by running the ball, getting big gains down field from tailback AJ Allen, but the momentum seemed to favor Pius X, as Hansen got his second INT of the game off a pass from McGinnis and returned it to the 8-yard line.
Eventually, Andersen's pass was intercepted by Bauer at the one-yard line to seal the win.
Crete struck early in the game, by going to the air. Receiver Max Smith caught a 43-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 Cardinal lead with 1:27 to play in the opening quarter. Allen intercepted a Andersen pass and returned it to the Pius X 20-yard line, before time ran out in the first period.
Two plays later, McGinnis found Luke Siedhoff on a 12-yard touchdown strike for a 13-0 advantage. Just before halftime, Crete extended their lead to 20-3 at halftime off a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jaden Ostrander.