Crossen catches fire, leads St. Charles East past Geneva
Highly regarded as a triple-option running team the past few seasons, St. Charles East's football team showed Friday night that it can have success through the air as well.
Junior quarterback B.J. Crossen recorded career highs in passing yards -- 256 -- and passing touchdowns -- 5 -- during the Saints' 56-20 DuKane Conference triumph over Geneva (0-5, 0-3) at Norris Stadium in St. Charles.
Crossen's first 3 pass attempts all ended with big-play touchdowns covering 54, 42, and 63 yards to receivers Dan Goetsch (4 catches, 116 yards), Cody Mitchell and Ronan Macaluso as the Saints opened a commanding 28-0 first-quarter lead.
"Not too bad of a start on Homecoming night," admitted Crossen, who completed 9 of 11 passes before earning a well-deserved rest for the game's final 9-plus minutes. "We knew we had it in us and we knew we had the talent to execute it."
Following junior linebacker Nick Schumann's fumble recovery, the Saints grabbed a 7-0 lead on a 12-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Justin Jett (16 carries, 89 yards) with 9:46 left in the opening quarter.
After the Vikings' next series ended with a sack by the Saints' Thomas Schroeder, Crossen connected with a wide-open Goetsch for a 54-yard TD strike to make it 14-0.
"I threw the ball up as high as I could so he could run under it and grab it," said Crossen. "When they're that open, you really don't want to overthrow them."
Nathan Hull's interception helped set up Crossen's 42-yard TD toss to Mitchell for a 21-0 lead before the 63-yard scoring strike to Macaluso upped the margin to 28-0.
"I thought B.J., the receivers, and the offensive line really did a great job tonight of holding the pocket and allowing us to go vertical," said Saints coach Bryce Farquhar, whose team is now 4-1 overall and 2-1 in conference.
"They (the Vikings) came out in a different front and they really wanted to stop the run. Our receivers have shown the ability to go vertical this year. With that many people in the box, it really opens up the second level."
The Vikings' offensive highlight was provided by Reilly Waldoch's 93-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.
"It felt good getting the ball the making that run," said Waldoch, who rushed for 104 yards on just 5 carries and caught a pair of passes for 60 yards.
The problem was that the Vikings found themselves trailing 35-13 at halftime.
"We just caught ourselves facing two teams again," said Waldoch. "Every week, we've been getting in our own way. We've got to find a way to just play against one team -- the opposing team."
Crossen added second-half TD passes of 23 and 19 yards to Goetsch and Hull, respectively, while backup quarterback Jacob Guzick capped the scoring with a 6-yard TD run with 4:54 remaining.
"We knew they were in Cover-2 so a lot of our over-the-middle passes would be open," said Goetsch, whose team racked up 502 yards of total offense.
"I was getting great protection all night," added Crossen. "I'm happy we were able to show that we've got two sides to our offense."