Crusaders hang on to beat Rams 14-12

Rams kicker Mitch Seeley misses a game-winning field goal try on the game's final play
by: Miles Vance WE WIN – Jesuit receiver Mike Ralston raises his arms in triumph after the Crusaders' 14-12 win over Central Catholic on Friday night.

BEAVERTON - Now that was more like it.

A week after getting handled 52-37 at Sheldon, the Jesuit football team got back on track back at home at Jesuit High School on Friday night.

The Crusaders, hosting Central Catholic, got two touchdown runs from senior quarterback Nicholas Rothstein and held on tight down the stretch to secure a 14-12 victory when the Rams missed a 41-yard field goal attempt on the game's final play.

The win lifted Jesuit's non-league record to 2-1 while Central Catholic fell to 1-2.

'I was nervous. It's a big game,' said Jesuit senior wide receiver Adam Winterling, who had six catches for 101 yards in the game. 'It's a game you want to win so you don't want them to make the kick, obviously.'

'We love stepping up to the challenge,' added Rothstein, who had 55 yards rushing and also completed 8-of-15 passes for 114 yards with one interception. 'Coach Potter instilled in our team (that) we don't back down from anyone, and it's a privilege to play all these great teams. We're just thankful that we came out and executed to the best of our ability tonight.'

It wasn't easy, though. Rothstein got his team on the board first when he plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out with 4:36 left in the first quarter, but Central cut that edge to 7-6 when Xavier Griggs picked off a Rothstein pass and took it back 65 yards to score with 5:09 to go in the first half.

Undeterred, the Crusaders answered with an 80-yard scoring drive to extend their lead to 14-6 with just 29 seconds to go before halftime. Rothstein hit Winterling for a 44-yard pickup on that series, then raced around left end for the 17-yard score.

But that was Jesuit's last foray onto the scoreboard, while Central notched Mitch Seeley field goals in both the third and fourth quarters. But it was Seeley's final field goal try that spelled the difference on Friday night.

After stopping Jesuit on three downs and taking over at their own 49-yard line with 2:07 to go, the Rams picked up two first downs, then called a timeout to set up Seeley's game-winning attempt from 41 yards away with three seconds remaining on the clock. The snap was good, but Seeley's kick left his foot low and bounced off the center of the Jesuit line, allowing the Crusaders to escape with a victory.

On Friday, Jesuit will host Lake Oswego at 7:30 p.m.

For a complete game story and more photos, please see Thursday's edition of the Beaverton Valley Times.