The Crusaders never had a doubt that they’d be back in the playoffs.
"We expected to make the playoffs. Last year we didn’t really know," says quarterback Kendall Lawson.
The Crusaders reached the second round last year before losing to eventual State Champion Aledo Mercer County. Because of that success the private school multiplier kicks in this year. The Crusaders have been bumped up from 2A to 4A.
"It is a big jump from 2A to 4A," says receiver Nate Wieting. "That’s a really big jump two classes, that’s a lot, but I think it’s a very good opportunity for our team to prove to people what we can do."
What the Saders did during the regular season was impressive. They lost a hard-fought game to Winnebago in week four, but every other game went in the win column.
"Every game since that Bago game we kept improving," says Wieting. "Our defense has gotten better. Our offense is starting to click, and it’s come together at the right time."
The Saders will take the field Friday afternoon at four o’clock against North Lawndale Charter, a Chicago Public school team with a 6-3 record.
"They’ve got really good speed. They’re very athletic. They’re going to come out and be tough and be ready to play, so we’ve got to be ready to play too," says Lawson.
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