WILKES-BARRE — Holy Redeemer saw its 12-point halftime lead evaporate over the final two quarters Saturday night.
And at the same time, Holy Cross saw its long losing streak disappear as well.
Holy Cross scored two second-half touchdowns and converted a two-point conversion, rallying to defeat Redeemer 14-12 in a non-conference football game, ending a 25-game losing streak.
Running back Jeremy Fick scored on a 4-yard run at 11:10 left in the fourth quarter and quarterback Jake Wiercinski followed with a two-point run as the Crusaders ended the longest current losing streak in District 2. The Crusaders last victory was 20-0 over Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech on Oct. 10, 2015.
Redeemer got the ball back twice after Holy Cross took the 14-12 lead. The Royals were forced to punt on the first possession. Then after defensive back Colin Conway and linebacker Cole Mayhue stopped Wiercinski short on a fourth-and-2 run, Redeemer got the ball back for a final time at the Holy Cross 49-yard line with 3:24 to play.
Redeemer had problems moving the ball on its final possession, but a Holy Cross pass interference penalty on a third-and-5 placed the ball at the Holy Cross 29. The Royals netted three yards and sent kicker Nate Roppert out to attempt a 43-yard field goal, but his kick was slightly wide right and Holy Cross took over with 1:28 remaining.
Three kneeldowns later, the Crusaders were victorious. But for the first two quarters, that outcome seemed unlikely.
Redeemer outgained Holy Cross 98-44 in the first half and used a pair of 1-yard quarterback sneaks by Conway to take a 12-0 lead. Holy Cross managed to cross midfield once in the first half, and that ended in disaster.
The Crusaders were pushed back to the other side of the 50-yard line on a fumbled snap and two plays later Redeemer’s Peter Shay intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards.
A Holy Cross personal foul penalty on the interception set up Redeemer at the Crusader 14-yard line. After four rushes by Ryan Williams, Conway plunged in from a yard out. A bad snap forced an impromptu pass attempt on the extra point try and it fell incomplete.
Conway added his other TD run with 33 seconds left until halftime for a 12-0 lead.
Holy Cross 14, Holy Redeemer 12
Holy Cross`0`0`6`8 — 14
Holy Redeemer`0`12`0`0 —12
HR — Colin Conway 1 run (pass failed), 5:06
HR — Conway 1 run (kick failed), 0:33
HC — Jeremy Fick 7 run (pass failed), 5:46
HC — Fick 4 run (Jake Wiercinski run), 11:10
RUSHING — HC, Wiercinski 14-48, Fick 18-84, Nick Brooks 7-28, team 5-(minus-9). Redeemer, Peter Shay 1-(minus-4), Ryan Williams 19-85, Cownay 10-37, Christian Leon 1-2, team 1-(minus-1).
PASSING — HC, Wiercinski 2-7-1-24. Redeemer, Conway 2-11-0-37.
RECEIVING — HC, Brooks 1-12, Justrin Walker 1-21, Fick 1-13. Redeemer, Matt Schuler 2-37.
INTERCEPTIONS — Redeemer, Shay 1-35.
MISSED FGs — Redeemer, 43WR, 43WR.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar