The Crawford Pirates won their fourth straight and asserted themselves into the District 7-2A Division I race with a 20-7 win over Goldthwaite Friday night.
The Pirates scored three second-half touchdowns to erase a 7-0 halftime deficit and improved to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in district play heading into their bye next week.
“It shows a lot of the resiliency of these kids, all the things they battled through this season,” Crawford head coach Delbert Kelm said. “We made some adjustments at halftime and played good, solid defense all game. And we got the passing game going a little bit.”
Crawford quarterback Gage Pearson threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Adamick on Crawford’s opening drive of the second half to get the Pirates' offense going after a shaky start. Crawford managed just 60 total yards in the first half. A missed PAT left the Pirates still trailing 7-6 at the 6:36 mark of the third quarter.
The game turned on the previous possession, however, as Goldthwaite committed the first of three second-half turnovers. The Eagles had taken the opening kick of the third quarter and drove to the Crawford 25, where Koby Smith recovered a fumble by Goldthwaite receiver McKennan Jones.
That led to the first of three touchdowns by Crawford.
The second was set up by a Trey Lacina interception at the Crawford 32. The Pirates drove methodically to the Eagles' 8, and Koby Smith punched it in from the 1 on fourth down at the 0:33 mark of the third quarter. Pearson found Adamick for the two-point conversion to put Crawford up 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter.
After the Eagles turned it over on downs, Reed Rogers broke free and raced 59 yards for the game’s final score with 10:17 left in the game.
Goldthwaite had three turnovers and failed twice on fourth down in its five second-half possessions. Rogers picked off Eagles quarterback Drew Hermesmeyer to end one drive. Smith and Landry Bruce each had sacks to end two others.
Pearson finished with 181 yards on 12-of-14 passing. Adamick caught 7 passes for 132 yards. Lacina led Crawford with 59 yards.
The Eagles got on the board first, breaking a scoreless tie at the 11:05 mark of the second quarter when Quaid Seward ran it in from 6 yards out.
Seward had a 14-yard run to lead the 67-yard march for Goldthwaite.
Crawford mounted only one scoring threat in the first half, marching from its own 39 to the Eagles' 11 on the ensuing possession.
But Pearson was sacked on fourth down, losing 15 yards in the process to end the threat.
The Pirates may the services of senior running back Garrett Dutschmann in two weeks against Hico. He broke a rib and has been sidelined since week 2 of the season, according to Kelm.
Goldthwaite fell to 4-4 overall and 3-1 in district play.