CLIFTON — Crawford proved once again that old school football is still alive in an era when spread offenses seem to be on every corner.
Tate Abel ran for 122 yards and a touchdown and Breck Chambers ran for 107 yards and two scores as the Pirates took control in the second half and wore down Bosqueville for a 32-7 win in a Class 2A Division I bi-district game Thursday night.
The Pirates improved to 8-3 to advance to the area round while Bosqueville ended its season at 5-6.
“I’m not going to lie, we like to grind it out and be physical even though we might not be the most physically imposing team,” said Crawford coach Delbert Kelm. “They have been doing that since they were little pups, and that’s what we like to do.”
Running out of the T-formation, Abel needed just seven carries to surpass 100 yards as he broke off a 44-yard touchdown run and also caught a three-yard scoring pass from Tanner Merenda.
Chambers carried just 11 times and scored on a 22-yard run and an 11-yard run as the Pirates outscored the Bulldogs, 26-0, in the second half.
“We challenged our guys to go out there and do it the way y’all need to do it, and they did,” Kelm said. “I thought our offense in the second half started taking control in the trenches. Our defense played good and overall kept us in the game as poorly as we played offensively in the first half.”
Trailing 7-6 at halftime, the Pirates established control with a pair of third quarter touchdowns.
After the second half kickoff, Crawford drove 69 yards with Chambers finishing it off by taking a pitch to the right for a 22-yard touchdown.
Merenda missed the pass for the two-point conversion, but the Pirates took their first lead at 12-7 with 8:06 left in the third quarter.
Defensive lineman Matthew Hale gave Crawford great field position when he recovered Bosqueville quarterback Luke Bradshaw’s fumble at the Pirates’41.
Crawford took advantage as Merenda slashed through the right side for an 18-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 18-7 with 5:20 left in the third quarter.
Bosqueville moved to Crawford’s 33 on its next possession, but Bradshaw missed passes on third and fourth down as the Pirates regained possession.
The Pirates struck again in the fourth quarter as Abel took a pitch around the left side and exploded into the open for a 44-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 25-7 with 7:14 remaining.
After Crawford’s defense stopped Bosqueville on fourth and one at its own 38, Chambers scored his second touchdown on an 11-yard run to push the lead to 32-7 with 3:06 remaining.
Abel finished off the win by intercepting Bradshaw’s pass at the 10. Bradshaw finished 16 of 31 for 156 yards and a touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs marched 65 yards for the game’s first touchdown as Bradshaw ended it with a seven-yard pass to Jayce Powers on a slant pattern to take a 7-0 lead with 5:44 left in the second quarter.
The longest play on the 12-play drive was Dauvo McDonald’s 15-yard run on the second play to the Bulldogs’ 40. Bradshaw hit Larson Hoffmeyer with a 12-yard pass and a pass interference penalty against Crawford gave the Bulldogs another first down at the Pirates’ 35.
The Pirates answered with a 67-yard drive that was ignited by Abel’s 30-yard run around left end on a reverse to Bosqueville’s 24. Abel picked up nine more yards to the 7 to give the Pirates first and goal.
Facing third and goal at the 3, Merenda found Abel drifting to the right side for the touchdown pass. But the Pirates missed the PAT attempt as Bosqueville hung on to a 7-6 lead with 1:39 left in the second quarter.