BURTON–Crestwood rode the offensive trio of Evan Daniels, Trent Jakacki, and Louie Blasiole to a 42-28 victory at Berkshire on Friday.
Daniels passed for four touchdowns, two of which were to Jakacki, and Blasiole ran for two scores over 80 yards as the Red Devils claimed their first win of the season and the first career win for new head coach Jack D’Amato.
“It feels great,” D’Amato said. “They worked hard since March with Zoom meetings and everything all the way through June. You know, it’s all on these guys.”
Senior quarterback Jacob Brown led the way on offense for Berkshire rushing for three touchdowns.
Brown led an impressive comeback effort in the second half, but the Badgers ultimately fell short as they suffered their first loss of the season and drop to 3-1.
Crestwood’s defense and special teams came out of the gates strong as they forced a fumble on the opening kick and intercepted a Brown pass on the ensuing Badger possession.
The Red Devils were unable to capitalize on either turnover as the game remained scoreless for much of the first quarter.
Crestwood opened up the scoring when Daniels found Jakacki in the endzone for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
The Badgers responded quickly as they marched down the field setting up Evan McDermott’s 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal. The Badgers faked the extra point as Brown found Chris Groudle for the 2-point conversion giving the Badgers an 8-7 lead.
Crestwood threatened to score on their next possession after a 22-yard carry by Louie Blasiole and a 32-yard catch by Aidan Gutglueck, but a fumble quickly halted the drive.
The Badgers were unable to capitalize on the turnover as they were forced into a turnover on downs deep in Crestwood territory.
“Defensively we did a great job,” D’Amato said. “We had a great game plan coming in. Coach Baldwin really did a great job coaching those guys up. We wouldn’t be anywhere without these kids. They did a great job of doing what they needed to do when we needed them to do it.”
The Red Devils took no time in scoring on their next possession as Daniels found Gutglueck over the middle who broke free for an 85-yard touchdown catch giving them a 14-8 lead.
Berkshire responded quickly as Brown took a quarterback draw 53-yards for a Badger touchdown and a 15-14 lead.
After an empty possession from both teams, Blasiole took an outside handoff 68-yards for a touchdown on the first play of the Red Devils’ final possession of the half.
The Badgers were able to drive deep into Crestwood territory on their final possession, but a missed field goal left Crestwood in the lead at the end of a wild first half, 21-15.
“The O-line does a great job every day, week in and week out and Louie Blasiole is a special kid,” D’Amato said. “He is a special, special player and we’re so lucky to have him.”
Crestwood looked to take control in the second half as Daniels led a drive that culminated in Austin Johnson’s 10-yard touchdown reception as the Devils pushed their lead to 28-15.
The Badgers would not go down without a fight as Brown found the endzone on a 38-yard carry on the following possession. A missed extra point kept the score 28-21.
On the next possession, a 38-yard pass from Daniels to Jakacki set up a 1-yard touchdown reception by Jakacki giving the Devils a 35-21 lead going into the fourth.
The Badgers appeared to have flipped momentum early in the fourth quarter as a muffed punt by Crestwood set up Brown for a 19-yard touchdown run, his third of the night.
McDermott then came up with a huge interception on the following possession giving the Badgers an opportunity to tie, but Crestwood’s defense held strong and forced the Badgers into a turnover on downs.
“There’s always stuff to work on,” D’Amato said. “We always have to get better. We’re not there yet. This is our first win and we’ve had some hard-fought games, but I’m just so dang proud of these guys it’s not even funny.”
Blasiole broke free for an 82-yard touchdown run on the next possession as the Devils were able to push the lead back to 14.
Their defense held strong for the remainder of the game.
“We need to bottle up all that energy from this first loss,” Brown said. “We’re all down but we need to bottle up and come out and whoop some butt next week.”
Crestwood will look to carry momentum from this game as they travel to face Trinity next Friday. Berkshire will look to get back on track at Hawken.