High School Football/ISCGA 8-Man
Crusaders trying to survive season following 0-3 start
by Chris Goltermann
Heritage Christian’s football team entered this season as survivors after an 8-man program that reached the last year’s championship game in the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama almost didn’t make it through the summer.
Four weeks into the 2013 season, the Crusaders are still battling eradication.
Injuries continued to decimate the Heritage Christian roster following an 0-3 start that continued Friday with a 54-8 loss at Praise Academy that leaves head coach Paul Frantz with just 10 healthy players from a roster of 16 to begin the week.
“Right now I feel like Matthew McConaughey’s coach in the movie ‘We Are Marshall,” said Frantz of the film that portrayed the events following the 1970 plane crash that killed 37 football players and five coaches from Marshall University’s football program. “We’re just trying to save the football program right now until we can get healthy again. The kids played hard and they never gave up.”
The losses in numbers, which have piled up over three straight games, recently claimed quarterback Bailey Todd. In his place Rodney Allen stepped in and “played a great game on both sides of the ball,” while also starting at cornerback against Praise’s single-wing offense.
Frantz admitted that his timeouts have become his most valued resource and used only when his team needs a breather rather than to talk strategy or regroup.
“Right now, we’ve got everybody coming to the sidelines trying to cram three minutes of instruction into 15 seconds. It’s not easy,” he said. “There’s no way to make changes.”
This week, the Crusaders travel to Williamson to play CrossPointe (2-1) in a South Region game. Heritage is 0-1 in the division following a loss to Lafayette Christian (3-1, 1-0) on Sept. 6.
There still is hope, however, especially since all eight 8-man programs, split equally into North and South regions will advance to the playoffs.
“We could be 0-9 and still get to the playoffs,” Frantz said. “I still think that if we can get everyone back, we have the potential to beat anybody.”