Known for their quick-strike capability, the Althoff Crusaders set a new standard and won a South Seven Conference title all in the same night on Friday at Lindenwood Stadium.
Senior quarterback Jordan Augustine threw touchdown passes to CJ Coldon and Keenen Young seven seconds apart late in the second quarter to break the game open. The Crusaders went on to clinch the South Seven Conference title with a 42-6 triumph over Carbondale.
The Crusaders were holding just a 6-0 lead over the winless Terriers with less than five minutes remaining in the first half when Augustine found a sprinting Colden in the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
Seven seconds later, following a Terriers fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Augustine found a wide open Young in almost the same spot on the field for a touchdown as Althoff took a 21-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first half.
Running back Malik Easley, who scored the Crusaders’ first touchdown of the night on a 35-yard run in the first quarter, added a 2-yard run with less than a minute left in the half as Althoff (7-0, 4-0) led 28-0.
The turning point
Augustine, who was 13 of 16 for 185 yards in the first half, spent much of the first quarter trying to avoid the Terriers pass rush. Forced to punt on its first series, all Althoff could manage was Easley’s 35-yard touchdown. But when coach Ken Turner spread the field, Carbondale had no response.
“They (Carbondale) were coming hard on the pass rush, but when we spread the field, it opened things up more for the run and the pass,” Turner said. “Obviously, the two quick strikes were the big plays of the game, and we’re capable of doing that. In fact, I think it happened once before this year where we scored twice in a few seconds.”
Another big night for Jordan and the defense
Augustine wasn’t done as he put the finishing touch on homecoming night with a 20-yard shovel pass to Coldon in the third quarter for a score, then added a 14-yard touchdown run later in the period as Althoff’s lead grew to 42-0.
The Terriers only score of the night came on a 4-yard run by Djimon Slaughter with nine minutes left to break up the shutout.
A first for K.T.
The win clinches the South Seven Conference title for the Crusaders and first as a head coach for Turner. Althoff, which concluded league play next week at Cahokia, is undefeated in the South Seven Conference. Centralia and Marion both had just one loss — both losing to Althoff — entering play on Friday.
“It was one of our goals before the season started,” Turner said of the title. “It feels good to win the first conference title as a head coach, but I’m just really happy for the kids. You set goals and work hard to achieve them. That’s what this team has done all year.”
Carbondale will host Marion on Oct. 16; Althoff will play at Cahokia on Oct. 16