Week Four action kicks off for the Texas United Football Association on Saturday as the South Texas Crusaders travel to Tomball to take on the Bobcats.
At 1-2, the Crusaders are looking to rebound and get back to their winning ways, while the Bobcats stand at 3-0. This is the first year the Crusaders haven’t opened up 4-0.
“I haven’t kept up with them,” Crusaders head coach Deacon Gilmore told DFUSA. “I’ve never heard anything bad about this team. I’ve heard good reports saying that they’re competitive, but that’s why we got into this league. It gives my boys a chance to elevate their level against people they don’t know.”
This is the Crusaders inaugural season in the TUFA and according to Gilmore that gives them a huge target on their back
“Our goal for now is to make the playoffs first then go from there,” Gilmore said. “Being our first year, we’re the underdog and everybody wants to beat us. We’re their super bowl. Once we make the playoffs, we’ll go on from there one game at a time.”
Last weekend, South Texas dropped their second consecutive game as they fell to the Fort Hood Knights 18-8. Despite a slow start to the season, several players have impressed and taken leadership roles for the Crusaders in this still-young season.
“My main running back is rookie Jay Ortega,” Gilmore said. “He’s really taking on the load and leading the running back corps as a rookie. He’s real quick.”
At 5-foot-8, 210 pounds, Ortega and six-year veteran running back David Watson make defenses respect the run to open up the receiving game for receivers Jordan Metz and Collin Everman.
Defensively, returning veteran and 2015 All-Star free safety Akeem Simmons and cornerback Chris Thomas will lead the secondary. Defensive lineman Ramon Jackson has recently been promoted to captain and will lead the defensive line, while Nathan Schultz leads the linebacker corps for the Crusaders.
“I want to bring people closer to God through the sport of football,” Gilmore said. “We’re family, we’re brotherhood. Regardless of the score, you won’t see bickering or fussing. They’ll pick each other up and help each other out. They lift each other up first. The guys rally to each other on the field and off the field. They gather and rally behind each other.”