PITTSFIELD --Despite a huge halftime deficit St. Joseph scored 32 points in the second half before falling to Drury, 52-32.
The game Saturday took place at Wahconah Park, where the Blue Devils used several big plays to get ahead quickly against St. Joe.
The teams exchanged fumbles on the first two plays of the game before the Drury offense settled in.
On fourth down from the St. Joe 48 yard line Drury lined up in a punt formation. Punter Brandon Koprowski took the snap and threw a pass to a wide-open Kirby Bryce for the first score of the game.
The Blue Devils may have used a bit of trickery to score their first touchdown, but from then on they used pure strength and speed against their opponent.
Drury scored on its next five possessions. The final score came with two minutes and forty-five seconds left in the second half. Quarterback Kareen Beckett scored on a 62-yard run giving his team a 40-0 lead after a Koprowski two-point conversion.
Drury outgained St. Joe 289 to 65 in total offense in the first half.
The Crusaders could have throw in the towel at halftime. But St. Joe coach Ben Kline said he was proud of the fact that his team never gave up.
"I think they started to get down a little bit after the first half. But we reminded them -- you play football because it's fun," Kline said. "Go out and have fun. Make sure every play is fun and don't look at the scoreboard."
Drury used the remaining two quarters to give younger players varsity experience.
Drury coach Bill Bryce said he was pleased with what he saw from his second unit.
"[The second unit] had an opportunity to play a lot of football in the second half," Bryce said. "They did a nice job. We got to see some kids shine. ...So it's nice for them to get into a varsity game and get some varsity experience."
After forcing a Drury fumble on their first possession of the third quarter, Brendan Faas scored on a 28-yard run to put the first points on the board for St. Joe.
"We never give up. It doesn't matter what the score is," Faas said. "We've got a young team so we just keep fighting until the end."
Drury answered with a Nate Hilliard touchdown run, but St. Joe responded. Faas scored his second touchdown of the game this time from 38 yards out. The score capped a long drive from the Crusaders and made the score to 46-14 with 8:34 left in the game. Faas finished with 108 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 17 carries and added two catches for eight yards as well.
Drury scored its final points of the game when Hilliard returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a score giving the Blue Devils a 52-16 lead.
After a 17-yard run by St. Joe's David Lewis and an additional 15 yards from a late-hit penalty, Marquise Hamilton scored on a 11-yard run, making the 52-24 after the two-point conversion.
Stump added the final score on a one yard run with two minutes left in the game. Lewis ran in the two point try as.
Beckett and Koprowski led the way for the Blue Devils, both players ran for 77 yards. Both players also threw for a touchdown and ran for one as well.
Drury 52, St. Joe 32
Drury 12 28 6 6 -- 52
St. Joe 0 0 8 24 -- 32
D -- Bryce 48 pass from Koprowski (kick failed), 7:24.
D -- Koprowski 56 run (pass failed), 2:05
D -- Girard 14 pass from Beckett (run failed), 10:50
D -- Kody Crosier 6 run (Koprowski run). 8:24.
D -- Zach Hilliard 50 run (run failed), 4:03.
D -- Beckett run 62 (Koprowski run), 2:45.
SJ -- Faas 28 run (Stump run), 3:53.
D -- Nate Hilliard 9 run (run failed), 2:10.
SJ -- Faas 38 run (Stump run), 8:34.
D -- Nate Hilliard 96 return (run failed), 8:16.
SJ -- Hamilton 11 run (Stump run), 6:23.
SJ -- Stump 1 run (Lewis run), 2:22.
First Downs 6 11
Rushes-yards 18-289 45-266
Passing yards 84 8
Comp-att-int 3-4-0 2-8-1
Fumbles-lost 5-3 4-1
Penalties-yards 3-35 3-20
RUSHING -- Drury: Koprowski 4-77, Beckett 3-77, Crosier 3-41, Nate Hilliard 2-65, Zach Hilliard 4-35, Kirby Bryce 1-3, Daranne Warner 1-1. St. Joe: Faas 17-108, Hamilton 10-74, Stump 9-28, Lewis 5-23, Kahlil Lanphear 4-34.
PASSING -- Drury: Koprowski 1-1-48-1, Beckett 2-3-36-1. St. Joe: Stump 2-8-8-0.
RECEIVING -- Drury: Bryce 1-48, Justin Girard 1-14, Crosier 1-22. St. Joe: Faas 2-8.