The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 3, 2013

Forfeit gives Crusaders CFL title

By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer

— The Joplin Crusaders were successful on Friday without breaking a sweat.

The non-pro Crusaders, scheduled to visit the Oklahoma Warriors in the Central Football League, won by forfeit.

Joplin finishes 6-0 in the CFL with the regular-season title giving the Crusaders home field throughout the playoffs.

“We were told by the Warriors (on Thursday night) they would be unable to play at home (Okemah High School) because their field — a grass field — was under water,” Joplin coach Dave Pitts said Friday. “We asked them to come to Joplin to play the game. They declined.”

Joplin is scheduled to finish the regular season with nonconference home games against the Oklahoma Tornados on May 11 and against the Oklahoma Braves on May 18. Each game is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Fred G. Hughes Stadium at Missouri Southern State University.

The Crusaders, open last week, haven’t played since beating the visiting Northwest Arkansas Battle 42-0 on April 20.

The idle time isn’t a concern, Pitts said.

“We can use that time to get completely healthy,” Pitts said. “We don’t have players sidelined for the season. But you’ll have people a bit dinged up at this time in the season.”

“We haven’t been able to practice, either,” Pitts said. “Our players are spread out in different states.

“We probably would practice if something happens to the game scheduled next week (against the Beggs-based Tornados),” Pitts said.

The outburst against Northwest Arkansas — a season high in points — gave the Crusaders 110 points in their last three games. They scored 19 in each of their first two games of the season.

Joplin’s Kenny Ray Session Jr. rushed for more than 350 yards in the last three games. Matt Thompson threw for more than 600.