In battle of Crusaders, Althoff turns back gritty effort by Helias

Helias came up just short in a 21-15 loss to Belleville Althoff on Friday night. (Rod Smith/KRCG13)

JEFFERSON CITY --- They're sure not making it easy on themselves.

In the quest to get their first win at Ray Hentges Stadium, Helias lost its opener to Hannibal --- a team that's had the Crusaders' number in recent years, beating them five straight and ending their season the last two seasons.

Friday night, the schedule makers gave Helias a date with Belleville (Ill.)-Althoff --- a team that's even better than Hannibal.

That first home win will come, but it will have to wait.

In a battle of Crusaders, Richard Cosey rushed for three touchdowns as the Illinois Crusaders turned back a gritty effort by Helias in a 21-15 win before another full house at Hentges Stadium.

Hannibal and now Althoff ... tough draws, to be sure. But if Helias wants to posture itself as a good team, it needs to beat one of these good teams, at some point.

The hometown Crusaders almost did Friday night.

Althoff (2-0) is ranked second in Class 4 in Illinois, where there are eight classifications. These Crusaders are now 26-2 since 2015, they finished second in the state two years ago and lost by one point in the quarterfinals last year to the eventual Class 4 champion.

Althoff scored a combined 105 points against Helias the last two years in a pair of lopsided wins. But this one came down to the game's final play.

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