**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
The Croswell-Lexington Pioneers were dominant in a week 1 victory over Swan Valley. They knew that they were going to have to do much of the same against a Richmond Blue Devils squad who are perennially near the top of the Blue Water Conference. The Pioneers have taken the last two over a Richmond program that controlled the series for several years.
That series looks like it may be taking a turn, as this would be the night of the Pioneers. This one would not start off easy though. Both teams turned the ball over twice in the first two minutes of the football game. The Pioneers would strike first, when Gavin Espinoza would find Drew Hosterman on a 55-yard touchdown pass. Then the Pioneers would get going on the ground. Gabriel Groppi would find some space on a 30-yard touchdown run. Shortly after, Groppi would take another one to the house, this one on a 74-yard run. Groppi would find the end zone a third time on a 3-yard run.
It was 40-0 before Richmond finally found themselves in the end zone in the 2nd quarter. Richmond’s Trey Graham would take one all the way back on a 80-yard kickoff return to put the game at 40-7.
That would be it though for the Blue Devils. Croswell-Lexington would go on to win this game 61-7 in dominant fashion. The Pioneers were clicking both offensively and defensively. It appeared to be nothing more than a business trip for the victors. Espinoza would finish 10 of 20 passing for 218-yards, 4 touchdowns through the air, and another on the ground. He made plays on defense as well coming up with an interception. Groppi would carry the ball 20 times for 254 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Trevor Soule and Aiden Wilkinson each helped the cause with a touchdown apiece. Jaxon Gonzalez finished with 4 catches, 48 receiving yards and a touchdown. Benny Mendoza helped the defense out with 4 tackles and 2 sacks. Nick Monzo added two interceptions.
The Pioneers will play their home opener next Friday when the Armada Tigers roll into town in what will be a pivotal BWAC matchup. Both teams open at 2-0. Armada comes in after a week 2 win over Yale. Richmond will try to recover in what will be a bye week for them. They now stand at 1-1.