Friday Night Hero: West Rowan’s Jon Crucitti
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA ó Jon Crucitti came to West Rowan to be the starting quarterback.
The transfer from Mooresville isn’t filling that role, but he is doing just about everything else for the Falcons (5-1, 4-0) as they surge toward a fifth straight North Piedmont Conference title.
“He can throw it, he can run it, he can catch it, he can punt it and he can run back punts,” West coach Scott Young said. “I really like how we utilized him Friday night.”
Crucitti did everything but throw it in West’s 37-22 win at West Iredell. He had two catches for 74 yards. He ran once for five. He averaged 42 yards on four punts. And his biggest thrill was running back a punt.
“I made a few guys miss and ran over another,” Crucitti smiled. “It really got me going for the rest of the night.”
Crucitti looked to be the leader for the quarterback job in preseason.
“In practice and in drill work, he was lights out,” Young said. “He had a little trouble carrying it over to the game.”
At Mooresville, Crucitti was a shotgun quarterback. At West, the center exchange was a problem. So as B.J. Sherrill took over at quarterback, Crucitti had no problem becoming the most versatile Falcon.
“The best part is being able to contribute,” Crucitti said. “Being all over the field ó getting touches, getting carries, being on special teams, too ó it’s really fun.”
Being a team player is nothing new. As a sixth-grade, Pop Warner quarterback in Gastonia, he switched to center and linebacker because the team needed him there.
“He’s a real neat kid to coach,” Young said. “He’s got an excellent football IQ. He really knows the game. You can tell he’s been coached. You can tell he’s studied the game.”
If Crucitti plays the sport in college, don’t be surprised to see him as a punter. He’s averaging over 40 yards.
“I love to punt, mainly because it’s something I’m good at,” he said. “Coach (David) Hunt changed the way I hold the ball and the payoff has been tremendous.”
Crucitti had no problem fitting in at West. He used to watch Wade Moore and Lamont Savage in the playoffs. He has played baseball with Brantley Horton. Now, to be a West Rowan Falcon, it’s exciting, he said.
“It’s fun to be a part of the streaks,” he said, referring to 26 straight wins in the county and 29 out of 30 in the NPC. “Starting with the Davie game, when a chopper led their team out on the field, I knew it was a whole different animal. Football is king out here.”
And it will stay king as long as Crucitti continues to show his versatility.
“He’s dangerous,” Young said. “He’s one of our better offensive football players.”
As well as Crucitti is doing, he knows that if anything happens to Sherrill, he’ll be called upon.
And he’ll be ready.
“I’ll get on the field wherever I can,” he said. “I’m always hoping for a ring.”