The previous week and the previous season are now ancient history.
"We really stepped up today," Tyrell said.
It wasn't just the seniors. Junior defensive lineman Nicholas Barnaba spent a lot of time in the Gloucester Catholic backfield, recording three sacks.
"It shows a lot of character about our team," Barnaba said. "We fight hard and are like a family."
Even families have their disputes, and what distinguished Eustace is how the Crusaders stuck together. Four of the eight losses last year were by a touchdown or less, so this is a team that kept battling, without the desired results.
"We said we have to stay together after the loss last week," senior quarterback/safety Tim McConnell said. "We have great team unity and had to come out and win the game."
McConnell scored the game's first touchdown on a 1-yard run with 22 seconds left in the first half, capping an eight-play, 67-yard drive.
"Tim McConnell puts us on his back every week," Eustace coach Rob Cormier said.
In addition to running the offense, McConnell enjoyed a strong game at safety. He and his teammates were especially adept at stopping the run, limiting the Rams to 61 yards on 24 carries.
"We are not running the ball, and running takes time off the clock and sets up the pass," said Gloucester Catholic coach Tony Garczynski, whose team had opened with an impressive 19-14 win over Schalick.
The Crusaders went up by 14-0 when a rolling out McConnell hit junior Vinny Papale in the corner of the end zone with a 5-yard pass with 7 minutes, 12 seconds left. The score came three plays after McConnell hit junior Chris Smith for a 39-yard reception to the Rams' 6.
Yes, Papale is the son of former Eagles receiver Vince Papale. The younger Papale has three touchdown receptions in two games, also playing a key role in the secondary.
"Last week was tough, but we came out to practice ready to win," Papale said.
Gloucester Catholic's Mike Davis, who passed for 125 yards, scored on a 2-yard run with 1:03 left. The Rams missed the two-point conversion and then saw Eustace's Matthew Quinn recover the onside kick to secure the win.
Eustace's last victory?
That came by a 14-6 score against Gloucester Catholic on Sept. 14 of last year.
The schedule as usual is challenging, but don't look for the Crusaders to go a year before achieving their next "W."
The players certainly hope the worst part is over and learned the greatest lesson of all - that staying together instead of coming apart eventually brings the desired results.
Bishop Eustace 0 7 0 7 – 14
Gloucester Catholic 0 0 0 6 – 6
BE: Tim McConnell 1 run (Zach Pharo kick)
BE: Vinny Papale 5 pass from McConnell (Pharo kick)
GC: Mike Davis 2 run (run failed)
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