BY WIL CREWS
It was the battle of the Patriots Friday night at Moore Stadium in Opelika.
The hometown Southern Christian Academy Patriots played host regional foe, the East Central Patriots (3-3).
Despite a resilient first half showing, miscues and injury woes hampered SCA as the Patriots fell to East Central, 40-8.
The loss means Southern Christian remain winless on the season. Head coach Mike Adams can take some positives from the performance, however. Most notably, the hometown Patriots’ tenacious first half defense.
Senior James Middleton (four tackles, four QB hurries and a forced fumble), Camden Chism (three tackles, three QB hurries and a forced fumble) and Landon Hampton (five tackles, two pass breakups and an 18-yard pick six) battled to keep Southern Christian in the game early.
The defensive front repelled the visiting Patriots twice on the goal line and freshman Noah Freeman played a large part in shutting down the oppositions passing game, defending eight of nine passes that came his way and adding two tackles. On the night, the visiting Patriots were held to just 136 yards through the air.
As the second half clock ticked away, all hopes for a SCA comeback dashed away, especially when sophomore captain Josiah Frick went down with a foot injury. The already shorthanded hometown Patriots were further decimated when Middleton, Chism and sophomore safety Carter Scott exited the game due to injury.
Several underclassmen stepped in admirably to fill the voids left by the injuries. Elijah Bailey (two tackles), Jedd Scott (one tackle), Eliot French (two tackles and a QB hurry) and Alex Cook (two tackles and a QB hurry) all helped the battered Patriots get through the rest of the game.
Offensively, the Patriots were once again led by captain Daniel Adams. The senior quarterback tallied 90 passing yards by completing passes to five different receivers. Adams also led the team in rushing, registering an additional 90 yards on the ground. Hampton had the longest play of the Patriots’ night, breaking off a 60-yard rush; Sophomore Joshua Adams and freshman Noah Freeman tied for a team-best two receptions apiece. Frick, Hampton and Cooper all had one catch. In what was one of the few highlights for SCA, senior guard Daniel Freeman got in on the scoring action with a two-point conversion. A nifty overload play made him an eligible receiver and Freeman found himself wide open in the end zone on the misdirection play.
Southern Christian will be on bye next week and return to action on Friday, Oct. 8, against the Evangel Lions.