By Wil Crews firstname.lastname@example.org
In its second year, the Southern Christian Patriots varsity football team began its season Friday night with a narrow 32-26 loss against King’s Way Christian from Douglasville, Georgia.
The Patriots battled back from a 18-0 deficit at halftime to pull within six points, but failed to recover an onside kick with just over one minute remaining.
The Patriots were led on offense by senior quarterback Daniel Adams, who finished the evening completing six of 10 passes for 89 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions — adding a 79-yard rushing touchdown with his legs.
The Patriots began their comeback attempt with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Adams to Levi Marchio, who added two more receptions to his resume on the night. Marchio was also fielding kickoffs for the Patriots, and finished with 142 scrimmage yards which included a 77-yard return touchdown. His day would have been made more impressive, but an 88-yard return for touchdown was called back due to a penalty.
Joshua Adams hauled in a 29-yard touchdown reception from his brother which pulled the Patriots within six as the third quarter closed. Josiah Frick also made two clutch receptions to keep scoring drives going for the Patriots.
Defensively, the Patriots were led by Marchio and Joshua Adams, with seven tackles each. The team captain, Frick, added four solo tackles and one tackle for loss. James Middleton made his presence known with a sack and recovering a fumble caused by eighth grader Jagger Scott.
Before the varsity took the field, the junior varsity took the field and defeated the Trinity Christian Eagles 18-0. The Eagles elected to receive the ball first but were forced to go three and out due to the Patriots’ staunch defense. The Southern Christian offense then took the field and Scott took a handoff from quarterback Jackson Dooley and ran through several wimpy tacklers on the way to the end zone.
In the second quarter, Dooley completed a 25-yard pass to Tripp Vaughn for the Patriots’ second score of the game. Dooley also finished the game with six rushes for 36 yards.
The final score of the day for Southern Christian came on a rush from Scott. He also led the team defensively with 10 tackles, while Brandon Williams added four tackles for loss. Jedd Scott had the Patriots’ lone interception of the game at the end of the first half.
The Patriots did try and fail all three two-point conversions they attempted, something that head coach Billie Watts said he “will try to fix” this week at practice, along with “getting the football in the hands of his receivers” after only passing the ball five times in regulation.
Watts and the junior varsity Patriots are slated to face their first ACSC conference opponent this Friday, Aug. 27 at Moore Stadium in Opelika. They face the Lighthouse Homeschool Warriors, who lost their opener, 41-18, to the ACSC powerhouse Evangel Lightning. The junior varsity game begins at 5 p.m. CST.
The varsity will be in action for the second time against region foe Lighthouse Christian on Friday at Moore Stadium, beginning at 7 p.m.