ACCS wins first playoff game in 31 years
NATCHEZ — Last time Adams County Christian School played Central Hinds Academy Oct. 18, the Rebels were able to pull away with a 49-28 victory.
This time around, the Rebels’ defense stood strong against the Cougars’ tough rushing attack in a 28-7 victory in the first round of the MAIS Class AA playoffs — ACCS’s first playoff win in 31 years.
A long touchdown by Central Hinds’ Brian King early in the first quarter was the only blemish for the Rebels’ defense, and ACCS head coach David King said he was pleased with how his team buckled down against the Cougars.
“They grew up last week (against Brookhaven Academy),” King said. “We had two first-and-goal stops last week, and that’s very tough in high school football. Our defense has gotten better each week, and coach (Richy) Spears has worked hard, and he and me have good chemistry, and we’ve grinded these boys and pushed them, and they’ve responded well.”
Matthew Rymer, whose 16 tackles led the team, said the defense had a slightly different play for the Cougars’ running game Friday.
“The first time we played them we were in a 3-5 formation, and they were able to run a little bit on it, but we jumped out to a 5-2 (tonight), and besides that one play, we were able to get them out of the game,” Rymer said.
ACCS opened its first possession with a score, driving down the field before punching it in on a 13-yard run by Lester Wells at the 9:31 mark. But Central Hinds tied the game on its first play, as the Cougars’ Brian King went 76 yards for the touchdown with 9:11 remaining.
After being forced to punt on their next possession, ACCS managed to stop Central Hinds and force a punt of its own. As return man Trey Fleming went back to field the punt, King challenged the sophomore, saying a playoff game was the right time for a big play. And Fleming responded with an 82-yard touchdown run on the return to make it 14-7 ACCS with 2:20 left in the first.
ACCS took a 21-7 lead into the half after quarterback Tyler Stockstill connected with Wells on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 6:29 left in the second quarter. Neither team scored in the third, though the Rebels did have one close call.
With 4:49 remaining in the third, Stockstill was hit from the right side on a fourth-down play inside the red zone. The hit caused a fumble, and Central Hinds returned the ball 61 yards to the Rebels’ 18. But the ACCS defense got a key stop, including sacks on second and fourth down, to get the ball back.
ACCS put the game away for good with 6:12 left in the fourth quarter when Rymer scored on an 11-yard carry, his only rush of the game.
Stockstill was 10 of 14 for 117 yards on the night, and ACCS tallied 182 yards on the ground. Torrey Smith led the Rebels in rushing with 70 yards on 16 carries, and Wells finished with 60 yards on six attempts.
Brian King led the game in rushing with 188 yards on 29 carries for the Cougars. Aside from Brian King, Central Hinds only managed 4 yards rushing on the ground, thanks in part to five sacks for negative yardage.
Defensively, Rymer had a forced fumble, and Brandon Ross had 14 tackles and recovered a fumble. Chisum Mardis had seven tackles and two sacks, and Brandt Pugh had six tackles and a sack. Caleb Watts and Wyatt Franks both tallied a sack.
“My linemen did their job up front,” Ross said. “It’s what we went through in practice — coach said to man up on them and make contact with them to allow us to get back there, and that’s what they did.”
ACCS (10-1) will host Glenbrook School in the second round of the playoffs Friday.