Wells shows promise in ACCS’s loss to Centreville

Published 12:45 am Saturday, October 1, 2011

Centreville Academy’s Randy Bell, right, gets around ACCS’ Shane Pollan during their game at ACCS Friday night. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School got a glimpse of its future with a strong showing from athletic freshman Lester Wells.

But the future couldn’t come quickly enough otherwise, as the Rebels were on the wrong end of a 49-22 blowout against Centreville Academy Friday night.

Wells, at running back, finished with 309 all-purpose yards — including 124 rushing — and two of the Rebels’ three touchdowns in an otherwise lopsided game. Centreville Academy tallied 266 yards on the ground, and was surprisingly active in the passing game, completing 5 of 15 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

Much like last week against Trinity Episcopal, the Rebels were able to hang with the Tigers early, but mental miscues cost the team as Centreville began to get a comfortable lead.

“We had things going, as usual, and then we just imploded,” ACCS head coach Hunter McKeivier said. “We went from it being a 7-6 ball game with nine minutes to go in the first quarter, to 21-6 with five minutes to go.”

Centreville scored first on an 8-yard carry by Hunter Travis. On the ensuing kickoff, Wells took the kick 95 yards back for a touchdown. Johnny Smith’s kick was blocked, making it 7-6 at the 8:50 mark in the first.

The next three touchdowns were all by Centreville, as Travis caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cliff Hurst with 5:47 left in the first. Randy Bell later caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Towles with 4:40 left. Brodie Lafontaine added a 4-yard touchdown run with 2:05 left.

The activity in the passing game was something Tigers head coach Bill Hurst said he wanted to work for later on in the season when it would be needed.

“We don’t normally throw the ball much, but we were trying to work on our passing game and spread the field,” Hurst said.

“You have to be able to throw the ball some plus run it in order to win (playoff games).”

Centreville added another touchdown with 10:21 left in the second quarter on a 6-yard carry by Travis. Wells scored his second touchdown of the game on a 69-yard with 9:58 left. Smith ran in the two-point conversion, making it 35-14 Centreville.

The Tigers scored one more time before the half on an 8-yard run by Cody Peak.

A 10-yard run by Colton Terrell made it 49-14 Tigers with 6:57 left in the third. The officials ran a continuous clock from that point. ACCS scored its final touchdown late in the fourth on a 5-yard run by Brandon Ross.

The Rebels tallied three fumbles on the night, and lost all three. Smith finished 3-for-10 in passing for 16 yards and one interception.

Centreville fumbled three times, but didn’t lose the ball once. Cliff Hurst also threw an interception early in the first quarter.

“These turnovers, these mistakes we’re making — they can’t happen,” McKeivier said. “Not if you want to be a successful football team. It took us until midway through the third quarter for us to start playing football like we’re capable of playing.”

And what’s frustrating for McKeivier is that he sees improvement from his team, but there are still too many miscues, he said.

“I see good things every single time we play, but I also see negative things that we need to work on,” McKeivier said. “It seems like every week that we find that negative thing and work on it, we get better at it, but something else perks its nasty head. That’s the way it’s been all year.”

McKeivier also said he’s been impressed with how Wells has filled in since getting called up from the junior varsity squad. Even with all the yards, Wells had trouble holding onto the ball at times, and that’s something McKeivier said needs to be addressed.

“He brings explosion (to our team),” McKeivier said. “On that kickoff return, he exploded, and once he made it to that second level, he was gone.

“Offensively, if he’ll hold onto the football, the sky’s the limit for him. I have to do a better job as a coach of getting him to hold onto the football.”

Centreville rose to 5-2 on the season. ACCS fell to 1-6.