Leake Academy upsets No. 1 seed ACCS in playoffs

Published 12:12 am Saturday, November 7, 2015

Leake Academy’s Logan Humphries smothers Adams County Christian School quarterback Carlos Woods in the backfield during the second round of the MAIS Class AAA playoffs. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

Leake Academy’s Logan Humphries smothers Adams County Christian School quarterback Carlos Woods in the backfield during the second round of the MAIS Class AAA playoffs. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Shocked.

Adams County Christian School could only watch as their quest for perfection slid from their grasp.

Leake Academy (8-4), a No. 9 seed in the Mississippi Association of Independent School AAA playoffs, rolled into Natchez and handed No. 1 seeded ACCS (11-1) its first and last loss of the season, 27-19 in the second round of the playoffs.

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“I wish I could take the pain away for these boys because they had such a good season,” ACCS head coach David King said. “Unfortunately, that is part of the game. An exceptional season came to a rough close.”

Previously undefeated ACCS came in heavily favored in the matchup, but failed to find their rhythm offensively. ACCS was held to just 258 total yards, with only 56 coming on the ground.

“We just could never get the ball moving on offense,” ACCS senior running back Chisum Mardis said. “My take, they watched a lot of film on us, because they knew what we were going to do tonight.”

After the two teams went back-and-forth in a scoreless first quarter, ACCS broke the tie with just under nine minutes in the second quarter when Carlos Woods hit Sam Butler on a 16-yard touchdown pass to give ACCS a 6-0 lead.

Leake Academy was quick to answer, though, scoring on a 16-yard touchdown pass of their own on the ensuing drive from Joshua Jones to Jacob Robertson. A converted extra point gave Leake Academy a 7-6 lead.

Leake quickly got the ball back when Woods tossed an interception on the next ACCS drive.

Two plays later, Robertson rumbled into the end zone from nine yards out, giving Leake Academy a 14-6 lead.

Leake Academy received the opening kickoff in the second half, but the ACCS defense was able to hold, forcing a punt.

However, on the first play of their next drive, ACCS fumbled the ball away.

Leake capitalized six plays later on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Nick Ezelle, giving them a 21-6 lead.

Another ACCS fumble gave the ball back to Leake, and once again, they capitalized, as Jones tossed his third touchdown of the night, this time from 32 yards out to Keric Estep making it 27-6.

Jones finished with 262 yards passing in the game and completed 12 of his 20 passes.

But the magic hadn’t run out yet for ACCS.

On the ensuing kickoff, Shavarick Williams scampered 80 yards down the sideline for a return touchdown, cutting the lead to 27-13.

“I thought we were going to pull another East Rankin game,” ACCS quarterback Carlos Woods said, a game in which ACCS rallied to win earlier this season. “But everything happens for a reason.”

ACCS would pull within eight, at 27-19, when Woods hit George Scott who reeled in a 42-yard heave. But time was against ACCS.

Leake Academy was able to chew a good bit off the clock on their next drive, but eventually punted to ACCS with three minutes left to play.

ACCS found themselves in trouble facing a 4th and 15, but Woods once again bailed ACCS out, connecting with Sam Butler for a first down. Woods ended up finishing with 202 yards passing and completed 14 of his 27 attempts.

ACCS would get all the way down to the Leake Academy 18-yard line, but penalties would eventually back the ball up to the 38-yard line.

After two incompletions and a sack, Woods was forced to throw a hail mary as time expired which went begging, giving Leake Academy the win.

“They were a great team and did everything right and we didn’t,” Mardis said. “They outplayed us.”

For eleven seniors, it was the last time they would suit up for ACCS, and each one showed how much they would miss it through their emotion after the game.

“I know I’m going to miss them,” Woods said. “I’ll miss them all.”

For King, it was a special group.

“They were a very good group and won a bunch of ball games,” he said. “They played for a state title and this season ended on a sour note, but at 11-1, they helped us build a foundation at this school that we’ll move forward from.”

Leake Academy advances to the semifinals of the MAIS AAA playoffs and will play at Silliman Institute next Friday.