ACCS overcomes mental mistakes, downs St. Aloysius 35-6

Published 11:48 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian gashed St. Aloysius with explosive running plays in the first quarter as they cruised to a 35-6 win over the Flashes Friday night. 

ACCS began the game with a shaky start by fumbling the ball on their first drive. St. Al’s Daniel Reeves recovered the ball, allowing the Flashes to start the drive at their own 35. 

AC head coach David King said his team played sloppily. They gave up two fumbles and had an interception in the game. 

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“You never want to have mental mistakes,” King said. “You don’t want fumbles in week five. Our goal is not to be good but to be great. You can’t make mistakes like we did tonight. The fun part of being the coach is correcting that. We have to practice hard. The effort is there, and our assistant coaches and players are getting after it in practice.”

The Rebels defense held St. Al on their first drive and forced a punt. A few plays later, Dantavious Stampley got a handoff and raced down the sideline to score on a 49-yard rush. AC took a 7-0 lead as the PAT was good. Stampley finished the game with four rushes for 75 yards, a touchdown and two fumbles.

The next AC drive, Rebels receiver Jamar Kaho ran to the perimeter and down the left sideline. Making a tackler miss, he cut inside and leapt out of the grasp of a St. Al defender to score on a 75-yard run. This gave AC a 14-0 lead with 13 seconds left in the first quarter. 

“That was my first time lining up in the backfield,” Kaho said. “I turned my speed on and scored a touchdown. I didn’t know he (the defender) was back there. Usually, it is hard for guys to tackle me because my legs are so long.”

Kaho had one touchdown run for 75-yards. Additionally, he had two catches for 51 yards. 

When AC got the ball again, they fumbled at their 30-yard line, and St. Al recovered. Cooper Madison scored on a six-yard screen pass to the left side. The two-point conversion failed, so St. Al trailed 14-6. He had three rushes for 13 yards and 10 receptions for 42 yards.

In the next possession, AC’s Kaho got the team inside the 10 by high pointing a pass and catching a tipped ball. After the catch, He carried a defender for about 10 yards. The Flashes held strong on defense and forced a four and out from inside the 10-yard-line.

AC forced a punt and marched down the field as Taqi Griffin extended the Rebels lead with a 12-yard reception on a slant route. He shed a tackler and walked into the endzone to make the game 21-6 with 1:39 left in the second quarter. 

The Rebels defense got in on the scoring as AC’s Samuel Merriett broke on an overthrown pass from Tristan Willbanks. Catching it at the 25, Merriett had nothing but the open field as he stuck his index finger up into the air and strutted into the endzone. AC led 28-6 with 1:09 left in the 2Q. It would be the score at the half. 

In the third quarter, AC’s Kaho sprung off what looked like a 60-yard touchdown rush on a counter, but it was called back for holding. On the same drive, Conor Aplin looked like he punched in a 20-yard rush for a score, but it too was called back for holding. 

“If we want to go where we are used to going, we can’t make the same mistakes tonight. It cost us,” King said. “St. Al tested us. They played hard. They play physically, and St. Al always does.”

St. Al’s Copper Madison made a big play for the flashes. He picked off a pass from Coleman Carter at the goal line. He ran up the sideline for a 45-yard return with 53 seconds left in the 3Q. 

The Flashes could not turn the turnover into any points. Head coach Bubba Nettles said his team came out flat to start the game. It cost them to score just six points off of three turnovers, he said.

“It’s impossible to win a game with six points,” Nettles said. “We gave up 28 points quickly before we could get the kids settled down. We came out in the second half and played the correct way. We only gave up one touchdown. We have to come out hot in all four quarters and not just the first or fourth. I thought the fumble recovery off the bat was huge for us. I wish we would have been able to capitalize off of it. The kids have to learn and understand momentum.”

AC opened the fourth quarter with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Carter to Collin Cauthen. He split the defenders to get into the endzone and gave the Rebels a 35-6 lead. 

Cauthen finished the game with three receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. Griffin had three receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. Carter completed 8-19 passes for 159 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He rushed six times for 30 yards. J.J. Claiborne rushed eight times for 77 yards, and Adrian Walker rushed three times for 30 yards.

On St. Al’s drive, Tucker fumbled the football at the Rebel’s 31-yard line and the Rebels recovered. AC marched down the field and killed the clock ending the game 35-6. 

Defensively, Michael Anderson led the Rebels with 10 tackles. Conor Aplin had seven tackles, as did Hayes Marchbanks. He had a fumble recovery in his first defensive start.