ACCS hosts Riverfield for playoff game

Published 1:43 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

NATCHEZ — Two weeks ago, the Adams County Christian School Rebels traveled to Rayville, La., to take on the Riverfield Academy Raiders with the MAIS District 3-4A championship on the line.

ACCS escaped with a 43-36 victory on Jamar Kaho’s 14-yard touchdown run and J.J. Claiborne’s two-point conversion run late in the fourth quarter after jumping out to an early 21-6 lead. That win gave the 8-2 Rebels the outright district title, the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Class 4A Playoffs.

This Friday night, it will be ACCS playing host to No. 10 seed Riverfield in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Bobby Marks Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. The Raiders (4-7) began defense of their back-to-back state title with a 28-8 win on the road over No. 7 seed Winston Academy.
“Both of these teams played in state championship games last year. Both teams are used to playing in big games. I do like the fact that we’re home, so that’ll be a slight advantage for us,” ACCS head coach David King said.

King added that after the ball is kicked off, it will be a matter of which team wants It more and who can keep their emotions more in check.

During their bye week, the Rebels didn’t do too. This week, the Rebels will get back on the field to prepare for the rematch with the Raiders.

“We obviously had to rehab some injured players and get our legs underneath us and let the players get some stress relief. You get to regroup and re-energize. So we’ll see if they can jump back into their routine today (Monday), we hope,” King said.

One thing the Rebels must do in the rematch is cut down on penalties. In the first meeting between these two teams, they were penalized 11 times for 110 yards. 

“Our line is aggressive, but we’ve been susceptible to holding calls. There’s a fine line between being aggressive and holding,” King said.

Another key factor is turnovers. The Rebels did not turn the ball over at all in their win two weeks ago. 

“We’ve got to match their intensity. They’re playing their best right now. They’re a good team. They gave us all we could handle,” King said.

ACCS will need another big game from freshman quarterback Coleman Carter, who threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 126 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. 

Claiborne, a sophomore running back, will have to have more than the seven carries he had a couple of weeks ago. He had a touchdown run early in that game, but didn’t touch the ball much after that and finished with 58 yards on the ground.

The Rebels’ defense, led by Michael Anderson, Connor Aplin, Kamron and Kyron Barnes, E’Darius Green, and D.K. McGruder, must contain Raiders quarterback Drew Holley, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, running backs Addison Shelton and Brett Whorton, and fullback Barnes Williamson. If that happens, then ACCS will advance to the semifinals.

“That’s going to be their game plan from the get-go, to shorten the game,” King said. “Keep the ball away from us and run it.”

King said that the Rebels will have to control their emotions in a big game. He added that it is big that the rematch is taking place at ACCS.

“We want to be able to handle the pressure and the environment that come with a big-time ball game,” King said. “Any team that plays at home feels a little more comfortable.”