Adams County Christian School hangs on to win thriller against Clinton Christian

Published 12:45 am Saturday, September 3, 2022

CLINTON — After a crazy sequence of penalties in which Clinton Christian Academy ended up with six mostly onside kickoff attempts, Adams County Christian School recovered the ball with just over two minutes left and finally ran the clock out.

And that was the end of a back-and-forth battle between the Rebels, ranked No. 4 in MAIS Class 4A, and the upstart Warriors. ACCS ended up winning the game 35-28 to remain undefeated and started defense of its District 3-4A championship.

“I don’t have much to say. It was a big win,” Rebels head coach David King said. “We made a few mistakes. Made some big plays. They were a very good football team. We were very fortunate to come out with a win tonight.”

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ACCS seemed have victory well in sight on Coleman Carter’s six-yard touchdown run with 3:33 remaining that put the Rebels up 35-21. But on Clinton Christian’s next possession, quarterback Gared Clark somehow got away from the Rebels’ defensive lineman and found Rob Perry, who got behind the secondary, for a 66-yard touchdown pass at the 2:35 mark.

Then penalty after penalty against the Warriors’ kickoff team put them all the way back to their own 20-yard line. Finally, the Rebels recovered a squib kick with 1:57 left, got a few first downs, and took a knee deep in CCA territory to finally end the game.

“We grew up tonight. Had to overcome some obstacles tonight,” King said.

And that included a fumble on a punt return by the Rebels that led to Perry’s 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 1:30 left in the third quarter that made it a 28-21 game.

Carter had another solid game leading ACCS’s offense. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns to go with 10 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Samuel Merriett went 5-for-5 on extra points and had a 31-yard touchdown catch just past the midway mark of the third quarter that capped off a 21-0 run that lasted from late in the first quarter to the 5:24 mark of the third that gave the Rebels a 28-14 advantage.

Jordan Berry had a big receiving game of his own with five catches for 131 yards, including a 62-yard TD pass from Carter that tied the game at 14-all.

Sean Kerry Cothern had the big defensive play of the game with a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown with 9:25 to go in the second quarter as Clinton Christian was driving down the field attempting to retake the lead.

Perry accounted for all four of the Warriors’ touchdown — three on touchdown passes from Clark and his scoop-and-score on special teams.

Defensively, Alex Pollard had four tackles and one of the Rebels’ four sacks. Tristan Burns had a team-leading eight tackles while Dantavios Stampley had seven tackles and Connor Aplin had six tackles as well as a one-yard TD run. Jesse Grayson had four tackles and two big interceptions of his own.

ACCS (3-0, 1-0) hosts Centreville Academy for homecoming next Friday at 7 p.m. The Tigers took care of Sylva-Bay Academy 36-8 to improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in MAIS District 3-3A.

Centreville racked up 349 yards of total offense while its defense held the Saints to just 54 yards of total offense.