Those who missed A.J. Long during his three-game absence from the lineup realized how much by his return Friday night.
Friendship Christian’s senior quarterback accounted for five touchdowns to light up the new Pirtle Field scoreboard and fuel the Commanders’ 40-10 victory over visiting Franklin Road Academy on Friday night.
Long, whose absence was never explained, completed half of his 18 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 32 yards and a fifth score, on a 12-yard run 49 seconds into the game, as the Commanders snapped a two-game losing streak and climbed to 3-2.
On the receiving end of most of Long’s throws was junior running back Steven Hollis, who caught seven passes for 137 yards and three touchdowns which covered 35, 42 and 26 yards. Senior receiver Michael Hawks had the other TD grab covering 57 yards in the final minute of the first half for a 20-3 lead.
Friendship finished with 234 rushing yards, including 97 on 11 carries by Austin Taylor, whose 10 tackles led the defense.
Spencer Burge got a fourth-quarter Friendship score on a 1-yard run.
T.J. Norris’ 30-yard field goal in the first quarter and Clay McCord’s 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth accounted for FRA’s points as the Panthers fell to 2-3.
Friendship, which was at home for the first time after two straight road games, will return to the road next Friday for the short trip to Mt. Juliet Christian’s Suey Field for a 7 p.m. East-Middle District game.
Friendship Christian 40, Franklin Road Academy 10
Franklin Road Academy 3 0 0 7—10
Friendship Christian 7 13 14 6—40
Friendship Christian — A.J. Long 12 run [Blake Grosch kick], 11:11.
Franklin Road Academy — T.J. Norris 30 FG, 1:54.
Friendship Christian — Steven Hollis 35 pass from Long [pass failed], 3:20.
Friendship Christian — Michael Hawks 57 pass from Long [Grosch kick], :43.
Friendship Christian — Hollis 42 pass from Long [Grosch kick], 11:51.
Friendship Christian — Hollis 26 pass from Long [Grosch kick], 5:15.
Friendship Christian — Spencer Burge 1 run [run failed], 4:04.
Franklin Road Academy — Clay McCord 47 run [Norris kick].
Franklin Road Academy Friendship Christian
Rushes-yards 32-154 50-234
Passing yards 78 198
Comp.-Att.-Int. 6-25-0 9-18-1
Punts-Avg. — 3-40.7
Penalties-yards 10-77 7-42
RUSHING — Franklin Road Academy: Sam Harvin 19-35, Walker Casey 4-26, Taylor Maitland 3-7, Carter Clark 1-10, Spence Jones 4-27, Adrian Roper 1-2, Clay McCord 1-47. Friendship Christian: Steven Hollis 8-38, A.J. Long 10-32, Austin Taylor 11-97, Spencer Burge 15-41, Gage Bentley 1-19, Cody Walker 4-7, John Michael Petty 1-0.
PASSING — Franklin Road Academy: Spence Jones 3-11-0—42, Sam Harvin 3-14-0—36. Friendship Christian: A.J. Long 9-18-1—198.
RECEIVING — Franklin Road Academy: Andrew Looney 1-8, Walker Casey 1-10, T.J. Norris 1-24, Justin Linthicum 2-35, Adrian Roper 1-1. Friendship Christian: Steven Hollis 7-137, Michael Hawks 2-61.