The visiting Friendship Christian Commanders didn’t hold back as they scored five touchdowns before halftime against the Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Saints.
It didn’t take long for the Commanders to get on the board, taking their first possession from midfield and scoring on a 5-yard run from Austin Taylor with 9:23 left in the first quarter. Blake Grosch kicked the extra point.
The Saints would go three-and-out on all their possessions of the first half, giving the Commanders a lot of time and opportunities to score.
Again, only on their second possession, the Commanders gave the ball to Taylor as he ran in another touchdown from 27 yards out and 4:01 remaining the in quarter.
Friendship would get started early in the second quarter, scoring on the first play of the quarter on a 32-yard run from Steven Hollis.
After another Saint three-and-out, the Commanders again took advantage and scored on a quarterback keeper by A.J. Long. Long ran the ball 19 yards for the touchdown with 7:54 left to play in the half.
The Commanders would score once more in the half, on their very next possession, again giving the ball to Taylor for a 4-yard touchdown run. Taylor had three touchdowns in the game, all before the second half.
The Saints looked like they might come alive before halftime after a catch and pitch from quarterback Rick Van Mali to Zack Jones, who then pitched to Race McLean for 45 yards. However, Mali then threw an interception to the Commanders’ Long, giving them the ball and plenty time left to score in the half.
A Saint personal foul then landed Elliott Lee ejected from the game and put the Commanders in the red zone. Grosch then missed the 25-yard field goal as time expired.
The Saints and Commanders swapped possessions back-and-forth in the half, with both coming up empty handed.
The Saints continued a solid drive into the fourth quarter, taking the ball all the way down to the Commanders 49-yard line before fumbling.
Gage Bentley then picked up the ball and returned it for 65 yards and a touchdown for the Commanders. The extra point conversion failed.
On their next possession the Saints pulled off another flawless catch and pitch play from Mali to Jones who pitched to Pitman who picked up 60 yards. Mali would then pass to Jones in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown completion. Landon Boyd kicked the extra point.
The Commanders then kept the ball on the ground until time expired, beating the Saints 41-7.
Friendship Christian 41, Mt. Juliet Christian Academy 7
Friendship 14 21 0 6—41
MJCA 0 0 0 7—7
Friendship—Taylor 5 run (Grosch kick), 9:23
Friendship—Taylor 27 run (Grosch kick), 4:01
Friendship-- Hollis 32 run (Grosch kick), 11:41
Friendship—Long 19 run (Grosch kick), 7:54
Friendship—Taylor 4 run (Grosch kick), 5:17
Friendship—Bentley 65 run (failed conversion), 9:42
MJCA—Jones 5 pass from Van Mali (Boyd kick), 4:22
First Downs 13 5
Penalties-yards 4-25 3-25
Rushes-yards 40-364 11-6
Passing yards 59 163
Comp.-att.-int. 3-5-0 12-24-1
Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0
RUSHING —Friendship, Steven Hollis 9-100, Austin Taylor 10-67, A.J. Long 6-81, Spencer Burge 9-44, Samuel Hollis 2-11, Gage Bentley 1-65, John Michael Petty 2-[-4]. MJCA, Samuel Eastin 5-[-6], Andy Pitman 2-1, Gilbert Russ 3-16, Rick Van Mali 1-[-5].
PASSING —Friendship, A.J. Long, 3-5-0-59. MJCA, Rick Van Mali, 12-24-1-163.
RECEIVING —Friendship, Michael Hawks 1-15, Steven Hollis 1-36, Will Burruss 1-8. MJCA, Samuel Eastin 4-6, Gilbert Russ 2-[-4], Zack Jones 5-52, Andy Pitman 2-65, Race McLean 1-45.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Grosch 25.