DONELSON -- Jaheim Robinson had 100 yards rushing and a touchdown in the second half to lead Friendship Christian to 22-6 win over Donelson Christian Academy on Friday night.
Friendship was limited to 42 yards of offense in the first half, but still led 3-0 at the break.
"I thought we played good offensively in the first half," said Commanderscoach John McNeal. "We got a field goal on our first drive of the game, but we just couldn't convert on third down."
After forcing a punt by Donelson Christian on the opening drive, the Commanders converted a fourth-and-5 as Justin Seagraves hit Drew Porter on a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass for a 23-yard gain. However, just three plays later on third-and-3, a high snap from the center forced Seagraves to take a 7-yard loss and set up a 28-yard field goal attempt from Neill Kane, who connected for his second field goal in as many weeks to give Friendship an early 3-0 lead.
DCA then moved into Commander territory on the strength of a 42-yard gain from fullback Brady Russell. But three plays later the Commanders forced the first turnover of the game. DCA quarterback Parker Kelley threw a flare pass to running back Jon Lewis, who was flipped in the air and fumbled, with the recovery made by former DCA basketball player Andrew Mathis, now an FCS senior.
Friendship was forced to punt on its next possession. DCA then connected with a 36-yard bomb from Kelley to Parker Howell. Friendship forced a turnover on downs, but then was forced to punt again.
DCA did have success moving the ball just before halftime. Kelley connected on passes to Gage Scragg for gains of 12 and 37 yards to set the Wildcats up with a first-and-10 and the Commanders' 13-yard line. Lewis then ran the ball three times for 5 yards to set up a fourth-and-5 from the 8. But Kelley's pass fell incomplete to end the half.
The Commanders then took the second-half kickoff, and behind the legs of Seagraves and Robinson went 61 yards in nine plays. Robinson capped it off with a 5-yard run to increase the Commanders lead to 10-0.
On the next DCA drive Kelley was intercepted by defensive lineman Ryan Jackson, who returned the pick to the Wildcat 10-yard line.
The Wildcats defense made a goal-line stand, stopping the Commanders on fourth-and-goal on the 1-yard line.
On the very first play of the drive, Jordan Lewis appeared to be stopped in the end zone for a safety, but the officials ruled he just crossed outside the plane of the goal line. On fourth down the DCA punter Parker Kelley stepped on the back line of the end zone for a safety to increase the lead to 12-0.
After the free kick from DCA, the Commanders drove
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63 yards in seven plays as Seagraves scored from 9 yards out to make the score 19-0 Friendship. The big play of the drive was a 20-yard completion from Seagraves to Dorian Champion.
After forcing another punt from DCA, the Commanders capped their scoring with another field goal from Kane, this one from 30 yards out, to increase the lead to 22-0 early in the fourth quarter. Robinson got the drive started with runs of 20 and 16 yards.
"Neill is such a huge advantage for us," said McNeal. "Obviously, we want to score touchdowns, but he us gives another dimension with ability to kick field goals."
The Wildcats then drove to the Commanders' 16-yard line, but the field-goal attempt by Braden Ducharme was wide left.
After forcing the Commanders to punt, the Wildcats then finally got on the board as Kelley and Howell hooked up for a 36-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked by Champion.
The Commanders then ran out the clock to complete the win 22-6 to improve to 2-1 overall, and 2-0 in Division II-A East Region.
This week the Commanders will travel to Chattanooga to face Grace Baptist. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT in Chattanooga.