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Commanders leave Jackets in a fog
Oct 01, 2012 12:00 am
Long, Hollis lead FCS to 31-0 victory
By ANDY REED
Friendship Christian bolted to an early lead and left Trousdale County in the Pirtle Field fog Friday night in a 31-0 victory.
A.J. Long threw for one touchdown and ran for another as Friendship built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Running back Steven Hollis put the Commanders on the board early with a 5-yard touchdown run and finished off FCS' sixth win in seven outings with a late touchdown after Trousdale cut off Long's outside lanes.
Long completed his first five passes, including a 37-yard score to Stefan Remus on first-and-32, and leaped a yard for another score. He finished 7-of-11 for 115 yards passing and was held to 32 yards on 12 carries.
"They were spying the outside guy, whether it be the defensive end or it be the cornerback, and he would just sit there and wait to see if I was coming out of the backside," Long said. "So they made a great adjustment, or preparation during the week to not let me get outside."
But Hollis ran through some big holes to get to the second level on his way to 151 yards on 22 carries. He opened the scoring with a 5-yard run and closed it with a 20-yarder. The sophomore also intercepted a pass on defense.
"My linemen were making huge holes for me," Hollis said.
Friendship finished with 227 yards on 44 carries and finished with 342 total. But after building the big lead, the Commanders couldn't punch in another score despite numerous opportunities as Trousdale repeatedly went for it on fourth down deep in the Yellow Jackets' territory.
Stefan Remus' 41-yard field goal off the crossbar at the halftime buzzer after linebacker Dillon Hodges recovered a fumble, was the only scoring between the first and fourth periods. A thick fog settled on the field during the third quarter but cleared off somewhat in the fourth.
"We just stopped reading our keys and got a little shaky," Hollis said.
"That's one of those things until you see the film, maybe it was us or maybe it was them or a combination," McNeal said. "We had opportunities and whether they be breakdowns, I can't really answer that.
"We had a chance in the first half, but then we got the field goal which kind of made up for it. In the second half, we had a couple of opportunities we just missed."
Trousdale's best scoring opportunity was a 100-yard interception return by sophomore defensive back Zach Blackwell which was called back by a penalty. The Yellow Jackets picked up an occasional first down but never got a consistent drive going as they totaled 127 rushing yards. Marquel Claiborne completed 3 of 11 passes for 40 yards as the visitors totaled 167 in falling to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in Region 4-A.
"[The defense] did a good job," McNeal said. "I thought they played really well."
The Commanders will carry a 4-1 region record to what might possibly be their final trip to Robinson Stadium to take on Watertown at 7 p.m. next Friday.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 17; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org