Snook Christian 45, Sparta Christian 28

Eagles hold off Warriors for first ever AISA Regional win

By John Underwood, John@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 9/12/18

The Snook Christian Academy Eagles held off the Sparta Christian Academy Warriors to gain their first victory of the 2018 season and their first win in AISA Class 1 Friday night in a home contest at Summerdale ....

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Snook Christian 45, Sparta Christian 28

Eagles hold off Warriors for first ever AISA Regional win

Posted

SUMMERDALE, Ala. — The Snook Christian Academy Eagles held off the Sparta Christian Academy Warriors to gain their first victory of the 2018 season and their first win in AISA Class 1 Friday night in a home contest at Summerdale Middle School.

After leading 26-6 at halftime, the Eagles had their lead cut to 10 in the third period at 32-22, but outscored the Warriors 13-6 in the final period to improve to 1-3 on the season, 1-0 in Class 1, Region 1 play.

“That was a big win for use. We needed that win in the worst sort of way,” said Eagles Head Coach Keith Smith. “I’m super proud of them. They played their hearts out.”

After both teams failed to score on their first possession, the two teams traded turnovers with the Eagles giving up an interception at the goalline, then recovered a fumble three plays at the Sparta 4. Garrett Phillips ran it in from there and the Eagle point-after attempt was blocked, leaving the score at 6-0 with 1:14 to go in the opening period.

The two teams again traded turnovers with Gavin Norris intercepting a pass for the Eagles from the Sparta 30. Norris ran the ball in for a touchdown, but was called back to the Sparta 23 because of a penalty.

The Eagles would score seven plays later on a three-yard touchdown run by Keldrick Koen, who also ran for the 2-point conversion to give Snook a 14-0 lead with 2:17 to play in the half.

Sparta then scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass missing on the 2-point conversion attempt, then Camaje Casey took the ensuing kickoff from the Eagle 2 all the way to the Sparta 25.

Phillips took the ball himself for 22 yards on first down before Koen punched it in from three yards out. Snook added another score before halftime, recovering a fumble at their own 47, scoring on a 38-yard strike from Gavin Tooley to Ty Roper. The 2-point conversion try again failed, leaving the score at 26-6 at halftime.

The two teams then traded scores to start the second half, but while the Eagles again failed to convert, the Warriors converted on both 2-point tries to cut the lead to 32-22 with 5:47 to play in the third quarter.

But the Eagles would take the ball and run away with the game in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 54-yard run by Tooley with 11:17 to play in the contest. Roper then intercepted a Warrior pass, giving the Eagles the ball back at the Sparta 48, taking 14 plays to score thanks to several penalties by both teams. Phillips ran it in from 16 yards out and Tooley kicked the only extra point of the game to make the score 45-22 with 3:16 to play.

Sparta scored on a 52-yard pass play with just under three minutes to go in the contest, then recovered an onside kick, but Norris intercepted his second pass of the night and the Eagles were able to run out the clock to garner the victory.

The Eagles outpaced the Warriors 473 to 88 on the ground, led by Phillips who had 230 yards on 17 carries. Casey added 92 yards on 12 carries before going down to injury in the first half. Koen had 65 yards on 14 carries for the Eagles. The Warriors finished the contest with 261 yards through the air, completing 12 of 23 passes with three interceptions.

The Eagles will spend the next four weeks on the road, including Regional contests at Jackson (Sept. 7) and Wilcox (Oct. 5) academies and two contests in Florida, South Walton Sept. 14 and Freeport Sept. 21 before returning to Summerdale Panther Stadium for Homecoming Oct 12 against Regional foe Abbeville.