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ACCS escapes BA with district crown

DAILY LEADER / SHERYLYN EVANS / Brookhaven Academy junior receiver Caleb Brown (19) stiff arms ACCS defender Zach Young to gain extra yards Friday night.

DAILY LEADER / SHERYLYN EVANS / Brookhaven Academy junior receiver Caleb Brown (19) stiff arms ACCS defender Zach Young to gain extra yards Friday night.

Junior running back Lester Wells provided e a game-high performance for Adams County Christian School with 118 yards rushing on eight carries and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for a 51-yard touchdown as the Rebels escaped Brookhaven Academy with a 14-8 victory over the Cougars on R.M. “Red” Stuard Field.

The win snapped BA’s reign of seven consecutive division titles and ended a 31-year drought since the last time ACCS won the division crown in 1982.

The Rebels also spoiled Senior Night for Brookhaven Academy as friends, family and faculty member gathered for the special ceremony. The senior football team members recognized were Steven Williams, Parker Myrick, Dailey Warren, Jordan Lea, Ethan Harris, Jacob Thurman, Ross Foreman, Jacob Boyd, Landon Nettles, Wyatt Pepper, Travis Thornton, Cody Thornhill and Tramel Shedd.

“This was a great victory for us,” said ACCS coach Davis King. “We finally managed to get the monkey off of our backs and put an end to the 31-year drought.

“In the beginning, our boys came out nervous but settled down as the game went on. Brookhaven did an excellent job and showed why they have such a strong tradition in winning.

“Overall, I am extremely proud of the guys,” continued King. “We made some huge stops on defense and big plays on offense to get the win.”

The Rebels and Cougars came out and provided a fierce battle for their football fans as both team fought hard in a defensive heavyweight bout.

Brookhaven Academy and ACCS struggled to get their high power offenses going and had to rely on playing smash mouth-clock management football in a scoreless first half. The Cougars did threaten to take the lead, but the Rebels’ defense slammed the door by holding BA at the one-yard line as time expired to end the second quarter.

In the second half, the defensive battle continued to heat up until ACCS managed to break up the scoreless game on an 89-yard jolt to paydirt by Wells with 4:43 remaining in the third quarter. Junior kicker Brandon Ross finished a perfect two-of-two on the extra point kicks for the Rebels. After three quarters of action, the Rebels commanded a 7-0 lead.

In the fourth quarter, clock management and ball handling continued to be a factor as ACCS worked hard to keep the Cougars from scoring.

Late in the fourth quarter, Brookhaven Academy finally managed to end their scoreless drought with 1:34 left, when junior quarterback Heath Hickman scrambled in a 10-yard touchdown. The Cougars were successful on the two-point conversion attempt as senior running back Landon Nettles plowed through. BA led 8-7 in the closing second.

On the next possession, the Rebels received the ball and quickly went to work. ACCS started at their own 35-yard line, and a few plays later they advanced to their own 49-yard line. On second down and 10, junior quarterback Tyler Stockstill connected with Wells on a short pass pattern and Wells took it to the house for a 51-yard touchdown with 0:45 left.

BA tried to answer the Rebels’ challenge on the next possession but failed to do so as ACCS senior defensive back Brandon Ross intercepted a pass to secure the victory for the Rebels.

“I was very pleased with our effort,” said BA coach Tripp McCarty. “ACCS made the plays needed to earn the win. I have a feeling, if we protect the ball and continue to play hard like we did tonight we will do fine in the playoffs.

Offensively, Torrey Smith contributed 63 yards rushing on 12 carries for the Rebels.

Stockstill directed ACCS’s aerial attack completing two-of-four passes for 63 years and a touchdown.

Nettles paced the Cougars on offense with 22 carries for 104 yards on the ground.

Hickman completed nine-of-17 passes for 89 yards and rushed for 26 yards on 11 carries. Caleb Brown was the top receiver with six catches for 60 yards.

Defensively, Ross was the hard hitter for the Rebels with 20 tackles and two pass interceptions. Matthew Rymer helped with 15 stops. Chisum Mardis and Well provided 10 tackles apiece. Wells recovered a fumble.

Nettles was the leader for BA with seven tackles. Garrett Pace contributed six tackles. Michael Fiorella and Collin Hall had fives and a fumble recovery each.

The Rebels (9-1, 3-0) will host the first round of the MAIS playoffs for the first time ever in 31 years. Brookhaven Academy (4-6, 2-1) finished runners-up in the 5-AA division and will have to travel. Their opponents have not been determined \yet, bt kickoff begins at 7 p.m. Friday.