MA holds off Catholic, 26-14

MA holds off Catholic, 26-14


MA holds off Catholic, 26-14


Montgomery Academy’s Josh Seals hands the ball to Nelson Whyte against Catholic on Friday.

Montgomery Academy’s Josh Seals hands the ball to Nelson Whyte against Catholic on Friday.

Montgomery Academy gutted this one out.

Catholic pushed MA to the limit, but the Eagles overcame their players cramping up all over the place to pull out a 26-14 road victory Friday night.

“We just persevered,” MA coach Anthony McCall said. “It came down to June 3. That’s when we started. This was a bye product of all that we did this summer. I’m proud of them for how they dug their heels and stayed the course.”

Senior running back Nelson Whyte rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and senior quarterback Barton Lester scored twice as the Eagles racked up 407 yards of total offense with 308 coming on the ground in the victory.

“We just carried the ball all day and all night,” Whyte said. “We played well. Our O-line played well, too.”

The Knights jumped out to an early 7-0 lead but yielded 20 consecutive points and couldn’t come through down the stretch to win the game.

“We just didn’t catch the breaks,” first-year Catholic coach Aubrey Blackwell said. “We got a lot of guys, this was their first time. Of our 22, we had 16 guys that this was their first high school game. We’re only going to get better because we’ve got so many guys who haven’t done it before.”

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Montgomery Academy took a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter, but had players going down left and right with cramps. While the Eagles were ailing, the Knights began to build momentum as they cut the lead to 20-14 on sophomore Greg Ellis’ 15-yard touchdown catch.

Then after Stephen Rutledge missed a 31-yard field goal, Catholic seemed poised for a game-winning drive. Montgomery Academy had other ideas.

The Eagles forced the Knights into back-to-back negative plays and forced a punt that traveled just 17 yards. Before this series began, McCall came down from the press box where he has been coaching since last season and was giving the chop sign when the Eagles rose up defensively.

“We just kept staying the course,” MA senior Charles Speaks said. “Dug deep. Found a little bit more.”

With prime field position, Montgomery Academy went a on a 25-yard scoring drive. Lester capped with a 10-yard touchdown run to put the Eagles up, 26-14, with a minute, 40 seconds left.

“We don’t want to lose,” Lester said. “All the teams before us the last two years have built something, and we’re not going to destroy it.”

Lester had served as a backup to two-sport star Josh Thomas the past two years. Now the starter, Lester showed the type of effort and fortitude McCall can build upon.

“Showed a lot of poise and grit more than anything,” McCall said. “Got some things we got to clean up, but this guy is a competitor. I’ve coached a lot of kids, and I put him high on my list as a kid who just competes. We get everything else going in the right direction, we’ll have something special here.”


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