Last Friday at Milton was beyond emotional for the Catholic Crusaders.
The upside: Catholic captured its first win in convincing fashion. The downside: the Crusaders win was rallied around an unfortunate knee injury for running back Jaylen Fortune.
Focusing on the positives, Catholic head coach Greg Seibert and the Crusaders will aim to direct their full-attention to the next game, each week.
“I’m excited for the kids. (The first win) is all about the kids in this program,” Seibert said. “This is why we do the things that we do; to put our kids in position to be successful. They answered the call tonight (Friday night at Milton). We built off the good things we’ve done all season and we will continue to do that.
“The only important game is the next one. We’re focused on getting ready for Pensacola High.”
Future only getting brighter for undefeated Aggies
The Tate Aggies (4-0) have shown that they are capable of great things this season.
After grinding out long drives and using stingy defense to win their first three games, the Aggies showed heightened ability to break a big play in the 45-21 win over Pensacola High last week.
First, dual-threat QB Jake Henry (Appalachian State commit) broke a massive run, scooting outside for a 95-yard run to open the second quarter and lift Tate to a 21-0 lead.
“There were some great blocks on the line and opened up a real big hole for me and I just saw green grass,” said Henry, who finished with 277 passing yards, 166 on the ground and five total TDs. “I had a lot of guys blocking for me. It was a good play.”
Henry had his hands in the mix of another explosive score for the Aggies, this time as he aired out the pigskin.
It might have been Corey Young’s only touch of the night, but the 90-yard TD reception from Henry was one of the most unforgettable plays of the explosive win.
“(Young) ran a great route, the play developed just like we wanted it to and he was wide open,” Henry said. “I gave him a catchable ball and he took off. There was no catching him (Young).”
Tate’s defense certainly did it’s part in the powerful, and the Aggies QB and head coach Jay Lindsey recognized their outing.
“I’ve got total trust in our defense to come up with big plays and make big stops,” Henry said.
Lindsey said: “We’re playing good football. That’s the bottom line. I think we are clicking on all cylinders. There are still things that we need to work on; we are nowhere near where we need to be. But I’m very pleased with where we are right now.”
Royals won’t let sluggish start slump attitudes
The first four weeks of play haven’t exactly been pretty for the Jay Royals (0-4).
But that doesn’t mean they are not headed in the right direction.
During last week’s loss to West Gadsden, the Royals entered the fourth quarter trailing 14-7 before West Gadsden pulled away for a 32-7 win.
But the four losses have been strong learning experiences for the Royals — who rely heavily on underclassmen.
“We’re such a young team, we are playing a ton of ninth and 10th graders,” Jay head coach Melvin Kersey said. “We are playing about three seniors. We’re just young but the kids are playing hard.”
The Royals also nearly took the lead before halftime.
Jay conducted a lengthy drive into the red zone, but West Gadsden came away with an interception with just one minute until the break.
The Royals also came just a few inches short on 4th down inside the five-yard line.
“We felt good about the way our kids were playing,” Kersey said. “We wished we would have converted better, but the kids fought hard and I’m happy with that aspect. The effort was there. We have to learn how to win these kinds of ball games.”