The Curtis Baptist Crusaders marched into Hinesville’s Long Bell Stadium on Friday and claimed it as their own territory, posting a 58-8 win over First Presbyterian Christian Academy.
The Crusaders opened the game receiving the ball and starting at their own 35. Crusader quarterback Chris Reid took the first snap and tossed a 40-yard pass. The receiver ran the rest of the way for a touchdown with barely 4 seconds off the clock in the first quarter.
FPCA had a three-and-out and their punt was tipped. Curtis Baptist took over at the Highlanders’ 44-yard line. They used four plays to eat up 50 yards en route to their second touchdown with nearly 8 minutes still left in the first quarter.
FPCA had bright moments in the game, keeping their spark alive. Highlander D’Angelo Streeter took snaps and completed a 40-yard pass to George Mitchell. Domonique Kirkley also served as quarterback in the game.
Streeter and Kirkley accounted for much of the Highlanders’ rushing game. Official stats had not been posted by press time, but Streeter escaped a near-safety in his own end zone and broke away, giving FPCA a first down at the 25-yard line. Streeter also broke free of three tackles for an 11-yard run that placed the Highlanders inside the 10. But the Crusaders stuffed the middle and FPCA had to go for it on fourth down. Kirkley took the snap, stepped to the left and was tripped, keeping FPCA off the scoreboard.
Mitchell had two receptions for 80 yards in the contest. Joshua Armour had one for 11 yards.
The FPCA boys did score in the second half of regulation and convert for two, avoiding a shutout on their home field.
Fatigue played a factor. At one point, the Highlanders could field only nine players. The Crusaders were another factor. The squad not only doubled in roster size, they were physical. Receiving penalties for blocking in the back, holding calls, facemasks and pass interference, the Crusaders showed they weren’t there to mess around.
Highlander Ahman Muhammad was shoved to the ground after a play was called dead. He got up and pushed back. Flags flew, but only Muhammad got ejected. Two plays later, the Crusaders were called for a horse-collar tackle and then a personal foul. The FPCA boys were exhausted, and the Crusaders pounded the ball on the ground to run up the score.
FPCA trailed 34-0 at the half. The Crusaders ran up 24 points in the second half for the win.
FPCA is 0-3 and will host David Emanuel at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Long Bell Stadium.