ECB Publishing, Inc.
On Friday, Nov. 8, the Aucilla Christian Academy (ACA) Warriors faced off against the Flashes of St. Joseph Academy, from St. Augustine, Fla., in the Class 2A Region One quarterfinal game.
As the rain fell on Warrior Memorial Stadium, the Warriors' state title plans were also doused. The Flashes defeated the Warriors 34-20, ending an otherwise successful season for the Warriors.
The game began with the Warriors on offense and taking the opening kickoff at their own 38-yard line. It appeared that the stubborn Flash defensive unit had held the Warriors to a three-and-out, but in a bold move on fourth and short, the Warriors converted on a fake punt to keep the drive going.
Undeterred, the Flash defense again held the usually potent Warriors' rushing attack at bay and forced another punting situation. The wet conditions proved costly for the Flashes when the punt receiver mishandled the ball and Tristan Craig recovered the fumble, giving the Warriors' offense new life at the Flashes' 24-yard line. The Warriors quickly took advantage and Brandon Hannon marched the ball over the goal line for a Warrior touchdown.
The point-after-touchdown (PAT) was successful, and the score was 7-0, in favor of the Warriors, with 6:38 remaining in the opening quarter. That score remained through the remainder of the opening period.
In the early moments of the second quarter the opportunistic Flash defense scored a safety and the score was 7-2 with 10 minutes to go in the second period.
The Flashes added to their score in the final moments of the first half with a touchdown pass. The PAT failed and the score was 8-7, in favor of the Flashes as the first half drew to a close.
The Flashes had deferred to the second half after winning the opening coin-toss. The Flashes took the ball down the field and scored a rushing touchdown with nine minutes to go in the third period. As the game progressed, the Flashes were able to expand on their lead to a 34-20 advantage when the final buzzer sounded on the Warriors' playoff plans and a near perfect season.
Brandon Hannon led the Warriors in rushing for the evening with 32 yards on 12 rushing attempts and two touchdowns. Brady Browning went 10 for 18 passing for 110 yards. Nathan Dukes threw one pass for 14 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Dalton Anderson had seven tackles for the Warriors. Austin Hebert had four tackles and an interception in the Warriors' effort.
The Offensive Player of the Week was Nathan Dukes. The Defensive Players of the Week for the Warriors were Austin Hebert and Brandon Hannon. The Warriors of the Week were Carl Hall and Tristan Craig.
"It was a disappointing loss," said ACA Head Coach Colby Roberts after the game. "[St. Joseph] is a lot better than their record shows. I'm still very proud of our team and the effort they played with, not only on Friday, but all year. We will be back next year."
The Warriors finished their 2019 football season with a 9-1 mark.