Aucilla Warriors Beat Oak Hall, Lose To BranfordSep 12th, 2013 | By Admin | Category: Sports
By William Smith
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The Warriors of Aucilla Christian Academy once again returned to gridiron action after the inevitable offseason vigil Friday evening, and in a strange turn of events, suited up the following Monday as well. In what can only be called appropriate for the 2013 season, Aucilla had its first contest against Branford on August 30 postponed after only a quarter and a half of play due to a number 13-esque stroke of bad luck and lightning-storm conditions. The Warriors, who had led 8-0 before the delay, were forced to re-schedule the game for the Monday following the home opener against Oak Hall, a contest which the Warriors won convincingly by a score of 52-14. However, proving the parity of high school football, the Bucs of Branford edged the Warriors in a narrow 23-22 victory in the rescheduled matchup, a result which left Aucilla coaches exasperated, if resolved. “It’s just one of the frustrating parts of football.” said head coach Colby Roberts, now entering his third year with the Warriors. “Safety is paramount, and we take the appearance of lightning very seriously. However, as a coach, you never know how a young team is going to respond after leading the opposition before the break. Especially after such a huge victory against Oak Hall, this was a potentially deadly trap game.” Indeed, the Warriors enjoyed an especially successful home game against the Eagles of Oak Hall, a contest in which Aucilla rolled up an impressive 575 yards of total offense. After losing nearly every offensive skill position to graduation or transfer following last year’s record-breaking 8-2 squad, there was doubt to spare regarding how the Warriors would navigate putting points on the scoreboard. Roberts ruminated on the victory, saying, “You have to remember that we lost nearly all of our offensive production from last season. That list includes both thousand yard rushers, a 2,000 yard passer, and a 1,200 yard receiver who is practicing with Florida State right now. Considering that, I’m very proud of how the offense performed tonight.” Specifically for the offense, quarterback Austin Bishop took the reins from last year’s signal caller Wesley Smyrnios and delivered a memorable opening salvo, completing 65 percent of his passes en route to a 313 yard, two touchdown stat line. If anything, the 2012 Warrior football team was defined by the ability to bruise their way to victory behind a stellar backfield that produced 2,164 yards and 35 touchdowns on the legs of seniors Hans Sorensen and Bradley Holm, a trend that continued against Oak Hall. Senior Brandon Holm, brother of Bradley Holm, blazed the trail with 107 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries, but there were several Warriors who contributed to a team rushing mark of 262 yards and 4 touchdowns. Leading the Warriors in receiving by far was senior Casey Demott, who did a stellar Jared Jackson impression with 6 catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Aucilla was just as dominant as they have ever been under the Roberts administration, totaling seven team sacks and four turnovers, two of which were interceptions returned for touchdowns. Defensive highlights included transfer cornerback Seth Wiles, who compiled three tackles and two picks, one of which was returned for the aforementioned touchdown, linebacker Nick Roberts, who totaled 8 tackles and two sacks, linebacker Cole Scwaub, who amassed 10 tackles and a sack, and corner Timothy Burris, who had four tackles and the other interception for a touchdown. As dominant of a debut as the Oak Hall game was for the Warriors, the following Monday’s rescheduled matchup with Branford was equally impressive, if for the wrong reasons. After a striking opening drive touchdown from the offense that featured a 46 yard touchdown scamper by Holm, Aucilla entered halftime with a comfortable 16-0 lead that lulled the team into a false sense of security that they were not able to recover from. Following the break, Branford’s option offense began gutting the underbelly of the Warrior defense with dives, sweeps, and counters that left Aucilla defenders’ heads spinning. Chief in the loss were poor angles taken by linebackers and an ineffective push in the trenches from the Warrior defensive line that resulted in plodding, unstoppable drives by the Bucs that slowly bled away any chance for an Aucilla rebuttal. Disappointing as the outcome was, the game actually came down to a thrilling finish in which the Warriors’ defensive unit held Branford to a crucial 4th and 1 play with just over a minute to go in the 23-22 contest, and in a snap worthy of any gridiron film, a fullback dive devolved into a physical scrum that seemed to drag on for eternity, but gained the necessary ground for Branford to close the night with a victory. “There really isn’t much to say about this loss. We probably came in with a little more pride than we should have, and in the end, Branford wanted it one point more than we did. We will bounce back, but this team needs to decide right now how this season will go for us.” Said Roberts. The numbers from this contest reflected the team’s poor performance, as the lone bright spot proved to be the rushing of senior running back Brandon Holm. Holm finished with 16 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns, which brings his season total to 231 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for nearly 6.5 yards per carry. Defensively, due to the nature of the offense run by Branford, several warriors recorded double-digit tackles, including Holm, who summed 16 tackles, as well as two sacks, Schwaub, who totaled 15 tackles, Bishop, who from his safety position amassed 10 tackles, and end Casey Demott, who collected 12 tackles. Aucilla (1-1) will return to action this Friday night in its second home game of the season against the Flashes of St. Joseph, who hail from St Augustine. The night will carry an extra flair of importance, as it is the culmination of the annual cheerleading camp held by the Varsity Warrior cheerleaders, and will be attended by junior cheerleaders and their families. Kickoff begins at 7:00 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the gate.