Warriors Stumble In Jacksonville, Fall To 5-2Oct 22nd, 2013 | By Admin | Category: Sports
By Will Smith
Greene Publishing, Inc.
It’s a well-known fact of football law that on the heels of an emotionally draining victory, a team can sometimes struggle to make headway against the competition, whether they be mice or men. The Warriors learned all too well the merit of this concept as they played one of the largest schools on this years’ schedule and consequently dropped a frustrating loss to non-conference opponent Bishop Snyder by a score of 42-21, just one game removed from their last-second heroics in Quincy. After what will forever be remembered as “The Comeback” in Aucilla lore, a game in which the Warriors stormed back from a three touchdown deficit to demoralize arch-rival Munroe, the Boys in Blue faced a talented and physical Cardinals team that had averaged 33 bruising points a game en route to a 6-1 record. The Warriors showed signs of life throughout the game, but poor play in the trenches doomed their efforts to failure. Bishop Snyder enjoyed an advantage often apparent for the opponents of Aucilla: size, both in terms of student population and occupational functionality. While Aucilla boasts a high school enrollment of 108, Bishop Snyder exceeds 480 students, and competes in class 3A sports in the FHSAA. However, as head coach Colby Roberts explained, excuses are not something that the Warriors find acceptable. “We lost, and that’s the end of it. We never want to let ourselves be in the position of justifying our mistakes. We could have won the football game, no matter if they had 10,000 kids. We made errors tonight that would beat any team, any day. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to plug the holes on this roster, so that this hopefully does not happen again.” The real story of this game can be summed in one statement: the bigger they are, the harder they hit. Bishop Snyder’s advantage was clear as soon as the first snap of the ball; a tall, lanky, leverage-inducing offensive and defensive line that simply outmatched the Warriors and paved the way to a brutal rushing game plan that ended the game quickly and decisively, while limiting Aucilla to a season-low 45 yards rushing. Aucilla found the moxie to answer on several occasions, hanging tight with the Bishop Snyder offense until well into the fourth quarter, when a lack of roster depth finally buried their hopes under mounting Cardinals points. This game began much in the same way as the Munroe game did: Bishop Snyder broke a long rush down the sidelines for a touchdown within the first few minutes of the opening kick that seemed to portend a long evening for the Warrior faithful, until senior running back Brandon Holm took a simple screen pass from his slot position 65 yards for an answering score that gained back valuable momentum. Holm once again delivered in a time of need for his teammates that evening, proving with each passing week to be invaluable to the Warrior offense, especially in the wake of all-purpose back Timothy Burress’ injury at the end of the game against Munroe. Holm finished the game with 12 receptions for 198 yards and two scores, while also contributing 35 rushing yards on 10 carries. For the season so far, Holm has averaged 158 yards receiving and rushing each week that he has played to go along with eight touchdowns. The passing game was really all that kept Aucilla in contention, and a lot of the credit is deserved by junior signal caller Austin Bishop. Bishop had one of his best nights of the season, completing 72 percent of his passes for 303 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The youngster really seems to be catching his stride, building a clear rapport with his receivers that was lacking earlier in the year as Bishop made the transition to playing quarterback for the first time in his career. Senior receiver Casey Demott also had a solid evening, catching five passes for 77 yards and a score. Demott brings some much-needed size to the equation for which defensive coordinators must account. There wasn’t much to be excited about outside of those few offensive bright spots, however, as the defense folded under the pressure of a constant mixture of inside running and off-tackle counters that expertly controlled the ball and left little chance for the Warrior offense to answer. The defense failed to make consistent momentum-turning splash plays, lacking any turnovers or sacks, and the offense’s last gasp efforts fell flat as the clock finally read zero. Leading the defensive unit in statistics this week was junior linebacker Cole Schwab, who totaled 14 tackles; linebacker Holm, who contributed 12 tackles; and freshman new addition Austin Harrell, who from his linebacking position totaled 10 tackles. Aucilla will look to get back on track this Saturday evening against opponent Baconton Charter, which will be the Warriors’ last away contest of the season. Baconton has struggled so far this year, currently with a 2-6 record and an anemic offense that scores an average of 13.5 points per game. The game will begin in Baconton, Georgia, at 7:00 p.m.