Defense Leads the Way In Impressive Aucilla VictorySep 29th, 2011 | By Submitted | Category: Sports
By William Smith
Special from ECB Publishing
Aggressive defensive dominance paved the way in another conference victory for the Warriors of Aucilla Christian Academy as they defeated rival John Paul II by a score of 40-0, improving their season record to three wins and one loss. It was a game that was characterized defensively for the Warriors by the fundamentals of sound tackling and physical play.
This is the second time this year that the Warrior’s stingy defense has recorded a shutout, including the season-opening 21-0 victory over Bell. It was a performance that coaches and players sought after throughout the week of practice leading into this contest.
“It was our specific goal for this week’s game that we not allow even one score by John Paul.” said assistant head coach Dave Roberts. “The defense played well. We achieved that goal through discipline and effort, and I expect more of the same throughout the season.”
From the opening snap, the Warriors displayed a hard-nosed determination to control the line of scrimmage, employing a gap-sound mentality that limited John Paul II in its ability to rush the football effectively, thereby making its offense one-dimensional. From this position of advantage Aucilla cashed in on repeated turnovers by an increasingly demoralized John Paul II offense that struggled to make forward progress.
Nothing defined this crucial battle in the trenches better than a second-quarter stand by the Warriors’ defensive front along John Paul’s own goal line, in which repeated attempts by the Panthers to gain ground through power running failed, resulting in a safety by junior Jared Jackson that further galvanized the Warrior defense.
The rigid defensive unit was led by junior linebacker Gus Smyrnios, who recorded 12 total tackles including a tackle for loss, as well as forced fumble, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and a sack.
To compliment the physical play of the defense, the Warrior offense followed suite with an impressive display of rushing skill, gaining nearly 250 yards on the ground in sustained drives which effectively exhausted John Paul’s defensive front and allowed a swift end to the contest.
Leading the rushing attack was junior Jarrod Turner, who carried the ball 17 times for 112 yards and a touchdown, including several impressively physical runs in traffic that gashed the Panther defense for large chunks of yardage.
The success of the Warrior rushing attack took precedence over the aerial assault as Aucilla coaches visibly concentrated on establishing a physical presence throughout the game. Junior backup quarterback Hans Sorenson led the Warriors with 24 yards passing and a lone touchdown.
Within the past two weeks, Aucilla has outscored its opponents 107-13, a hot streak that bodes well for the coming schedule, which features several divisional games that will determine the Warrior’s conference fate.
In the coming week, Aucilla is slated to face the Wolves of Saint Francis in another conference matchup, scheduled to begin at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, September 30th in Gainesville, FL.