Alexander Central 28 St Stephens 13
Cougar coach Butch Carter spent the past week trying to convince his team that St Stephens was not to be taken lightly. They had a losing record but they were in his words “very dangerous.” For most of the first half it appeared Carter’s pleading had fallen on deaf ears with the Indians playing very inspired football on Senior night. AC’s powerful ground attack had been stuffed failing to get a first down on their first three possessions. St Stephens was up 7-0 on a 58 yard scoring pass from Indian quarterback Connor Williams to Zach Lee on the Indians first possession. Lee would be a problem all night for the Cougar defense as he would collect 220 yards on 11 catches. Cougar fans who made the trip were sitting in stunned silence as the offense was sputtering plus they were without starting quarterback Easton Rhoney who did not dress due to a hip injury and tailback Steven Montgomery was watching out of uniform due to a viral infection. Then the game changed !
Senior defensive lineman Isaac Chapman blocked a St Stephens punt giving the Cougars the ball on the Indian 3 yard line. Tevin Clark would score from 1 yard with 1:31 remaining in the half and the teams went to the locker rooms at half tied at 7.
St Stephens would punt to the Cougars after failing to move the ball in the first possession of the second half. Tevin Clark would carry the ball twice, once for six yards and then he broke free for a touchdown from 47 yards giving the Cougars a lead they would never surrender. Colston Yount, starting at quarterback for Rhoney found an opening on AC’s next possession and raced 76 yards for a touchdown and the Cougars looked to be pulling away, leading 21-7. It looked like the Cougars had finally taken over a game that everyone expected them to win. Not so fast !
Zach Lee would torch the Blue and Gold again when he turned a short screen pass into a 53 yard scoring play and the Springs Road Tribe was within 21-13 with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter. Following an interception by AJ Miller, the Cougars would put together their best drive of the night. They went 80 yards on 9 plays capped by Tevin Clark scoring from 2 yards with 35 seconds left in what had been a very eventful third period. That drive featured a 61 yard pass from Lance Justice to Jamison Benfield covering 61 yards setting up the score. The 28-13 score would not change as both teams struggled in the fourth quarter.
Tevin Clark rushed for 131 bruising yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns to lead Alexander Central. The Cougar defense was led by JaiKwaun Tilley with 8 tackles Jordan Brown with 7. Isaac Chapman was a disruptive force for the Cougars collecting 7 tackles including 1.5 sacks and a blocked punt.
Next Friday is homecoming against Hickory. The Red Tornadoes won a thriller Friday night scoring a 55-54 come from behind win over South Caldwell.