Macon East Knights survive Cougars

Published 8:55 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

By Railey Ayers

In the final seconds of the final drive of the heated match between the Crenshaw Christian Academy Cougars and the Macon East Montgomery Academy Knights, the once loud roar heard from the stadium went silent in an instant.

Another penalty had been called, but this penalty was different enough to hush every mouth in the full-capacity bleachers. This penalty put the Knights in field goal range with a tied score, and seven seconds left of the clock.

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The field goal was made, hands were shaken to the monotonous greeting of “good game, good game…” from every player and coach.

Macon survived, beating the Cougars with a final score of 21-18.

“We all could have done better,” lamented CCA Head Coach Mike Sims to a group of very sweaty and distraught football players.

“So, before you leave here mad with a head full of excuses, please know that. Yes, the refs could have done better, but you could have done better, and I could have done better as well.”

“When you have three touchdowns and multiple large offensive gains called back, it’s so easy to sit back and blame the loss on that, but that’s something we have to avoid,” said junior receiver Clayton Hester, who proved to be a bright spot in Friday’s loss, catching three passes for 112 yards with touchdowns of 65 and 40 yards.

“We can’t get better or gain anything by telling ourselves that. Whether something is or isn’t called back when it should be is irrelevant. We need more yards and explosive plays even if we hadn’t had all of those called back. We have to work at improving our game on both sides of the ball, because this game is over and we have to focus on winning the next one.”

Hester also intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble for the Crenshaw defense.

Among other bright spots were junior running back Quashaun LaPrade who ran 24 times for 169 yards and an 83 yard touchdown; sophomore Logan Johnson, who led the defense with nine tackles; junior Tyler Henderson, who followed with eight tackles; senior quarterback Cole Roper, who carried 10 times for 41 yards and completed four of 11 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns; and junior Sam Barksdale, who recovered an onside kick attempt from the Knights late in the game.

The Crenshaw Cougars will host the Lowndes Academy Rebels Friday night, kicking off at 7 p.m.