Christ Prep Carves Up Saints, Homeschool Bowl Champs
PANAMA CITY, FL – The 2016 Homeschool Bowl Championship was dominated by the Christ Prep Patriots who were led to a 24-14 victory by senior TJ Carver in one of his finest all-around games. The victory gave the Patriots their first Bowl Championship of any kind at the National Homeschool Football Association Tournament. It also brought evened their record at 6-6 to conclude the 2016 campaign.
Carver was a triple threat to which the Saints had no answer. With his arm he found open receivers in clutch situations throughout the game. With his legs he ran for two touchdowns. With his foot he nailed every kick he attempted. An amazing ending to a record breaking season for him and his fellow seniors who played their final game as Patriots.
The Saints looked over-matched all game despite their higher seeding and higher ranking. Senior Captain, Luke Thomas, sparked the defensive effort Christ Prep took a 10-0 lead at the intermission with Carver accounting for all 10 points including a 21 yard field goal on the final play of the half.
Because of the Saints lack of the success running the b all in the first half, they took to the air and on the first play from scrimmage, Nick Pierce intercepted quarterback Owen Hewitt’s pass at the Patriots 40 and returned it to the Saints 28. Three plays later Carver followed his blockers and scampered through the right side of the line nearly untouched for a 9 yard touchdown. His extra point made the score 17-0.
The Saints countered by penetrating deep into Christ Prep territory but again the defense turned back the Saints when Grant Stamatis stripped Hewitt of the ball and recovered it at the 10 yardline. Turnabout is fair play and on the ensuing possession, Maryland Christian ripped the ball from Daniel Hund and took over at the Patriot 35. Still, the defense was up to the challenge and stopped the Saints on downs at the 22 with time running out in the third quarter and the shutout in tact.
But Maryland Christian found the end zone early in the 4th quarter when Hewitt found receiver Duvon Bailey for a 17 yard touchdown with 11:00 minutes remaining in the game. The Patriot offense was stopped but not before consuming significant time off the clock. The Saints utilized a short passing game in a hurry-up mode to march to a another score to make it 17-14 and momentum clearly shifting to their sideline.
The Patriot ground game took over and Carver, Jackson Shiner, Conner Hurley, and Shakur Campbell all took turns carrying the ball up field behind an offensive line which controlled the smaller Saints all game. Campbell then put the game out of reach when he took a pitch, made a Saint defender miss and darted 47 yard for a final touchdown.
- This was the first Patriot team to go undefeated in the NHFA tournament.