Christ Prep Shuts Out Texas Wind 35-0
VERNON, FL – Christ Prep dominated #2 Seeded Texas Wind and finished the football season with their best overall performance of the year. The Patriots most balanced offensive attack resulted in three rushing touchdowns and 112 yards and two passing touchdowns for 178 yards. But as good as the offense played the defense did better by shutting out an opponent for the first time this season. The 35-0 victory pushed the Patriots to an 8-4 record and #3 finish in the National Homeschool Football Association (NHFA) tournament.
But more amazing than the way the Patriots played was the way the game finished. Last season Sean Jennings finished the season as the leading tackler on defense and looked to be a defensive playmaker this year, however, an injury sidelined him for the entire season. Jennings, a senior, recovered enough to play on the last five plays of the game but on the first four plays with him in at outside linebacker Texas Wind did not run toward him. On the final play of the game, Wind threw a swing pass to the right side. Jennings shed a blocker, broke down and made the tackle. The sideline erupted! “It felt great to be out there. I was nervous at first but it felt good,” said Jennings later. Coach Tom Hurley said, “I couldn’t have made up a better story!”
Texas Wind looked over matched all game. CPA’s offense struggled early but because it was all self inflicted. On the first possession, quarterback Noah Blair fumbled the handoff to Kameron Quatrocky. Then on the second possession, penalties pushed the Patriots back to their own 20 yardline facing 2nd down and 20. Jeffery Harlin, Jr. caught a 15 yard out pass and then Blair found Garail Lucas in a crossing route to pick up the first down. A late hit penalty put the Patriots in business at the Wind 41. Again, Blair found Harlin and Lucas to set up a Grant Stamatis 2 yard plunge and a 7-0 lead just before the end of the 1st quarter.
The Wind forced the only punt of the game and a with a 15 yard punt return were able to push the ball inside the Patriot 30 but penalties ended the threat and on 4th and 22 the Wind quarterback was flagged for intentional grounding which, because of the loss of down, made it CPA ball at the Wind 38 yardline. Blair finished off the drive with a 5 yard bootleg and it was 13-0.
After the defense stopped the Wind on 4th down, the Patriots went 43 yards on 3 plays capped by Blair’s 36 yard pass to Stamatis. Harlin rushed for the 2-point conversion and a 21-0 halftime lead.
Harlin also opened up the second half scoring with a 27 yard burst around the right side to finish off a drive that included a successful fake punt as Daniel Hund found wideout Cadin Ferren for a 15 yard gain and the first down.
Hund, the Patriots leader in sacks got his record tying 8th sack of the season to force the Wind into anther 4th and long. Micah Krause picked off the desperation heave and the defense could smell a shut out. Lucas capped the CPA scoring by snatching a 22 yard touchdown pass in his final game as a Patriot.
The Wind finshed their best season ever with a 10-2 record. The win gave CPA the 3rd Place Beach Bowl trophy and all eyes looking forward to next season.
- The shutout was the first for CPA since blanking Uniontown 28-0 last season.
- The win marks the second time the Patriots have finished third in the NHFA tournament. Only the 2014 runner-up team finished higher.
- Blair’s best day passing resulted in a season high 178 passing yards.
- The offense racked up 290 yards on the day – 4th most of the season.
- Lucas finished the season with 1078 yards from scrimmage trailing only Jared Nield’s 1217 yards in 2010.
- Lucas set the season record for all-purpose yards with a combined 1,515 yards – 126.3 per game.
- Hund completed his first pass of his career. His two other attemps were incomplete and nullified due to a penalty.
- Ferrin’s first down catch was his first of the season.
- Stamatis had a personal best two TDs.
- Deshawn Brand was unable to play in his final game due to a knee injury suffered in the Georgia Force game.
- Coach Hurley on the season, “This was a great season, but with what we have coming back the expectations for next year are really high. We need to start preparing now for the goals we have.”
- Coach Geeding on the defense, “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. We played our best game today. I was so excited for Sean. Those are the kind of moments that make it worth it.”
- Riley Gilkeson, “I am going to miss this team. I can’t believe it’s over.”