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The Knights of Riverside Christian Academy will kick off their second season in the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference eight-man football league on Friday at home.
The Knights won the MTAC varsity football championship last November and will be defending their title against MTAC opponent, the Hendersonville Christian Academy Crusaders.
“We’re excited to get back to football for the 2013 season. We are better prepared than we ever have been going into the season. Our players have worked incredibly hard over the summer months in team workouts, and they are excited to be in a game situation,” said Travis Creasy, RCA’s head football coach.
Creasy expects a good match-up against the Crusaders on Friday night.
“Last year we lost to Hendersonville by two points,” he said. “It was a crazy game. We were up with a two-touchdown lead, but they came back and made it a back and forth game.
“We got a safety near the end of the fourth quarter to cut their lead to two points, then we returned the ball inside their 20-yard line on the free kick following the safety.
“Our drive stalled, so we attempted a field goal on the last play to win the game, but the kick was blocked. One of our players scooped the blocked ball and ran it inside the five yard line, but was stopped short of the goal line as the time ran off the clock,” said Creasy.
“We just ran out of gas. Our guys were not used to the fast pace of the eight-man game at that point in the season last year. The next Monday in practice, we started running a lot more so we wouldn’t lose another game for that reason again.”
Creasy said his team is really excited to begin the season against the Crusaders this year. Fourteen of RCA’s 18 players are returning from last year, so they remember the sting of the close loss. The Knights like their odds against the Crusaders much better after the summer of difficult workouts geared toward getting them in shape for the quick pace of eight-man football.
In celebration of the return of football, RCA is inviting the community to their first game on Friday for a discounted admission price of $1 per person.
“We have the only game in town this Friday night, so it’s a great opportunity to come check out our team and our school,” said Creasy. “Eight-man football is exciting to watch. I was skeptical about the switch at first, but I’ve come to love it because I’m very offensively-minded.
“The eight-man game is fast paced and high scoring because the field is so wide open with six less players on it at a time and because there are more eligible receivers on the offense than in traditional 11-man football.”
The Knights will kick off on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Knight Stadium. Fans can also tune into WYTM to catch a live broadcast of the game.