The Knights of Riverside Christian Academy got another “W” in Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference (MTAC) play on Friday night against division rival the Franklin Christian Academy Falcons.
During the first half of the game, the outcome looked like it may come down to which team got the ball last, but after a 44-40 score at the half, the Knights made adjustments on defense that only allowed the Falcons to score two touchdowns in the second half while they added another 30 points to their total for the 74-54 win.
“Going into the game, we knew FCA had a potent offense and that we would need to be physical with their skill players, and we were able to do that from the start,” said Head Coach Travis Creasy.
FCA scored the first two touchdowns of the game, putting RCA down 12-0 after only two and half minutes of play. Josh Brooks scored RCA’s first touchdown of the night on a 51-yard run to the end zone, and Wooten ran the ball in for the two-point conversion for a score of FCA, 12, RCA, 8, with eight minutes to go in the first quarter.
From then on, each side of the scoreboard lit up on an almost drive-by-drive basis with each team scoring over and over again until halftime.
RCA’s other first half points were scored on a 62-yard touchdown run by Brooks, an 83-yard touchdown reception by Mason Forchetti, a 46-yard touchdown reception by Seth Finch, a 70-yard kickoff return by Brooks, a 58-yard touchdown reception by Forchetti, and three two-point conversion receptions by Finch. The halftime score was 44-40 with the Knights leading.
“Before the game, we talked about playing through adversity, and the guys came out and did just that by overcoming the 12-point deficit early in the game. We had a huge stop at the end of the second quarter to set us up with the ball after halftime,” said Creasy.
The Knights were able to hold the Falcons scoreless throughout the third quarter on defense, while the offense put another 24 points on the board with a five-yard touchdown run by Finch, a 23-yard touchdown run by Brooks, a five-yard touchdown run by Wooten and three successful two-point conversions by Finch.
FCA scored their only points of the second half on two touchdown runs and a two-point conversion reception in the fourth quarter.
Seth Finch scored RCA’s last touchdown of the game on a 75-yard touchdown reception for the final score of Knights, 74, Falcons, 54.
“The difference in the second half was a great defensive adjustment by our assistant coaches and execution by our players. Our guys were very physical for the third week in a row and wore down the Falcons on both sides of the ball,” said Creasy.
On the offensive side of the ball, Josh Brooks led the Knights in rushing with 15 carries for 220 yards and three touchdowns and completed seven of 12 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns. Seth Finch led the Knights in receiving with nine catches for 173 yards, four touchdowns and five two-point conversions. Mason Forchetti had two catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
“The offense refused to quit even after some early adversity and came out and got scores when needed,” said Creasy.
The RCA coaches said that the defensive success was a great team effort, but some of the Knights’ standout players were Caleb Durham, Nathan Moose and Josh Brooks. Caleb Durham had 11 tackles and a sack; Nathan Moose had eight tackles and a tackle for loss; and Josh Brooks had eight tackles, a pass deflection and a 78-yard interception return.
“Several times we made tackles in the open field on defense and special teams. It was a total team effort that got us the win against the passing offense of FCA,” said Creasy. “This was a big win for us as far as post-season play is concerned. It gives us an opportunity to host a playoff game.”
The Knights will face off against a non-conference opponent, Ezekiel Academy from Montgomery, at home on Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.