ACA Cruises Past Holt in Week 3 Cross-Town Region Clash
American Christian Academy traveled across town for a clash with Holt High School on Friday under the lights. The Patriots came into the contest as an expected favorite, with the undermanned Ironmen having their backs against the wall from the very beginning.
ACA got the night started with a four-yard rushing score from junior Davis Dare to put the Patriots in front on their opening drive of the game.
Holt dug itself a deep hole early on, going down 14-0 with 30 seconds left in the first quarter after a lieu of penalties following the first touchdown. The Ironmen held their ground on the first few downs of the early series before letting penalties and self-inflicted wounds get the best of them to put themselves in a tough spot.
ACA quarterback Kai Young extended the Patriots' lead to 14-0 towards the end of the first on a strike to wide receiver Bubba Lester. With ACA leading 14-0 after the first, the outcome looked to be heading in the Patriots' direction before a chaotic second quarter took place.
In the second quarter, the Ironmen of Holt self-destructed, with penalties coming in spurts across the entirety of the quarter. Every time Holt got a drive going or looked to be stopping the Patriots, it made a key mistake to hault its own progress.
ACA was able to capitalize on these mistakes made by the Ironmen, which resulted in another 14 points on the scoreboard in the second quarter and what felt like the nail in the coffin. The Patriots scored with 6:03 left to go in the half, adding another seven points to their lead to make the score 21-0 thanks to Kai Young's dart to Davis Dare. Young found Dare for his second score of the night on the strike, which really started to put dictate the direction of the game.
Following Young's strike to Dare, the Patriots found the end zone one last time in the half, padding more points to their lead to go up 28-0 on the night. Credit is due to kicker David Daly, who finished a perfect 6/6 on PATs for the night, going 4/4 in the first half.
Coming out for the second half, the Patriots led the Ironmen 28-0. Cary Clark and Parker Lane asked me at the half what Holt could do to improve their night coming out of the locker room. To that, I had to add that the outcome looked to be in no doubt, although the Ironmen could lock in, limit the penalties and finish strong.
That's exactly what Holt did. ACA came out firing on all cylinders, adding another two touchdowns in the third quarter to expand the lead to 42-0. Kai Young connected with Carson Suit to extend the lead to 35-0 early in the half, before Suit found Eric Hines for the second Patriot score of the half.
ACA had put a bow on the outcome of the game rather early, although Holt finally found its mojo following the score by Hines.
Following Hines' touchdown, ACA would be shutout the rest of the half, adding no more points to the scoreboard. It should be noted that the Patriots did pull almost all of their starters by this point, with experience down the depth chart playing into a premium for the Patriots.
However, Holt capitalized on the situation, finally finding the end zone for a score with 1:07 to go in the third quarter. The Ironmen marched down the field to cut the deficit to 42-6, before committing yet another penalty on the two-point conversion attempt. A crucial false start proved costly, resulting in a busted conversion try, which left the score 42-6 heading into the fourth.
In the final quarter, Holt was able to come up with a string of stops against the Patriots, which led to another opportunity to put points up on the board. The Ironmen found the end zone yet again, stretching the field with a touchdown over 50 yards to cut the deficit down once more.
Holt ended up going for two yet again, which proved to be successful this time. The Ironmen put 14 points on the board, before stopping ACA the rest of the quarter and the night to fall in forensic fashion. Holt never did quit in front of its home crowd, as things could have gotten away from them after the half.
Following the conclusion of the game, Patriots head coach Cody Martin told me he was impressed with the effort from his entire roster on Friday, despite giving up two touchdowns in the last two quarters. "We got some young guys in there late and they just made young guy mistakes. It's part of it", said Martin. ACA pounded Holt early, leaving no doubt in how the night would go at the half. As for the lack of experience and mistakes from underclassmen made late, Martin seemed to see a positive in the end. Regarding the underclassmen, Martin mentioned "those guys are going to be very important to our program, so they mean a lot to us." Games like tonight mean a lot to Martin, as he sees the benefit they have for the full development of his roster.
ACA will look ahead to Bibb County following the conclusion of tonight's game, with the added experience at Holt hoping to benefit them in the pursuit of the Choctaws.