The Harrells Christian Academy Crusaders took their game on the road Friday night against Trinity, and with a solid ground game brought home a 50-34 win.
The visiting Sampson County team had 453 yards rushing on the evening to Trinity’s 139. From the air, the Crusaders amassed only 25 yards to Trinity’s 172 yards.
But the ground game proved a road to victory for the Crusaders, who amassed 7 touchdowns in 26:35 minutes of possession before game’s end.
The Crusaders got on the board first, at the 9:53 mark of the first quarter, when Channing Kelly rushed for 23 yards for the TD. Walton Fisher added the extra point and HCA was ahead 7-0.
Kelly hit pay dirt again at the 5:34 mark, rushing 11 yards on a 3rd and 11 to move the score to 13-0. Fisher’s PAT was good and the visitors had a solid 14-0 lead.
But Trinity wasn’t throwing in the towel, with Demorrian Johnson returning Oakley Ambrose’s kickoff 92 yards for the touchdown and the home team’s first score. The PAT went wide and HCA was up 14-6.
Harrells took it in once more in the first period, when on 1st and 10, Kelly Nelms rushed for 20 yards to get the TD. Fisher’s point after was good and the Crusaders had a 21-6 lead.
Trinity responded on 3rd and 17 with a Baxton Ross to T.J. Dean 61-pass for the touchdown. Their PAT pass attempt was good and the home team brought the score closer at 21-14.
At 8:13 in the second quarter, Trinity scored again, with Dorrian Allen rushing it in from 2 yards out for a touchdown. Their 2-point conversion failed.
Harrells answered a few minutes later, at 6:14, when Ambrose rushed for 33 yards for a TD and Fisher added the PAT.
As the second quarter was winding down, it was a trade of TDs, with Trinity getting into the end zone on a 16-yard rush followed by the Crusaders hitting pay dirt on a O.H. Rouse pass to Patrick Walker for 25 yards and the touchdown. Fisher contributed the PAT and the teams headed to the half with Harrells ahead 35-26.
The third period was a defensive battle, with neither team able to break through for a TD, but the fourth was a different tale, mostly written by the Crusaders.
Trinity got what would be its final TD of the game at the 11:02 mark in the fourth period when Ross rushed for 4 yards into the end zone. A 2-point conversion was good.
Then Harrells turned on the juice, scoring 2 more touchdowns before game’s end.
The first game at the 9:57 mark in the fourth, when Russell Washington rushed 46 yards for the TD. Fisher’s PAT was good.
Then, at 6:39, Washington carried it in once more, this time from 3 yards out. The Crusader PAT rush was good and Harrells got the 50-34 win.
Individually for the Crusaders, Rouse was 2-1 on pass completions for 25 yards; Kelly rushed for 72 yards on 7 carries; Washington 33 carries for 299 yards; Nelms, 5 carries for 59 yards; and Ambrose 4 carrries for 42 yards.
Patrick Walker caught 1 pass for 25 yards.
On defense, Fredrick Strickland had 8 tackles; Channing Kelly 8; Austin Wells, 1 tackle; Rouse, 7 tackles; Justin Smith, 2; Washington, 2; Rooks Wells, 2; Nick Carmelo, 1; Patrick Walker, 3; and Matthew Allen, 3.