By Phillip Anthony
MT. JULIET — After committing turnovers on their first two drives, Friendship Christian drove 30 yards in three plays to start the scoring as Justin Seagraves scored on an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Commanders a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 48-7 win over Mt. Juliet Christian last Friday night at Suey Field.
After stopping Mt. Juliet Christian on their next drive, the Commanders got a 2-yard sneak from quarterback Braden Reece to increase their lead 14-0. The big play on the drive was a 37-yard completion to Dorian Champion.
“We have a lot of great players,” said Friendship head coach John McNeal, “and tonight I thought we had great performances out of each of them.”
After an interception of Logan Collier, Reece found tight end Cade Holcombe, and he ran 55 yards for a Commander touchdown.
The Saints got on the board, thanks to a lateral on the kickoff from Gavin Forsha to Collier, who took the ball to the Commander 14-yard line. Two plays later, Collier found Forsha for a 15-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead 21-7.
The Commanders would tally one more score before halftime, as a roughing the kicker penalty kept the drive alive. The next play after the penalty, Reece would find Champion, who took a 53-yard catch and run to the end zone to give the Commanders a 28-7 lead at the break.
After punting on their first drive of the second half, the Commanders would get their second takeaway of the half, as Jackson Eskew intercepted Darius Hylick and ran for a touchdown. However, a holding call during the return negated the touchdown. It took five plays as Reece rolled left and looked to run, however, the defense came up on him, and he quickly tossed a pass to Holcombe in the end zone for his second touchdown of the evening. The next drive was a quick one for the Commanders, as they forced a punt, and on the first play of the drive, Jaheim Robinson ran 60 yards for another Commander touchdown.
In the second half, the Commanders’ defense allowed 11 total yards, and forced four turnovers, including the final touchdown of the game, as Ernie Gallatin intercepted a deflected pass and ran for 38 yards for the score.
“I thought defensively that we played extremely well,” said McNeal. “That is the most physical running back we will play all year, and I thought our guys did a great job of being physical on defense all night long.”
The Commanders have a bye week next week, and in two weeks they travel to King’s Academy. The Saints also have a bye week next week, and in two weeks they travel to Ezell-Harding. The Commanders are now 4-0 in the region, and the Saints fell to 2-1.