Flint River Academy hosted the Skipstone Warriors from Griffin Friday, September 4, in Woodbury. Skipstone appeared to have a decided size advantage, but long before the game was over it was clear which the more talented team was. FRA won handily 28-7.
The Wildcats got on the board first when a Warrior pass was deflected by a Warrior helmet and Parker Williams came down with the ball and ran in for the score. Murphy’s PAT was good to give the Cats the lead, 7-0.
The second quarter saw some impressive defensive plays by FRA that forced Skipstone to punt. William Quinlan broke up a long pass as did Chase Lewis. Quinlan and Dalton Bowen stopped gains and Lewis read the Warrior offense well on a reverse to bring down the runner. Warrior QB Snider’s desperation long pass on 3 and 23 was broken up by Cullen Evans.
FRA’s next drive resulted in their punting, but in a blink Dalton Bowen tackled the runner for a loss, Ben Talley sacked the QB, and FRA got the ball back.
With 2:01 left in the half Brett Williamson hauled in a 16-yarder, plus a 15-yard penalty on Skipstone gave the Cats 31 yards. Murphy ran a wide left sweep from the 18 into the end zone. His PAT was good and FRA expanded its lead to 14-0.
The lucky momentum was rolling and FRA recovered the onside kick. Parker Williams passed to Williamson for 19 and then again for 14 to set up on the 11. Two incomplete passes kept the ball on the 11, but the third try was the charm as Williams pitched to Murphy and his halfback pass to Cullen Evans was caught in the end zone. The PAT was good, and the Cats led at the half 21-0. In the second half, yellow flags were flown and yardage marched off as both teams made errors, but FRA maintained its comfortable lead and the game never got tense. Murphy’s 41-yard return dwindled to 12 because of a penalty; Murphy caught a pass on the 2 with a crowd of Warriors jumping and reaching as high as he, and the gain was followed by Williamson taking the ball in for a TD but having it called back. Three tries and no pay dirt led to a 29-yard field goal attempt that went wide.
FRA thwarted the Warriors’ next drive and got the ball back quickly. Williamson took it down the sidelines for 25 and on the next down a pitch to Murphy got 15 and brought it to the 5. Murphy went up the middle for the score. With the PAT, FRA was dominating 28-0.
Defensively Hardaway, Talley, and Quinlan held Skipstone until the end of third. FRA got lackadaisical and sloppy to which Coach Josh Daher answered with an impassioned speech which tuned up the motors. But Skipstone was rolling and managed to score, 28-7.
Kickoff was interesting because it looked like Williams was going to let it be fair but sideline coaches said go get it and he did. The pause in defense was enough for Williams to get his legs, scope out the field and find the holes and he went from the 10 to the 45. Penalties came practically back to back, plus a bobbled snap gave Skipstone the ball. But Quinlan tipped a Warrior pass then on 3rd and 6, and Baggarly picked up their fumble. FRA had the ball and put it to good use-Quinlan up the middle for an 8-yard TD that was called back, then Williams on a keeper for a TD that was called back for offensive facemask. FRA defense held steady with Greg Chambers sacking the runner for a loss and Dylan Murray stopping the gain. When FRA got the ball with 1:07 to go, they took a knee until time ran out.
Statistically scoring was balanced with Murphy having 18 and 5 yard runs for TDs, Evans with an 11 yard TD reception, and Williams an interception return for a TD. Penalties stacked up for both teams with FRA garnering 9 penalties for 95 yards and Skipstone 8 for 65.
Offensively the Cats dominated the game picking up 12 first downs to the Warriors 7 and gaining 197 yards on the ground to the Warriors’ 95. FRA completed 9 passes out of 18 attempted for 104 yards. Skipstone was 4 out of 17 for 28 yards with one interception.
FRA hosts AAA Westwood next Friday in Woodbury.