One team showed up. The other did not. Such was the story of American Christian Academy’s 34-12 win over arch-rival and Class 4A Region 3 foe Bibb County. As usual for the Patriots, the offensive star was junior quarterback Sawyer Deerman, who is listed at 5-foot-10, 165 but plays much bigger. Deerman threw two touchdown passes and scored two more on the ground to help put the Choctaws away.

Said ACA interim head coach Cody Martin, “There’s just no words to explain how good Sawyer’s been for us. He’s one of those guys who’s such a leader for us, especially in the locker room.

“He gets the guys going if we’re having a slow, sluggish start to practice. He’s the guy that picks everybody up

“He just works so hard to be in the position that he is [with offers from Tennessee and Ole Miss among others]. He’s just a great, great kid.”

Check out Deerman’s 53-yard touchdown pass to Davis Dare below.

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Fun fact: Dare, a 5-6, 127-pound sophomore is the younger brother of Chandler Dare Brooks, of ACA and Alabama softball fame. They share an uncoachable trait: speed.

Bibb County’s problems Friday were many. There were a ton of unforced errors from penalties to fumbles to just not seeming to be ready to play.

A fumbled punt snap after ACA forced a three-and-out to start the game set the Pats up at the Choctaw six-yard line. Deerman ran a quarterback draw, Gabe Henson kicked the PAT and the rout was on and the tone was set.

Bibb County [4-1, 1-1 in region play] still has a great chance to make the playoffs despite Friday’s lethargic performance. Parker was impressed by “their physicality and their always super-well- coached.

[Well, almost always.]

“Coach [Matt] Geohagan always has them ready to play. “

And Martin is right. The Choctaws indeed play tough, physical football week in and week out.  They simply ran into a buzz saw dressed in red, white and blue under the Friday night lights on Veterans Memorial Parkway.

It happens.

Another player who stood out for ACA on both sides of the ball was receiver/defensive back Chance Henderson. He’s a 6-1, 165-pound junior who had a pick-six that covered 50 yards to go with several clutch first down catches.

One of West Alabama’s best kept secrets is ACA senior Christian Davis. He had punishing runs on offense and from the secondary Davis had even more punishing tackles and Martin noticed.

“Christian is a great guy for us,” Martin noted. “He’s a hard worker on and off the field and a real leader in our locker room. He does everything we ask of him. He loves the weight room and he does everything we ask him to.

“He comes out and practices hard, and I think that’s what translates to the field.”

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To its credit, Bibb did not quit. The Choctaws won the second half 12-0 due to a pair of fourth quarter scores. There was an 18-yard run by junior back Jaison Taylor and a 26-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Matthew Cash from senior quarterback John Downs. No win, but no goose egg.

One thing that likely left a smile on the visiting fans faces were ACA's excellent concession stand burgers. They're among the state's best.

ACA [4-1, 2-0] is off next week. Bibb County travels to face Andalusia.

Friday’s win has the Patriots in the 4A, Region 3 driver’s seat to be sure. Finishing the job? That’s up to ACA’s players and coaches, and they seem more than up to the task.

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