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After much uncertainty, high school football finally returned this season.

American Christian Academy (1-0, 0-0) from Tuscaloosa played a home non-conference game against Parker (0-1, 0-0), a football team from Birmingham, Friday night.

Parker kicked off the game to ACA. The teams had a fantastic start in the first quarter, and ACA had the honors of making the first touchdown of the night. In the first half, ACA had 189 yards and scored three touchdowns. The third touchdown was intense with ACA scoring with only 10 seconds left in the second quarter. Parker gave ACA a run for their money in the first half of the game, scoring two touchdowns of their own.

ACA used two quarterbacks, No. 14 Hunter Sute and No. 5 Sawyer Deerman, throughout the game.

"They both did great tonight," ACA head coach Chris Smelley said. "Sometimes you don't know how guys are going to respond to that kind of setup and system, but we have been practicing it and they excited as quarterbacks tonight."

Kamari Lassiter has become the player to watch for the Patriots. Lassiter has garnered a lot of attention from Division I schools such as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Georgia and Georgia Tech.

"He is just a great player, amazing competitor, and works really hard in practice. The sky is the limit for Kamari and he made big plays for us tonight and for all year," Smelley said.

The Patriots had success through the air against the Parker defense as ACA racked up 257 passing yards and three touchdowns. ACA also took advantage of two Parker interceptions to make the final score a 47-21 Patriots victory.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, ACA took precautions by limiting the number of fans, cheerleaders and the band being allowed to attend the game. ACA handed out masks at all the gates, made signs and sent emails to all students and their families.

The stadium only allowed half the capacity to come to the game. The ACA cheerleaders took extra precautions by checking temperatures of the people on the squad, spraying down shoes and using hand sanitizer.

"In our minds, we were going to be there," said ACA cheerleading coach Traci Taft.

Fall football has been up in the air with many college teams choosing to opt-out or only play ten conference games, but for many high schools statewide, this week was the opening shot to prove that a season could happen.

"Two weeks ago when the colleges started talking about shutting down I thought we were a couple of days away from shutting down the football season," Smelley said. "So there has been a lot of up and downs for me, coaches, and the players."

The Patriots will travel to Greensboro High School next Friday to take on the Raiders.

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