Patriots Push Past Choctaws in Regional Thriller
In a rare edition of Thursday Night Lights, the American Christian Academy Patriots beat the Bibb County Choctaws 20-13, to take the top spot in the 4A, Region 3 rankings.
American Christian Academy got on the board first with a 22-yard kick from DJ Daly after Patriots defensive back Davis Dare picked off Bibb County on the opening drive of the game.
The Choctaws responded with a kickoff returned for a touchdown by running back Colby Collums, giving Bibb County the 7-3 lead.
It was a defensive battle for the two teams in the first half as both teams forced turnovers on downs in the next two possessions. The Bibb County defense held the Patriots to -11 yards and two punts, while the American Christian Academy defense forced a Bibb County punt and fumble.
However, Patriots running back Kolby Preskitt scored on a one-yard run for American Christian Academy to retake the lead 10-7 late in the second quarter.
American Christian Academy forced another Bibb County punt to get the ball back one more time before the half and drove down the field to get into field goal range with four seconds left in the half. Daly made the 33-yard kick to extend American Christian Academy’s lead at the break.
Both teams exchanged punts on their opening drives of the second half. During American Christian Academy’s second possession of the half, quarterback Kai Young exited the game with a broken collarbone sustained while throwing an interception.
After the interception, Bibb County led a running back-fueled drive, which resulted in Collums picking up his second score of the night with a 23-yard rush to tie up the ballgame 13-13.
Wide receiver and outside linebacker Carson Sute came in to replace Young at the quarterback position during the Patriots’ next possession. The senior led the go-ahead drive and finished it off with a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Chance Henderson to give the Patriots the 20-13 lead.
“I'm just so proud of our guys. They fought to the very end. And I mean they never waver. They never got freaked out. You know, huge props all of our guys,” said American Christian Academy head coach Cody Martin.
Bibb County had two more chances to tie up the game, but both resulted in turnovers on downs.
“It was a battle tonight,” said Bibb County head coach Matt Geohagan. “We did a lot of things tonight that put ourselves, you know, in bad situations and I'm really proud of our kids for how hard they battled. And we made some mistakes and you're gonna make mistakes sometimes and you know, it's gonna be hard to overcome against a good football team. But at the end of the day, I'm so proud of my players, because they have so much class and they have so much character and how they conducted themselves tonight, and they never stopped fighting til the end of the game. So I was very proud of them.”
Next week, American Christian Academy hosts Hale County and Bibb County hosts Sipsey Valley. Both kickoffs are set for 7 p.m. CST.