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Opportunistic ACA topples Northside


American Christian Academy quarterback Austin Mohlenbrok finds an opening in the Northside defense. He threw for 119 yards and two scores. (Photo by Erin Nelson)


 

TUSCALOOSA | The American Christian Academy Patriots got a crucial lead early in the game, boosting both their confidence and momentum, resulting in a 36-20 victory over the Northside Rams on Friday night.

The Patriots recovered two fumbles in the first quarter, both resulting in touchdowns, giving them an early 14-0 lead.

The Rams had a total of four lost fumbles. One was returned for a 40-yard touchdown by Patriots senior linebacker Stevie Jones.

“We just dropped the ball,” Rams  coach Chris Hilliker said. “We haven’t had this problem until this week. It’s just something we have to correct on Monday.”

Patriots coach John Causey was pleased his team could take advantage of the miscues.

“If the ball is on the ground, it’s ours. We have to take advantage of every mistake they made. The early lead really helped boost our confidence,” he said.

The touchdowns scored after the fumbles were the work of ACA’s junior quarterback, Austin Mohlenbrok, and his receivers. Mohlenbrok threw for 119 yards and two touchdowns, completing 7 of 13 attempts.

Mohlenbrok was both confident and aware in the backfield, for which he credited his offensive line.

“We all did a great job,” he said. “The offensive line did a great job with keeping the defenders off me.”

“My connection with the receivers was good. We have stressed this in practice this week. We worked on both passing and timing.”

Causey likes how the first-year starting quarterback is progressing.

“Austin is just getting better and better,” Causey said. “He is a competitor and a great quarterback. He is starting to settle in.”

The Patriots’ secondary held the Rams to 39 yards passing, with only two completions on seven attempts.

Patriots senior running back Aaron Box rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown. Box took advantage of several holes in the middle of the Rams’ defense.

“Aaron is just a football player. That’s all there is to say about him.” Causey said.

Box said the openings were easy to find.

“I owe it all to my offensive line. The line pushed the defenders out of the way and made all the holes,” he said.W”hen I saw a hole, I took it.”

The Patriots rushed for 174 yards on 35 attempts.

The Rams rushed for 218 yards on 34 attempts. Senior running back Zarrian Grant rushed for 127 yards and scored two touchdowns.

ACA (2-1, 2-0 Class 3A, Region 3) will play at Holt next week, while Northside (2-1, 1-1) hosts Greensboro.