By: Dennis Bovell
Village Academy came out on the short end of a shootout Friday evening in Delray as Westminster Christian held on for the 52-42 victory. Running back Jordan Cronkite gauged the Tigers(0-3) all night, accounting for 227 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
"They just punched us in the mouth and we didn't respond," said Village Academy coach Don Hanna. "Early in the game we figured them out, but then they went double tight end and we had no answer."
The Tigers fell behind 14-0 early, but forced a couple turnovers in the second quarter and managed to tie the game behind a couple big plays. Senior running back Wesley Michel took a screen pass 65 yards, on a 3rd and 16, to get Village Academy on the board. Shawndarrius Phillips, who ran for 127 yards on the night, followed that with a 69 yard sprint down the sideline for the tying score.
The Warriors (2-1) responded, kicking a field goal as time expired in the first half and taking a 17-14 lead into the third quarter.
That's when the fireworks really started.
Westminster scored immediately, taking the kickoff back 90 yards for the touchdown. Village Academy responded with a touchdown of their own, but gave it right back on a 60-yard touchdown run by Cronkite that put the Warriors up 31-22. Overall, the teams combined for for three touchdowns in the first four minutes of the second half. The third quarter featured 36 points scored, with Village Academy carrying a 36-31 lead into the fourth.
"Offensively, we played our best game of the season," said Hanna. "To finally get the offense going was a bright spot."
Unfortunately for Hanna and his team, there was too much Cronkite.
Following a Westminster defensive touchdown in the first minute of the quarter, the junior took control. Cronkite recorded two of his touchdowns in the remaining 10 minutes of the game, the first of which came off a direct snap he took 44 yards for the score. Senior wideout Trequan Smith had a 12 yard touchdown reception midway through the fourth that brought the Tigers within three, but Cronkite capped his night with a one yard touchdown run that put the Warriors up 52-42 with only two minutes remaining.
Although the Tigers came up just short, the experience could prove fruitful.
"If we can build off tonight, I definitely think we're headed in the right direction," Hanna said.
Village Academy travels to Orangewood Christian next Friday.
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