John Fondren’s 53-yard fumble recovery return for a touchdown broke a 24-24 tie as St. John’s scored 14 unanswered points to down Faith Christian 30-24 and even their record at 3-3.
SJCA hosted Faith Christian Friday night in Moncks Corner.
By SCISA’s 8-man football standards this was a low-scoring game. There were punts, turnovers, and stalled drives.
And never a dull moment.
“I’m really proud of the way the guys fought back in this game,” said SJCA Coach Matt Gilbert. “They didn’t give up.”
Faith Christian hit the ground running, taking the game’s opening kickoff and marching 58 yards on eight plays to take an early 8-0 lead on Zack Teske’s two-yard bulldozing run.
Just over two minutes later the Cavaliers answered when quarterback Dustin Parsons scored the first of two touchdowns on a 43-yard run down the home sideline.
After the Knights went three-and-out on their next possession, the Cavaliers coughed up the football for the first time when Logan Winningham picked off a Parsons pass at the St. John’s 30-yard line with 2:47 remaining in the quarter.
Liam McDaniel turned in the drive’s big play with a 26-yard run to the four-yard line.
The game was delayed for almost 20 minutes as McDaniel went down hard in the touchdown saving tackle and suffered a concussion.
Once play resumed Teske tallied his second TD of the night on a two-yard run to give Faith Christian a 16-8 lead.
Two plays later lightning struck again, this time on a Parsons 58-yard touchdown run nearly identical to his first, a sweep left down the home sideline to knot the score at 16.
For the next 16-plus minutes the defenses would take over and neither team found pay dirt until Teske scored his third touchdown of the game on a one-yard run with 7:37 remaining in the third quarter. Teske’s TD trifecta put the Knights on top 24-16.
On its next possession, Faith Christian threatened to put the game out of reach when Devin Kirkwood broke a 65-yard run to the SJCA 34, but on the ensuing play the Cavaliers’ Colin Murchison picked off a Brandon Wilson pass to kill the drive.
The Cavs offense took over as Parsons broke a 10-yard run for a first down into Knights’ territory. Harun Scott bobbed and weaved his way through defensive traffic to score on a 44-yard run at the buzzer to tie the game at 24-24 and set the stage for Fondren’s big play.
Faith Christian mounted a late fourth quarter drive to possibly tie the game, but a Jonathan Feagin pass was picked off by Damian Hurta to squelch the drive and preserve the win for St. John’s.
“We held serve from our three games at home and that was important,” Gilford said. “We played three good football teams during our first three games on the road but we’ve improved with each game. These guys are battling hard every Friday night and we have to maintain the momentum when we hit the road for Beaufort next week.”
The Cavaliers travel to Beaufort Academy on Friday and then return home on Oct. 18 against First Baptist for homecoming. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.