MACON — You”ll have to excuse Ronnie Sciple if he prefers to discuss how his team finished its season opener.
The Central Academy football coach didn”t care very much for the first three quarters of the Vikings” game against Calvary Christian last week.
“We played bad,” Sciple said. “We looked confused, but it will get better.”
But a 16-point fourth quarter does a lot to satisfy a coach, even if it doesn”t make him forget everything.
“I think they were a little overconfident,” Sciple said. “Calvary has a good team, and they”re big. It is hard when you get handled like you”re used to handling people. Their line is that big, but that is part of it.”
Central Academy will try to rebound from its inconsistent performance at 7 tonight when it plays host to Calhoun Academy. Senior quarterback Cole Newman rushed for 115 yards and threw for 97 more. He hit Steven Lane with a 9-yard touchdown pass and Drew Pearson for a 17-yard scoring strike to lift the Vikings.
“I didn”t think it would be as tough as it would,” Newman said. “That was my fault. I should never underestimate anybody. We need to play every team like they”re the hardest team we will play.”
Sciple emphasized that point by reminding the players Kemper Academy was the only team to beat them last year, which means everyone else on the schedule will be gunning for Central Academy.
Kemper Academy beat Central Academy for the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Eight-Man state title.
Newman said the team came out with a “new mentality” in the third and fourth quarters. He said players like P.J. Coleman and Steven Lane stepped up.
“I think we”re a much better team than we acted like Friday night,” Newman said. “We fumbled one in the end zone, and we would have won by two or three touchdowns. We shouldn”t have let them break that touchdown at halftime.”
Pearson, a senior, paced the Vikings with 10 tackles. He said the Vikings thought the game was going to be a “walk in the park.” When they realized it was something much more, Pearson said the players huddled and dominated from there.
“It shows what we can work on, but it also shows that when we are down we can come back and win it,” Pearson said. “Everybody reached down and got all of their heart and guts and put it on the line.”
Adam Minichino is the former Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.