The Nathanael Greene Academy Patriots lost to the Vidalia Heritage Academy Eagles 30-6 last Friday night in Vidalia, dropping to 1-1 in region play. The 2-point conversion was no good after NGA’s touchdown.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, the injury bug bit big time in this game. The Patriot’s starting quarterback, Alex Gabriel, fractured his clavicle and is out for the season, starting kicker Nick Crews pulled his hamstring and starting linebacker Ty Webb injured his shoulder.
The Eagles won the toss and elected to receive, but the Patriot defense held strong for a three-and-out. The Patriots were able to move the ball on their first drive but shot themselves in the foot with false start penalties and were forced to punt. The next three drives for both teams ended in either punts or turnovers on downs and the first quarter ended as a 0-0 slugfest.
Early in the second quarter, however, the Eagle’s offense found the endzone on a short run by the quarterback. The 2-point conversion was good, and the Eagles took an early 8-0 lead. Midway through the second, the Eagles again found the endzone, this time on a long pass. The 2-point conversion was again good, and the Eagles extended their lead to 16-0.
The Patriots, however, were still moving the ball but just couldn’t punch it in the endzone. Just before halftime, the Eagles again scored with a short run by the fullback. This time, however, the 2-point conversion was denied by the Patriot’s defense. But the damage was done, as the Eagles led 22-0 going into halftime.
The third quarter was a carbon copy of the first, as neither team scored. However, early in the fourth, the Eagles’ offense again found pay dirt on a long run by the fullback. The 2-point conversion was good and the lead was extended to 30-0. Nathanael Greene finally got into the endzone with a long run by Stephen Ricci.
“We could have been more focused and mentally prepared for this game,” Ricci said. “We made a lot of mental errors and assignment errors that we should not have made. We also could’ve played more as a team. Losing Alex is a huge loss for us and we’ll just have to figure out what we are going to do to about that.”