Warriors rally past Victory Christian
Zephyrhills Christian Academy scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to rally past Victory Christian make history earning a spot in the Class 2A Region 2 finals.
ZCA has not reached the region finals in 11-man football in the school’s history, but history was in doubt midway through the third quarter.
It was if Coach Mike Smith flipped a switch and his Warriors took control of the game.
In fact, Smith turned on the play-action passing game With Adrian Miller and EJ Allen Jr. and it worked to perfection. Victory Christian saw plenty of Warrior running back Dontrevius Jackson, who chewed up more than 160 yards on the ground.
“The run set up the pass so well and we needed to score in the third quarter and make things happen,” Smith said. “It was great play calling and the kids showed up.”
Victory Christian extended the lead to 16-6 in the third quarter and then the Warriors defense showed up in a big way with a fumble recovery with 3:48 left in the third.
The offense wasn’t far behind with quarterback Adrian Miller making his presence known hitting EJ Allen, Jr. with a 30-yard touchdown strike with 3:04 left in the third to move closer at 16-12.
With 30 seconds left in the third, the Warriors took the lead and never gave it back when Miller and Allen hooked up again with a 33-yard TD connection where Allen battled in the air for the ball and came down with for the score to make it 18-16.
“They committed to the run because Dontrevius Jackson is such a threat and that opened the passing game,” Miller said. “EJ Allen is a dog. I can rely on him any time.”
The Warrior defense just wore down Victory’s offensive line and began to dominate and then took over completely in the fourth quarter.
A banner the Victory cheerleaders were holding for the team to run through read, “Warriors, Tell your families you’re free next Friday night.” That was motivation enough for the Warriors.
“I saw that banner and all I thought was they are going to lose,” Jackson said. “I knew we had to compete and we are going to the third round and they are free next Friday. It was a lot of motivation and a lot of people want to see us fall.”
Dimitri Wade added the final touchdown of the night with a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter to make it 24-16.
Trailing 7-0 in the opening quarter, ZCA quarter back Miller guided the Warriors back into the game with a touchdown pass to tight end Zyon Vaughn-Nobles. The PAT failed and the Warriors closed the gap at 7-6 and that scored carried into the locker room at halftime.