LECANTO — For more than three quarters Friday night, Seven Rivers Christian looked poised to open its season with a hard-fought win over visiting Legacy Charter.
The teams entered the fourth quarter tied 28-28 before back-to-back Seven Rivers turnovers late in the game led to the Eagles’ 47-28 win. It was a game where the Warriors could never hold momentum for long, even after capitalizing off their opponent’s own turnovers.
Head coach Monty Vann said he was proud of his team’s play, and that with a few less mistakes, it would have been a different ball game.
“We’ve just got to clean some things up. I mean, our boys played well,” he added. “We just didn’t protect the ball when we needed to, we made stupid mistakes. Those are things that are coachable.”
The Warriors found themselves in a 13-0 hole less than two minutes into the game after giving up an opening-drive touchdown on the second play, and fumbling away their first drive. However, they regrouped and turned up the intensity in response.
Receiver CJ Phillips made several big catches, one while dragging his foot inbounds for a reception at the sideline to keep one drive alive, and Brock Weed ran for a touchdown shortly after for the 13-7 score.
Weed’s short TD reception in the second quarter narrowed the lead to 20-14 before a perfectly executed 40-yard halfback pass from Phillips to Weed had the Warriors up 21-20 with 3:15 before halftime.
The Warriors went down 28-21 off a 13-yard pass from Jacob Worley to running back Jaden Oyola late in the third quarter. It was Weed returning an interception for a touchdown when Worley tried throwing over the middle and didn’t see Weed in the lane, tying the score 28-28.
Everything changed in the pivotal fourth quarter, though the cracks had certainly started to form earlier. The Warriors could not protect the ball, with quarterback Nehemiah Vann — who threw two interceptions in the third quarter — rebounding from those only to fumble away a low snap that went into his end zone, resulting in a touchdown after the Eagles landed on it.
On the ensuing kickoff, the usually sure handed Phillips — who grabbed several drive-saving catches — had the ball jarred lose by a hit, with the ball returned for an Eagle touchdown and the 47-28 lead.
Nehemiah Vann finished with 10 completions on 20 throws for 104 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Worley completed 12 of 26 passes for 187 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Weed had six receptions for 68 yards, with his three touchdowns to go with his defensive score. The Eagles had four sacks.
Said Weed afterward, “We’re going to keep this bad taste in our mouth so we can come out next time and play better.”