LECANTO — The Seven Rivers Christian football team started Friday night’s home game against Santa Fe Catholic with a bang and finished it with a thrilling 34-28 victory.
After about an hour-long delay due to lightning in the area, the Warriors got right to work after kickoff.
On the first play from scrimmage at Warrior Park, quarterback Nehemiah Vann connected with Alex Eden for a 53-yard gain. On the very next snap, Vann and Mario Aguilera hooked up for a 23-yard touchdown strike. Aguilera’s extra point made it 7-0 just 34 seconds into the game between the once-beaten Warriors and undefeated Hawks.
Santa Fe Catholic (2-1) knotted the score later in the quarter and took advantage of a Warriors fumble on the ensuing kickoff to claim a 14-7 lead.
It remained that score until late in the second half, when the Warriors (3-1) took advantage of a Hawks special teams miscue. A fumbled punt return was recovered by Vann, who finished off a four-play, 17-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for the tying touchdown.
The Seven Rivers special teams unit came up big again seconds later, as Noah Magill recovered an onside kick at the Hawks 42. With 30 seconds remaining in the half, Vann hit Eden in the end zone for a 30-yard strike and a 20-14 lead at the half, after the extra point hit the upright.
"Special teams came up huge with a blocked field goal, one fumble recovery on punt and one fumble recovery on kickoff return," Seven Rivers coach Monty Vann said.
Nehemiah Vann and Nathan Tidwell added rushing touchdowns in the second half to help the Warriors edge the Hawks in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference showdown.
Nehemiah Vann finished the night 7-for-18 passing for 135 yards and the two first-half scores. Eden had 100 yards receiving and Aguilera had the other
35 yards through the air. Nehemiah Vann also ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns, Nathan Tidwell added 57 yards on the ground and a score.
Brent Summers led the defense with 10 tackles, Carson de Beer added eight stops and Aiden Bergstrom had seven tackles, an interception and a sack.
The Warriors are home again Friday against St. Francis Catholic (0-4) out of Gainesville.