On Monday night the Faith Christian Patriots played at home against the Fayetteville Christian Warriors in a game that was all Warriors from the start.
The Patriots would find their footing with a strong running game, but an injury to quarterback Caden Hamlett and the early deficit was too much to overcome in a 36-20 loss.
On the opening kickoff, Fayetteville Christian went for an onside and recovered. This not only gave the Warriors the ball, but good starting field position. They were able to capitalize on this field position, and they scored within the first three minutes to go up 8-0 after a two point conversion.
Fayetteville attempted another onside, but this time FCS was able to recover. However, the Patriots were forced to punt. When the Warriors took possession after the punt, FCS forced them to lose yardage with back-to-back sacks on second and third down from senior defensive end Tullyen Mckenzie.
These losses made it fourth-and-20, but the Warriors decided to go for it instead of punting, and managed to gain the 20 yards they needed on a long pass down the middle of the field. This would lead to Fayetteville Christian scoring its second touchdown of the game and a 16-0 lead.
Fayetteville Christian continued to dominate in the second quarter when it found the end zone two more times. The first being a run by the quarterback to the end zone for more than 70 yards, and the second one being a 10-yard run by the full back.
FCS got going with 19 seconds left to go in the first half behind a 40-yard touchdown run by the junior running back DeAnthony Joyner. Joyner’s run cut the Patriots’ deficit to 30-6.
Joyner was the bright spot for the FCS offense in the first half as he turned eight rushes into 81 yards in the half. When asked about Joyner’s performance at halftime, FCS coach Russell Weinstein wanted a second helping.
“Yeah, we are going to need more of that to get back in this football game no doubt,” Weinstein said.
In the second half FCS did exactly what Weistein ordered by going to Joyner 12 more times in the half. The FCS running back scored his second rushing touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter after a scoreless third.
His short touchdown run made the score 30-12 with 11:40 left in the game. Joyner later added his third rushing touchdown of the game just six minutes later with a 51-yard run to make the score 30-20.
Neither team was able to produce points until the final moments of the game. With three seconds left FCS attempted a last-second Hail Mary pass which was intercepted and returned for a touchdown as time expired.
Although the Patriots’ running game was strong all night with Joyner running the ball for 199 yards on 20 attempts and also scoring three touchdowns, they were never able to get their pass game going.
A large part of their missing passing game was due to the injury of Hamlett which occurred early on in the game. This is something that Weinstein noted when he was asked about their struggles in the passing game.
“Our starting quarterback is out with a possible concussion,” he said.”
Even though FCS put up a strong second-half performance, it was not enough to overcome the early 30-0 deficit. Patriots fans can look forward to a strong running game next season though as running back DeAnthony Joyner will return for his senior year.