Offensively, it might not have been pretty, but the Bethlehem Christian Academy football team shined brightly on defense Friday night.
As a result, the Knights (2-2 overall) defeated visiting Central Fellowship Christian Academy 12-6 at Legion Field in Monroe. Ben Morgan had three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, to help lift BCA. The interception return at the 5:37 mark of the third quarter proved to be the only points by either team in the second half.
The game was tied 6-6 at halftime as the Knights struck first when they marched the opening series 73 yards on seven plays.
The drive was capped by a 5-yard score by Mitchell Kamm with 9:04 left in the opening quarter. The extra-point attempt was blocked.
Central Fellowship tied the game with 5:05 left before halftime.
Morgan intercepted passes to end the Lancers’ first two offensive series of the game.
While pleased with his team’s defensive showing in the win, BCA coach Lance Fendley said the offense needs better production.
“As an offensive coordinator, that was sad to watch,” Fendley said of the contest. “Things aren’t always going to go your way though. It was great to see the defense play so well. Coach (Tim) Hinton did a great job. We still have work to do, myself included. Normally we are able to rely on our running game but we just couldn’t generate any spark tonight despite running hard. We did have opportunities for three touchdowns that we missed on.”
The Knights did not have a first down in the second half but the defense kept Central Fellowship out of the end zone. The Lancers had a first and goal at the 9-yard line in the fourth quarter but would eventually turn the football over on downs after a failed fourth and 35.
Central Fellowship had one last opportunity taking possession with 5:46 left at its own 43. The Lancers moved to the BCA 20-yard line before stalling again on fourth down. The Knights then ran out the remaining 1:19 to preserve the victory.
“What a big win for this program, for this school and for this community,” Fendley said. “It’s the first time the program has been 2-2 at this point. We are right where we need to be. We have a chance to do some damage in our region.”
Kamm finished with 68 yards on 13 attempts while Dakota Parten was 5-of-15 for 70 yards.
BCA will open play in GISA Region 1-A next Friday when it hosts David Emanuel at 7:30 p.m. The final six games are against region opponents.
“They bring in a lot of new things to the game this year,” Fendley said. “They have a brand new coach and are one of the bigger teams in our region in terms of numbers with 30 players. They’ve had a tough start, but they have played strong competition. They have played the defending state champion and state-runner up.”
Coach Ty Mingle’s team earned its first win of 2013 last Friday by defeating First Presbyterian Christian 34-28.
“They are a good team despite their start,” Fendley said. “They have a running back who does a lot for them. They do a good job in what they do. Last year was a tough loss for us. We felt like we had the better team and were coming off a win, but we came up short by eight points and that turned out to be a pivotal game in terms of who made the playoffs. There will be a little bit of edge to it on my part and the players who competed in it last year.
Offensively, The Eagles have used a Wing-T with some “odd formations,” Fendley said.
“They are big up front,” the BCA coach said. “They don’t have a lot speed but they do have size.
Defensively, David Emanuel will play a 4-2 with zone coverage.
“They like to keep six in the box with man coverage across the board,” Fendley said. “Their defensive ends are good contain players. We have to do a good job protecting this week. Our quarterback is still finding his way and getting his feet wet. If we give him enough time he can be successful. We were a little embarrassed offensively Friday night. We have something to prove this week, especially since we are beginning the region schedule.”