The Bethlehem Christian Academy football team scored 32 points Friday night in its 2014 season opener, but all the points weren’t enough to keep track with visiting Windsor Academy.
When the final horn sounded, it was the Windsor Knights who recorded a 62-32 victory at Legion Field in Monroe. Windsor finished the 2013 season 0-10, but showed it will likely be one of the most improved teams in the GISA this fall.
BCA (0-1) got two touchdowns each from Graham Doolittle and Chris Ratterree, but will have to rebound before facing a strong Piedmont Academy team on the road Friday in Monticello.
Windsor scored first on a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:38 left in the opening quarter. The drive began at midfield after a personal foul call on BCA, who was forced to go three-and-out on its first series.
The game turned when Windsor stopped BCA after the home Knights went on an impressive drive beginning at their 38-yard line.
BCA used 11 plays to move inside Windsor territory before a pass completion was ripped away by a Windsor defender. The Knights from Macon then needed just one play to score on an 87-yard pass play with 3:58 left in the opening quarter.
By halftime, Windsor led 44-7 and was never seriously challenged despite some second half touchdowns by BCA.
“We watched them scrimmage this summer and we knew they would be pretty good,” said Bethlehem Christian Academy coach Lance Fendley. “For us, it was one of those things that turned into a comedy of errors. You can’t turn the football over seven times and beat anyone. Five of those turnovers directly led to points.”
Doolittle would score on runs of 75 and 6 yards while Ratterree found the endzone on runs of 37 yards each. Coach Lance Fendley’s Knights would also score on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Torbett to Aaron Clifford late in the fourth quarter.
It won’t get any easier this week for BCA as the Knights travel to Monticello to face Piedmont Academy. The Cougars defeated Gatewood 14-7 in their season opener and appear to be a force in Class AA.
Piedmont won the AA state title in 2010 and 2011 and despite first-round playoff losses in 2012 and 2013, appear to be back on track this fall for a deep playoff run.
The Cougars are led by first-year head coach Wes Tanner, the team’s defensive coordinator during those state championship runs.
Tanner was the head coach at Covenant Academy in Macon in 2013, but returned to Piedmont when former head coach Rhett Farmer left for an assistant position at Westfield.
Former Winder-Barrow High School head coach Jeff Beggs is the defensive coordinator for the Cougars and his players limited Gatewood to only one touchdown last week although that score was set up by a long interception return.
The Cougars used the running of Dalton Knox to power its way to the win. First-year starting quarterback Zach Beggs made a few miscues in his debut, but was still steady overall in leading the offense.
BCA did compile 410 yards of total offense in its opener.
“The turnovers have to end,” Fendley said. “We have to be sound in our run game again. We ran the football well against Windsor. Our two backs (Dootlittle and Ratterree) ran well. We need to keep Piedmont’s offense on the sidelines by having long drives which result in points. Another key this Friday will be which offensive and defensive line wants it the most.”