P.J. Klein put the first points of the game on the scoreboard for the Bethlehem Christian Academy Knights Friday night approximately four minutes into the contest. It would be a sign of things to come for both Klein and the BCA squad as they rolled to a 68-0 region win against John Hancock Academy.
In a game played at Legion Field in Monroe, the Knights evened their GISA Region 1-A record at 1-1 and improved to 2-4 overall. It was the first region victory in program history and the most points scored by the varsity football squad in its brief history.
“We felt good going into the game because we had a good week of preparation,” said BCA coach Don Garmon. “I liked the way we started the game by putting points on the scoreboard quickly.”
There were numerous standouts for the Knights on both sides of the football. Jared Martin and Austin Schwebel were credited for their efforts on the defensive line.
Offensively, Klein, Kevin Green and Graham Doolittle helped lead the Knights on the ground. Matt Masters, Jacob Fincher and Niko Mailloux all had receiving touchdowns.
“Our offensive line did a great job,” Garmon said. “Our pass protection was strong and our run blocking was effective. It was one of those nights where everything was clicking.”
Having more depth at running back was key for BCA, the coach said. Injuries have had an impact for the Knights in the offensive backfield in recent weeks.
“The key for us is all three are a different type of back,” Garmon said. “We were able to take advantage of each one’s strengths.”
In addition, Doolittle was praised for improving on his pass blocking.
Chandler Garmon fired three touchdown passes in the game while throwing for more than 155 yards on 10 completions.
On special teams, Martin handled the kickoff duties. Martin is also handling extra-point kicks now with Danny Sceviour out for the season with a torn ACL and meniscus.
Garmon calculated the BCA offense scored on an average of every 3.5 plays.
“We do need to check our emotions defensively to start the game,” the coach said. “We had some penalties to start with that gave them a first down.”
While pleased with the big win, Garmon said there remains improvements to be made.
“We had better play at the quarterback position,” the coach said. “Chandler did a good job of scrambling away from pressure and making completions. Niko also made a key block at wide receiver early in the game. Niko has already been doing a lot of things well, so it’s great to see him blocking as well.”
The Knights will look to move above .500 in region play when they travel to Curtis Baptist this Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
“Curtis Baptist is a very quality football team with size, speed and a good group of players,” said BCA offensive coordinator Lance Fendley.
“We will be facing a 3-3 and 3-4 defense with some cover three and sometimes cover one. The strength of their defense is their ability to bring pressure up the middle and off the edge. It will be a great challenge for us. I think we are hitting our offensive peek at the right time. We have to be able to play fast and play consistent . This will be a good challenge for our football team.”
For the Knights on defense this week, Curtis Baptist will also present a challenge.
“Curtis Baptist is a team loaded with size and athletes at their skill positions,” defensive coordinator Nick Pou said. “We will be challenged more at the defensive back positions and our linebackers will have to play sideline to sideline.”
A win this week on the road would push the Knights above .500 in Region 1-A play with three remaining games on the schedule for the regular season.