LOGANVILLE — The Friday, Aug. 23, season opener between rivals Bethlehem Christian Academy and Loganville Christian Academy will likely be the last meeting on the gridiron between the rivals, at least for a while.
In the final regular season matchup before the LCA Lions move to the Georgia High School Association, it was a one-sided affair as BCA fell 47-0, spoiling the debut of new head coach Gus Felder.
“We have to make plays,” said Felder. “There is a lot we can learn from this. We have to do our job. We have to attack and not watch the play go right by us. It’s early and we have to trust the process.”
LCA (1-0) dominated, building a 27-0 halftime lead and limiting the Knights to minus-three yards of offense in the first two quarters. BCA (0-1) did not manage a first down in the contest until the 9:54 mark of the third quarter on a pass interference penalty. The Knights finished the game with two first downs.
Any hopes BCA had of getting back in the game ended on its first possession of the second half. Lajalan Stephens intercepted an Ethan Guthas pass to set up the Lions at the Knights’ 33-yard line. Jordan Jackson then raced 33 yards to cap the short, one-play drive with 10:48 left in the third quarter.
BCA netted 13 yards on its next series before being forced to punt.
The Lions added a 5-yard score by JR Curly with 3:05 remaining in the third and then capped off the scoring for the game on a 62-yard run by Curly.
The Knights had a chance to put points on the scoreboard in the final minute of the contest. A bad snap on a punt attempt set BCA up at the LCA 4-yard line. But an incomplete pass, a 1-yard run, a quarterback keeper for no gain and a negative running play ended the drive and the game.
Loganville Christian took the opening possession of the game and quickly went 52 yards, needing just two plays to find the end zone on a 39-yard run by Keon McGhee. The Lions added to their early lead on a blocked punt after BCA went three-and-out on its initial series.
Austin Coleman blocked the Knight punt attempt, scooped up the football and went 25 yards for the second touchdown in the game’s first three minutes.
McGhee covered 81 yards on his next score with 9:31 remaining before halftime. A 30-yard pass from Clayton Smith to Jackson pushed the lead to four scores.
“We aren’t making any excuses,” Felder said. “We are just getting started. We are building a foundation.”
The Knights, coming off a 2-8 campaign in 2018, are a new-look program this season with a new head coach, new group of assistants and new schemes.
LCA is playing its final football season in the GISA before moving to the GHSA. Patrick Stewart, similar to Felder, was also coaching at the collegiate level this time last year.
Stewart was a graduate defensive assistant at the University of Georgia. He is a graduate of George Walton Academy in Monroe and played collegiately at Middle Tennessee. He was hired during the offseason to lead the Lions, who were 4-8 in 2018.
BCA will return to the field Friday, Aug. 30 against Briarwood Academy on the road. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
BCA 0 0 0 0 — 0
LCA 13 14 14 6 — 47
LCA — Keon McGee 39 run (Carter Smith kick)
LCA — Austin Coleman 25 blocked punt return (conversion failed)
LCA — McGhee 81 run (Carter Smith kick)
LCA — Jordan Jackson 30 pass from Clayton Smith (Carter Smith kick)
LCA — Jackson 33 run (Carter Smith kick)
LCA — JR Curly 5 run (Carter Smith kick)
LCA — Curly 62 run (conversion failed)