Bethlehem Christian Academy came up on the short end Friday, Aug. 13, in its home preseason scrimmage against Providence Christian Academy, but the night was largely overshadowed by a serious injury at the end of the first half.
On what turned out to be the final play of the second quarter, BCA senior linebacker Trevor Slaick suffered a leg injury while joining in on a stop and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. The teams elected not to play the final minute of the half, and Providence carried a 24-15 lead into halftime.
With the backup units playing in the second half, the Storm eventually pulled away for a 38-22 victory at Victor Lord Park. The game was being played up the road from BCA’s campus while Knights Field undergoes synthetic turf installation.
Friday’s scrimmage went back and forth throughout the first half, and the two teams exchanged touchdowns quickly to open the game. On the first play from scrimmage, Matthew Miller, who scored all three of Providence’s first-half touchdowns, caught a screen pass from Connor Jones out on the edge and raced 65 yards untouched to help give the Storm an early 8-0 advantage. BCA responded, though, as Joshua Adams ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run to make it 8-7 with 10:41 left in the opening quarter.
The Knights had a chance to take the lead early in the second quarter after Ben Reed found Ty Whiting on a big pass play down to the Storm 8-yard line. But a couple of plays later, Reed had a pass tipped and intercepted, and that set the stage for an 89-yard touchdown drive by Providence, which was capped when Jones found Miller again from 23 yards out on a third down-and-long play to make it 16-7 with 4:38 left in the half.
The teams needed just a little over a minute to exchange touchdowns again. Whiting caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Reed after the Knights quickly moved into the Providence red zone with the help of a pair of personal-foul penalties and a defensive pass interference call. Reed then connected with Jay Fulford on a two-point conversion to make it 16-15 with 3:49 to go in the half.
But the Storm came right back. After a pass interference against the Knights moved the ball to midfield, Miller bolted free again for a 50-yard touchdown run, and Providence converted another two-point conversion to go up 24-15. Miller put an exclamation mark on his impressive first half with an interception on BCA’s final possession of the half.
The Knights will now get set to open their 2021 campaign Aug. 20 at Strong Rock Christian. They are scheduled to play their first five regular-season games on the road, and BCA athletic director Tim Early said he expects the new turf at Knights Field to be ready in time for the team’s home opener Sept. 24 against Towns County.