Gardendale, AL – The Tabernacle Christian Torches clashed with the Ezekiel Academy Knights, in a high-octane 8-Man football matchup Friday night at the Bill Noble Athletic Complex. The Knights prevailed with a commanding 50-16 victory, leaving the injury riddled Torches still searching for their first win of the season.
From the opening whistle, it was evident that the Knights’ billing as one of the most formidable 8-Man football squads in Alabama was well deserved. Their relentless offense blazed through the Torches’ defense, racking up an impressive 30 points in the first quarter alone. The Knights showcased their offensive prowess with several long scores, setting the tone early.
The Torches, showing resilience and determination, managed to tighten their defense in the following three periods, limiting the Knights to 20 points over the remainder of the game. However, the valiant effort from the young Torches roster couldn’t bridge the gap on the scoreboard.
One of the defining moments of the night came early in the second quarter when Torches’ quarterback Aaron Peters crossed the goal line for the Torches’ first score. Unfortunately, Peters paid a steep price for his determined goal line surge, as he absorbed a hard hit that forced him to exit the game and sidelined him for the remainder of the contest.
Stepping into the quarterback role in Peters’ absence was senior Josiah Jones, who admirably led the Torches’ offense. Jones completed 3-of-8 passes for 37 yards, showcasing his versatility. He also contributed significantly on the ground, rushing for an impressive 64 yards on 21 carries and accounting for the Torches’ second touchdown of the night. Before being sidelined, Peters completed 4-of-10 passes for 47 yards.
The Torches’ rushing attack was further bolstered by Justin Blackburn, who added 23 yards on the ground with seven attempts, and junior Kyle Gillis, who chipped in 8 yards on six carries. In the passing game, sophomore Ian Anderson emerged as a standout, making two receptions for 35 yards. Additionally, Jones connected on a pair of passes from Peters for 22 yards, Gillis contributed with one catch for 20 yards, and Blackburn made one grab for eight yards. Both Jones and Peters also succeeded in their two-point conversion attempts.
Despite the tough loss, the Torches remain determined as they return home to face Montgomery’s Success Unlimited Academy in their next CFA conference contest. The Torches will look to regroup, build on their positives, and secure their first win of the season.
On the other side of the field, the Ezekiel Knights, who are ridding a 3-1 record, will lock horns with cross-town rival and defending AISA State Champion Evangel Christian next Friday night in the Capital City.