Gardendale, AL – The Tabernacle Torches (1-3) ignited their season, torching the Montgomery’s Success Unlimited Academy Mustangs (1-5) with a resounding 46-6 victory Friday night at the Bill Noble Athletic Complex. The commanding win gives the Torches a much-needed boost as they prepare to navigate the meat of their Christian Football Association (CFA) schedule.
From the opening kickoff, it was clear that the Torches were on a mission to assert their dominance. The first half showcased their offensive firepower, as they stormed to a commanding 30-0 lead, buoyed by a remarkable 22-point second quarter.
The Torches’ defense was equally relentless, holding the Mustangs scoreless for three quarters before yielding a late touchdown in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Their performance on both sides of the ball showcased the young team’s growing chemistry and determination.
Junior quarterback Aaron Peters shined, amassing 121 yards through the air, completing 9-of-16 passes, and throwing a pair of touchdowns. Peters was not only a threat through the air but was a force on the ground, where he compiled 62 yards on just six carries and found the end zone four times.
Senior running back Reed Chase, making a return after a two-week injury hiatus, led the Torches’ ground attack with 81 yards on 12 carries. Senior Josiah Jones contributed with four carries for 34 yards, further adding depth to the Torches’ rushing arsenal.
Peters had a trio of reliable targets in senior Justin Blackburn, sophomore Tucker Andrews, and Reed Chase. Blackburn secured three receptions for 46 yards, while Andrews and Chase each caught three passes for 42 and 33 yards, respectively. Chase and Blackburn both added receiving touchdowns. Chase also contributed with a pair of two-point conversions, highlighting his versatility. Junior Kyle Gillis and Josiah Jones each chipped in with successful conversion runs.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Torches had eight players record tackles. Ian Anderson lead the way with seven stops, including one tackle for loss. Aaron Peters, Justin Blackburn, Brock Cooper and Josiah Jones each recored three tackles, Kyle Gillis and Alex Tank finished the night with two while Reed Chase chipped in one stop. Gillis added to the Torches impressive defensive performance, snagging an interception.
In the return game, speedy junior Kyle Gillis returned one punt for 73 yards, Blackburn brought the lone Mustangs kick back 20 yards.
With this win, the Torches improved to 1-3, 1-2 in conference play. On the other side, Success Unlimited Academy slips to 1-5 overall and remains winless in CFA play at 0-4.
Looking ahead, the Torches are entering the heart of their CFA schedule, with each remaining contest carrying significant playoff implications. Next week, they will hit the road to face the defending conference champions, Russell Christian, in Meridian, Mississippi. Following that, they return to Mac Sanderson Field on October 6th to battle another Magnolia State foe, Victory Christian, before closing out conference play on October 13th with a road clash against rival Tuscaloosa Christian.
As the Torches prepare for these pivotal mid-season matchups, their convincing victory over SUA serves as a beacon of hope and a testament to their potential to make a playoff push. With their offensive firepower and a resolute defense, the Torches are poised to illuminate the CFA standings in the coming weeks.