ACA Defeats Sipsey Valley, 28-3, Clinches Fifth Straight Region Title
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It was an electric night at Danny-Logan Field, both ACA and Sipsey Valley had much at stake.
For ACA, they were looking to clinch their fifth consecutive region title while, on the other side of the field, Sipsey Valley was looking to find their way into the AHSAA playoffs.
Both teams started off slow as Sipsey Valley and ACA traded punts for the first 3 possessions of the game. ACA started to find a rhythm on their second drive of the night, quarterback Carson Sute getting much of it done with his legs rushed for 34 yards that drive alone. The Patriots were able to cap it off with a 43-yard Carson Sute touchdown pass to Davis Dare to get the first points of the night for either side.
The ensuing drive for Sipsey Valley got off to a rough start, getting flagged for a false start on the first play and, just two plays later, they were flagged for another.
Sipsey Valley escaped a 3rd and long with a 58-yard L. J. Cormier bomb to Wyatt Bailey. Penalties continued to rack up for the Bears as they committed another false start and a hold later on in the drive.
Sipsey managed to get inside the 5-yard line but fell short and they settled on a field goal to make it a 7-3 ballgame.
The Patriots got back on the field and and immediately started firing back. Gifted by great field positioning, the Patriots were able to get on the board again with a four-play drive that was finished off with a 27-yard Carson Sute pass to Bubba Lester to gain a 14-3 advantage.
The Patriots defense continued to suffocate Sipsey Valley, forcing a swift 3-and-out.
On the last drive of the first half, the Patriots continued to push the ball down the field with both Carson Sute and halfback Kolby Preskitt making plays on the ground.
With 12.7 seconds left in the half, Sute was able to find Eric Hines on an incredible jump ball catch to add another seven to their lead, making it a 21-3 game.
ACA received the ball to start the second half, looking to jump ahead to a 28-3 lead and to silence the Bears.
But, Sipsey Valley wouldn't give up that easy with Wyatt Bailey forcing an interception on just the sixth play from scrimmage in the second half. The Sipsey Valley offense couldn't take advantage, going three-and-out once again; but, the defense continued to step up, forcing an ACA three-and-out the very next drive
The game started to turn into a defensive slugfest, with the only other score coming on a 16-yard Carson Sute dart to Caleb Morrison.
Later in the game, ACA's quarterback to start the season Kai Young checked into the game with 9:18 left in the 4th after dealing with a broken collarbone since the Patriots' matchup with Bibb County. Young threw two interceptions in the three drives he appeared in, but the playing time was a positive sign as the ACA will look to get him healthy for the playoffs.
ACA Head Coach Cody Martin on Kai Young:
He's worked so hard to come back, done everything he's supposed to made a speedy recovery. I'm just so proud of him, he's a real leader for us.
When the clock hit 0:00 at Danny-Logan field Friday, the students, family, friends, faculty, players and coaches exploded as they continue their stretch of dominance, tacking on their fifth straight regional title.
Tonight, Sipsey simply couldn't get enough going offensively to keep up with the Patriots. Here are coach Joey Milligans thoughts on his teams performance against ACA:
You know we've been talking about it, We have won the past 3 games and it was only the 3rd time in school history that they have won three games in a row. We have got to learn how to win with class and in turn you have to learn how to lose with class. I think we fought hard, we played until the end of the game. In the 2nd half we lost 7-0 essentially. So our kids didn't quit, didn't give up. How we respond to this, from when we walk off this field to the bus ride home will determine if we will win next weeks game, next week if we can beat Hale County we can lock up a playoff spot.
With their win tonight, ACA has clinched their fifth straight region title. They look to add another tally to the win column next week as they will welcome Montevallo to Danny-Logan Field.
On the other sideline, the Sipsey Valley Bears are essentially in a "Win and get in" game against Hale County next week, as they hope to make their fifth playoff appearance in team history and first since 2018.