Tempers flared at the end of a 61-21 blowout that the Greenville Christian Saints handed the visiting Indianola Academy Colonels Friday night.
An exuberant bunch of Saints jumped and celebrated their decisive win as the officials let the final three minutes run off the clock. At the same time, an injured IA player, running back Nolan Nichols, laid motionless awaiting medical assistance which made many of the visiting fans irate over the celebration. Both coaches quickly gathered their teams and got off the field as fans exchanged verbal jabs.
According to a source at presstime, Nichols was not as several injured as originally feared.
The game’s most competitive juncture came when IA defensive back Connor Roncali intercepted a ball that bounced off a Saints receiver. He returned the ball down to the home team’s 20-yard line. This set up a one-yard run by Colonels’ quarterback Collie Ferrell. The extra point pulled IA to a 24-21 deficit with four minutes remaining in the first half. However, Greenville Christian return man Kerrick Ross took the ensuing kickoff in for a scintillating 85-yard touchdown to extend the Saints’ lead. The two-point conversion gave Greenville Christian a 32-21 lead heading into halftime.
Ross helped put the game out of the opponent’s reach with a a kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half. The return brought a smattering of “ouhs!” and “ahs!” from the home crowd. He lulled the Colonels’ return defense into thinking that he would step out of bounds around the 40-yard line in front of his own bench. But he quickly turned up field and kicked in the afterburners for a 63-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion put the Saints up 40-21 with 8:49 remaining in the third quarter. From this point, the route was on and the Colonels received a heavy dose of Saints running back Marlon Palmer the rest of the way along with a passing clinic from Smith.
Smith connected with Davaris Pilcher from 15 yards and the two-point conversion pushed lead to 48-21 at the 4:03 mark of the third quarter.
Next, Smith linked up with Ross on 31-yard touchdown reception 54-21 at the 1:30 mark of the third. The extra point attempt failed.
Finally, Smith lofted a beautiful spiral to Metcalfe for 80 yards and a score at the 4:53 mark of the fourth quarter. The extra point gave Greenville Christian a 61-21 lead.
Greenville Christian opened the game featuring the stockpile of weapons on offense around standout quarterback DJ Smith. Josh Martin and Palmer demonstrated speed and power on a touchdown reception and run on the home teams first to possessions of the night. A couple of two-point conversions later, the Saints jumped out to a quick 16-0 lead in the first quarter.
After being stymied by the Saints defense for the better part of the first quarter, the Colonels hit pay dirt for the first time in spectacular fashion. Ferrel hit receiver Leland Selby on the dead run as he out sprinted the GCS defense to a 65-yard touchdown. GCS led 16-7 at the 2:39 mark of the first quarter.
After a lengthy drive to close the first quarter, the Saints scored a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, a 15-yard pass from Smith to Daylin Metcalfe. The two-point conversion staked the Saints to a 24-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Indianola responded quickly on their next drive with another touchdown pass over the top, a 60-yard Ferrel to Grant Coleman pass. The extra point pulled IA to 24-14 with 10:48 remaining in the second quarter. Greenville Christian will travel to face Glenbrook, La. Friday at 7 p.m.