By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
OPELIKA – The East Central Patriots took to the road Friday night in a trip to Opelika to take on Southern Christian in a game that saw touchdowns scored in all three phases of the game for East Central resulting in a 40-0 win for the visitors.
Before the boys could even break a sweat, the Patriots were up 33-0 in the first quarter. The man of the hour was Seth Allison. The senior linebacker returns kickoffs and punts as well as playing defense for the Patriots and he had himself a night on Friday.
Allison was responsible for a punt return, a pick six and a scoop and score on the night to go along with his 7 tackles on defense. The was an absolute ball hawk.
The scoring got started on the first drive of the game. On the fourth play of the game, quarterback Knox Cooper found Micah Smith for a 34-yard touchdown strike. The defense held Southern to a four and out and they punted to Mr. Allison who kindly returned it 87 yards for the second score of the night for the Patriots.
Once again, the Patriots defense held Southern to a punt and on the first play from scrimmage, Dominic Paffumi tacked on a 75-yard touchdown run. The score was 20-0 at this point and the route was on before you knew it.
On the next drive, Southern was finding some footing but on the sixth play of the drive, Allison stepped in front of a pass and turned on the afterburners, returning it 57 yards for a touchdown. Andrew McGowan hit the PAT to make it 27-0 Patriots.
Southern was held to another punt and this one would be blocked by Nick Nelson. Four plays later, Cooper found Andrew Barksdale for a 40-yard touchdown bomb to make it 33-0 at the end of the first quarter.
East Central scored again in the middle of the second when Noah Bush forced a Southern fumble that was returned 57 yards by…you guessed it…Seth Allison. The PAT was good and the score would be 40-0 heading into the locker room
The remainder of the game was conservative play calling and getting some younger players experience in under the lights and no one else would score.
Allison said the following about his performance, “I mean, it was a good performance for sure but I’m not satisfied with it. I missed several tackles and I was not as good as I could have been in coverage. I’m just ready to put on a better performance next Friday against Trinity.”
“This was a really good road win for our team,” said Patriots’ Head Coach Daniel Smith. “You can always count on Southern Christian to be a physical and intense game. You have to play well in all three phases of the game to beat those guys. We were able to get a lead early but their team never stopped fighting. Coach Scott does a great job over there.”
Cooper Knox finished the night three of 11 with 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dominic Paffumi had 131 yards on nine carries with a touchdown of his own. Micah Smith had 2 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown to go with Andrew Barksdale’s lone catch for the 40-yard touchdown.
The Patriots improve to 3-1 on the season and travel to Pelham this Friday to take on the Eagles of Trinity Christian who are sitting at 0-2.