Skipstone Academy running back Tommy Couch scampered 10 yards for a touchdown and Dustin Barnett capped off the drive with a two-point conversion run with 51.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter Friday night for the Warriors’ first eight points on their home field.
As loud as the enthusiastic home crowd was after those scores, you’d never believe Skipstone was down 41-8 at the time.
But unfortunately for the Warriors, the Heritage Christian Crusaders scored on their first three possessions and recovered a fumble for a TD to bolt to a 28-0 first-quarter lead and win the game by the 41-8 margin.
Skipstone lost its fourth straight game to fall to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the ICSGA South, but the Warriors outscored Heritage Christian 8-0 in the second half. Couch, who’s 41-yard interception return led to his TD run, was happy to score in the team’s first-ever home game.
“It was very important for us to score. I wanted us to win, of course, but I definitely didn’t want to be shutout on our home field,” said Couch, a senior who rushed for nearly 55 yards. “It feels good to know that I scored the first Warriors home TD. If you play for God, he'll play for you. We’re coming together as a team — we've just got to work on our blocking and things like that.”
Senior Ty Reeves, who did make the key block to spring Couch for the TD, said the guys were anxious to get their first-ever home game started Friday.
“We all were pretty nervous and couldn’t contain our excitement to play,” he said. “We’ve just got to come out in the first half with the same intensity we have in the second half. We’ve got to start better.”
Warriors head coach Bob Cupp was pleased with his guys’ effort Friday night, especially since many of them toughened it out despite being banged up. Guys like Braxton Pryor (1 sack, fumble recovery), Ethan Bonds (tackle for loss), David Brock, Reeves and Couch all sat out for a while but came back in after rest and treatment.
“I have guys with a lot of heart on this team. Some of them were hurt and they sucked it up and competed,” Cupp said. “On our score, I saw that Dustin and Tommy were ready to go. I knew they weren’t going to fail.”
Next for the Warriors is an ICSGA South home game next Friday against crosstown rival Faith Christian Academy, 30-27 winners over Lafayette Christian Friday night. It will be Skipstone’s homecoming game and the second of four straight home games.