Pickens Academy wins first for coach

August 23, 2009 12:31:00 AM



NEWNAN, Ga. -- The Pickens Academy Pirates scored their most points in a game in three seasons to make Sam Pearson a winner in his debut Friday as the team''s coach. 


Pickens Academy turned a defensive first half into a rout, defeating the Heritage School 56-36. 


It was Pickens Academy''s highest scoring game since it defeated Taylor Road Academy (Montgomery, Ala.) 71-8 on Oct. 6, 2006. 


"It just means everything as far as everyone pulling together and buying into what we''re trying to do," Pearson said. "I can''t say enough about getting off to a great start out of the gate." 


The Pirates trailed after the first quarter and led 12-8 at halftime before exploding for 24 points in the third quarter and 20 in the fourth quarter. 


Jacob Acker, who transferred back to Pickens Academy from Gordo (Ala.) High School, led the Pirates by running for a touchdown and the two-point conversion, catching a touchdown pass, throwing three touchdown passes, and throwing three two-point conversion passes.  


Acker got Pickens Academy on the scoreboard in the second quarter when he caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Lewis. 


Pickens Academy went ahead 12-8 in the second quarter when Tyler Vails returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown. 


In the third quarter, Acker scored on a 7-yard run and threw touchdown passes to Michael Potts and Casey Jones. He also threw two two-point passes to Potts and ran for a conversion. 


In the fourth quarter, Acker threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jones and a two-point pass to Potts, Kirk Lewis returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown, and Josh Lewis caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Joel Pratt. 


n Newton Academy 18, Hebron Christian 12, OT: At Pheba, Greg Watkins'' debut as the coach of the Eagles was spoiled Friday in an overtime loss. 


Newton Academy scored a touchdown to begin overtime and then Hebron Christian had a pass intercepted on third down to end the game. 


Hebron Christian trailed 6-0 at halftime. The score was tied 6-6 after the third quarter and 12-12 at the end of regulation. 


The Eagles scored in the third quarter on a 26-yard pass from Yance Falkner to Blake Harrell and in the fourth on an 8-yard pass from Falkner to Jasper Edwards. 


The Eagles failed to score two times inside the 10 and once inside the 5. They fumbled once and turned the ball over on downs inside the 10 and turned the ball over on downs inside the 5. 


Edwards led Hebron Christian with 76 yards rushing and 21 yards receiving. He also intercepted a pass on defense. 


n Leake Academy 20, Winston Academy 13: At Louisville, the Patriots scored all of their points in the opening quarter in dropping their season opener Friday. 


Winston Academy scored in the first quarter on a 79-yard pass from Tyler Sullivan to Tyler Golson and on a 4-yard run by Rob Moffitt. 


Leake Academy scored 13 points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth. 


n South Pontotoc 21, East Webster 20: At Maben, East Webster''s Miguel Graham came up short on a 36-yard field goal attempt with seconds remaining in the season opener for both teams. 


Leading 14-13, East Webster''s Josh Gladney picked up a fumble and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give the Wolverines a 20-13 lead. 


East Webster was called for a penalty on the two-point attempt. It also was whistled for a penalty on one of the team''s touchdowns in the first half. 


South Pontotoc''s Marcus Holsey returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards to the East Webster 4. Monte Love scored three plays later to make it 20-19, and Seth Roye caught a conversion pass to give South Pontotoc the lead. 


East Webster used gains of 14, 15, and 16 yards to push the ball to the South Pontotoc 16. But the Cougars regrouped and held the Wolverines to four consecutive plays of negative yards to take over on downs with a little more than two minutes remaining in the game. 


But South Pontotoc fumbled the ball back to East Webster at its 29 with 40 seconds left. The Wolverines made it to the 10, but a penalty and a running play that lost yards pushed them back to the 19, where Graham couldn''t hit the game-winning field goal. 


Demetrius O''Briant led the Wolverines with 80 yards. 


East Webster will play Friday at West Oktibbeha.