October 23, 2009 8:14:00 AM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
So much for being rusty.
After four weeks of practicing, watching, and waiting to get back on the field for a Friday night game, the Victory Christian football team returned to action last week with a 66-16 victory against North River Christian in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The victory pushed the Eagles to 7-0 and set the stage for their homecoming game at 7 tonight against Tuscaloosa Christian. That game likely will determine the top seeds for the Christian Football Association playoffs, which will begin next week.
The victory was the team''s first since a Victory Christian''s first game since a 67-12 victory against Tabernacle Christian on Sept. 11. The Eagles have scored 57 or more points in each of their games this season.
"You could tell we were (a little rusty), but it all evened out in the long run," Victory Christian coach Chris Hamm said. "We turned the ball over a couple of times early and that slowed us down. We were just able to put some scores on the board in the second half."
Although Hamm said the players showed signs of rust and might have been a little winded early against North River Christian, he said they found their rhythm once they got down and dirty in the muddy conditions.
Parker Eaves passed for 216 yards and five touchdowns last week, while Landon Ellis rushed for 133 yards and four touchdowns.
Tyler Jones led the Eagles with eight tackles.
Senior lineman Ross Potter said it was exciting to be back on the field. He said the Eagles did their best to keep their focus and to maintain their conditioning during the layoff.
"We''re used to having one week off during the year, but that four kind of threw us all off," Potter said. "We were all itching to play by that fourth week."
Potter said it took a couple of hits for the linemen to realize they were back in a game. He said the offense took a couple of series to re-discover its high-scoring ways. Now that the team is back on the field for what it hopes is for good, Potter believes the Eagles can maintain their momentum and make a run at defending their CFA title.
"If we have more unity and execute all our plays, I think we can go all of the way," Potter said.
Hamm said a victory tonight would help the Eagles earn the No. 1 seed and the right to play host to a first-round playoff game next week. The winners of the semifinal-round games will play for the CFA title the following week at Tuscaloosa Christian.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.