November 1, 2009 12:35:00 AM
The Victory Christian football field was marshy Friday night, so coach Chris Hamm didn''t expect the passing game to have much of an impact.
Yet every time the rain increased, Parker Eaves connected with Tyler Jones for another long touchdown pass.
Eaves hooked up with Jones for three of his four touchdown passes on the night to lead Victory Christian to a 46-6 victory against Victory Millbrook in the semifinals of the Christian Football Association playoffs.
"We said before the game that champions find a way to overcome the elements," said Hamm, whose team improved to 9-0. "It was a very difficult night, but I can''t say enough about Daylan Hairston, Parker Eaves, Tyler Jones, and C.J. Bell. They made the plays offensively."
The Eaves-Jones combination started the scoring on the fourth drive of the game. After a bad punt, the Eagles started on Millbrook''s 40-yard line, and Eaves found Jones, who would beat a tackle and outran the defenders for a 37-yard touchdown.
On Victory Christian Academy''s next drive, Eaves needed only one play to find the 6-foot-2 Jones for a 73-yard score.
"We won with the pass," Hamm said. "Parker Eaves just found a way, and he did a good job."
In the fourth quarter, the combination connect for its final score, as Jones got himself open and ran 90 yards to score his third touchdown.
"Tyler Jones did a good job running routes," Hamm said. "I was real proud of him."
Jones (six catches, 225 yards) caught the ball every time it was thrown to him. Eaves (7 of 9, 270 yards) only had one dropped pass in the game. He connected with C.J. Bell on a 45-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter.
James Baldwin''s interception in the second quarter was Eaves'' only real error of the game. The mistake didn''t come back to haunt Eaves, however, as Victory Christian recovered a fumble on the first play of the ensuing drive.
Victory Millbrook only scored once in the second quarter, when Garett Peak found senior receiver Jake Parker for a 25-yard pass. The score came after a 37-yard run from Baldwin, who led Millbrook in rushing with 60 yards.
"Defensively as a unit we played a good game," Hamm said. "I''m real proud that they found a way to overcome (the rain) and take care of business."
Hamm said Millbrook likes to throw the long pass to Parker (five catches, 62 yards), but the rain prevented Peak (8 of 20, 76 yards) and Parker from connecting as consistently as Millbrook coach Billy Eddings would have liked.
Eddings said his team, which finished 6-4, is still growing, but he was proud of his players because they''ve made significant strides.
"This is my third year of coaching," he said. "We won one game the first year, won three games last year, and this year we made the playoffs. I''m hopeful to be back in the playoffs next year, and hopefully we''ll be hosting a team then."
Victory Christian, the defending champion, will travel to next week Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the Tuscaloosa Christian Academy Warriors (9-2) for the championship game.