September 5, 2009 11:08:00 PM
When the lights went up Friday, Landon Ellis never expected he would double his personal touchdown record.
But Ellis did just that as he scored six touchdowns to lead the Victory Christian football team to a 69-16 victory against New Life Academy.
"Three touchdowns in a game has been my best," Ellis said. "God presented me with opportunities tonight and there was some great blocking."
Ellis, a junior running back, said everything came together on what turned out to be a personal-best evening that helped Victory Christian improve to 2-0.
Ellis showed he was going to do more than what was expected right from the start. On a second-and-3, Ellis cut to the right and dashed 65 yards to the end zone on Victory Christian''s second offensive play of the game.
In the second quarter, Ellis rambled 59 yards for the team''s second touchdown.
Later in the quarter, Ellis went 24 yards on his sixth and final carry to push his rushing total to 190 yards.
"I just love the feeling of a wide-open field," Ellis said. "Usually, if I can get (a clear path), I can get (the touchdown) because of my speed."
Victory Christian coach Chris Hamm agreed, saying the 5-foot-10 running back has great field vision to find the open spots.
Ellis also proved to be an offensive player on defense.
In the middle of the second quarter, Victory Christian''s defense pressured quarterback Corbin Shaw into an interception that Ellis wasted no time taking to the end zone.
"It was a bad throw, and I was there," Ellis said.
The same scenario happened in the third quarter, bringing Ellis'' touchdown total to five.
"He did a great job," Hamm said. "These picks were a product of defensive pressure, so they were team interceptions. Landon was in the right spot, did a good job reading it, and knew what to do with it once he had it."
Ellis agreed he owed his defensive teammates thanks for his two interception touchdowns.
"This was a great example of teamwork," he said.
Ellis had another interception in the third quarter, when he read the football on a slant and jumped to snatch it.
While he didn''t get any return yards, teammate Parker Eaves ran 64 yards up the middle on a quarterback keeper on the ensuing drive to make it 49-8.
"(New Life) was going for Landon, and Eaves made them pay," Hamm said.
Ellis''s sixth touchdown came on a long pass from Eaves.
"Landon always does a great job," Hamm said. "He is very humble and is a good team player."
Ellis said the victory shows how well the team practices, especially when they come out and perform like they did Friday night.
Hamm agreed, but said Victory played only three good quarters of football.
"We underestimated New Life in the first quarter because they are a young team," he said. "We responded after the first, but did not start like I''d like to."
Victory Christian''s defense stopping New Life from having a running game. It had five sacks and held New Life to negative rushing yards.
"We had a good game from (linebacker) Daylan Hairston," Hamm said. "(He) made a lot of tackles."
"Daylan''s brother, the sophomore Nick Hairston had to step it up and did a good job on defensive end, in place of a boy who was out sick."
The stands were not as full as Victory would have liked, but Hamm said he was not worried.
New Life Academy coach Jason Owens couldn''t be reached for comment.
1. Former MSU RB Robinson arrested LOCAL SPORTS
2. Stevens' work in summer pays off in college offers HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Running backs have chance to shine for EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Coaches excited to kick season off at jamboree HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Starkville High's Gay accepts invitation to All-American Bowl HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS