APA falls to Faith Christian in NCISAA semifinals
ROCKY MOUNT — An amazing streak in Arendell Parrott history ended Thursday in emphatic fashion by a team looking to make its mark in its second year of existence.
Faith Christian struck early and often in a 72-30 win over APA in the NCISAA 2A semifinals. In an all-Patriots showdown, Faith Christian (8-1) posted the most points by a Parrott (5-4) opponent to power its way to a championship showdown against St. David’s.
In the process, Arendell Parrott won’t be heading to the title game for the first time since 2013, a streak of four years which netted championships in 2015 and 2016.
“I felt like we really had to step up our game,” Faith Christian running back and defensive back Hobart Brantley said. “We knew their (starting) quarterback didn’t play last week and we had to be prepared for what he could do. (On offense), the line did a great job blocking — there were big holes for us all night.”
The teams played each other on Oct. 19 with Faith Christian picking up a 43-19 as APA sat out Zach Vendemia, who was nursing an injury. After Shaikey Hardy’s touchdown on the opening drive for Faith Christian, Vendemia’s 42-yard connection with Matthew Huntley was the catalyst to APA getting to the opponents’ 8. Unfortunately, Vendemia was intercepted by Garrett Pannell to end the drive. Three plays later, Brantley scored from 55 yards out and Faith kept rolling offensively, scoring on its first eight drives.
Faith Christian would also benefit from numerous penalties by Parrott. The visitors were whistled for 16 in the first half for 164 yards, with linebacker Marquise Loftin-Myers being ejected midway through the opening quarter and head coach Matt Beaman being disqualified later in the frame due to two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties from the team. Faith Christian would also force three turnovers, including a fumble in the waning seconds of the first half as Parrott trailed 56-16 going into the break.
After forcing a three-and-out to start the second half, Faith Christian went on a five-play, 50-yard drive with Brantley’s 37-yard score being the punctuation to start the running clock. Vendemia would connect with Huntley for a pair of long touchdowns, but it was far from enough.
Beaman said despite the loss, it was a great season considering how much the players accomplished.
“I think everyone looked at the people we lost from last year and didn’t know what to expect from us,” Beaman said. “These guys worked their butts off to get us into this position. I felt we were cheated on some calls early in the game tonight, but I can’t take anything away from Faith Christian and I’m truly thankful for what our guys did this season.”
FAITH CHRISTIAN 72, ARENDELL PARROTT 30
APA 8 8 6 8 — 30
FC 22 34 8 8 — 72
FC — Shaikey Hardy 3 run (run failed), 7:55
FC — Hobart Brantley 55 run (Brantley run), 5:16
FC — Trysten Edwards 51 pass from Sam Mills (Hardy run), 2:58
APA — Shy Thompson 54 run (Jonah Beaman run), 2:42
FC — Zach Warrick 1 pass from Mills (run failed), 11:54
FC — Hardy 9 run (Warrick pass from Mills), 8:31
FC — Hardy 2 run (Brantley run), 6:11
APA — Thompson 65 kickoff return (Trey McLawhorn pass from Zach Vendemia), 5:58
FC — Hardy 6 run (run failed), 4:23
FC — Brantley 3 run (run failed), 1:01
FC — Brantley 37 run (Brantley run), 8:10
APA — Matthew Huntley 65 pass from Zach Vendemia (pass failed), 5:03
FC — Garrett Pannell 35 run (Sam Richardson run), 11:26
APA —Huntley 40 pass from Vendemia (Thompson pass from McLawhorn), 6:50
First Downs 10 25
Rushes 13-117 53-367
Passing 9-24-2 4-5-0
Passing Yards 219 92
Total yards 336 459
Punts 1-31.0 0-0.0
Fumbles 1-1 1-1
Penalties 16-164 5-55
RUSHING—Arendell Parrott: Shy Thompson 7-117, Zach Vendemia 4-4., Trey McLawhorn 2-minus 4. Faith Christian: Hobart Brantley 23-209, Shaikey Hardy 23-106, Garrett Pannell 1-35, Sam Richardson 2-11, Landon Lewis 2-8, Chase Johnson 1-minus 1, Brayden Leonard 1-minus 1.
PASSING—Arendell Parrott: Vendemia 9-24-2, 219. Faith Christian: Sam Mills 4-5-0, 92.
RECEIVING—Arendell Parrott: Huntley 7-207, McLawhorn 2-12. Faith Christian: Trysten Edwards 1-51, Brantley 2-40, Zach Warrick 1-1.