APA defeats Bear Grass in historic 11-man football game
Arendell Parrott Academy senior running back Shy Thompson runs for the Patriots' final touchdown of the night, a 19-yard run around left end, in the fourth quarter of Friday's 25-8 APA victory. He finished with 115 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Photo by William 'Bud' Hardy / Neuse News
On a historic night at Hodges Field Friday, Arendell Parrott Academy made sure it had a positive ending.
The Patriots defeated the Bear Grass Charter Bears 25-8 to not only secure their first victory of the season, but in their first 11-man football game since 1989. Parrott (1-1) had numerous miscues, but were able to recover and get the win.
“We weren’t as crisp as we would be if we played it all the time, but I think the guys executed well for only two weeks of preparation,” APA football coach Matt Beaman said. “They had a lot of information thrown at them and they did a good job of processing it.”
After the teams traded three-and-outs to start, the Patriots struck on the first play of their second drive as Zach Vendemia found Matthew Huntley on a deep pass for a 74-yard touchdown. The Bears had trouble moving the ball, netting three first downs in the opening half while Vendemia’s next connection to Huntley — this one for 60 yards — set up a 5-yard touchdown by Shy Thompson to go up 12-0 early in the second.
“I was struggling with my reads early, but toward the end I was getting more comfortable with it,” Vendemia said. “We just adjusted, made the right changes and kept it going.”
Turnovers plagued APA in the game as the Patriots had five miscues, including a fumble in the end zone which was recovered by Jason Futrell on their next drive to put Bear Grass within 12-8. The third quarter was a nightmare on offense for Parrott with three turnovers, but the defense forced a trio of Bears miscues, including Weaver Sumrell’s fumble recovery late in the third.
The Patriots forced four turnovers of their own, though, and held the Bears to 156 yards with eight first downs.
“Watching film helped us set up all the schemes they had,” APA linebacker Marquise Loftin-Myers said. “Shout-out to my secondary — they did pretty good tonight.”
The Patriots cashed in on the ensuing drive with Vendemia finding Jonah Beaman for a 7-yard touchdown and after forcing a turnover on downs, Thompson got his second touchdown of the night — this one from 19 yards out — to ice the game with 2:53 remaining.
“The O-Line started blocking better and I was able to find the holes I needed to find to get more yards,” Thompson said.
Huntley, who had an interception to go with four catches for 157 yards, said he enjoyed the opportunity to play 8-man football.
“The experience was great having three extra people on the field,” Huntley said. “We were all flying out to the ball and it was a fun experience.”
Bear Grass coach Brian Paschal said APA’s strength in the trenches proved to be too much for the Bears.
“I thought they were very good up front on both sides of the ball, which was the difference in the game,” Paschal said. “We’re such a young team and program in our second year, so I’m not sure if we’re the greatest measuring stick, but (Parrott) did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage.”
The Patriots will host Cary Christian on Sept. 7 in their traditional style of 8-man football.
BGC 0 8 0 0 -- 8
APA 6 6 0 13 -- 25
APA—Matthew Huntley 74 pass from Zach Vendemia (kick blocked), 4:51
APA—Shy Thompson 5 run (kick failed), 9:31
BGC—Jason Futrell recovered fumble in end zone (Joseph Perry run) 6:29
APA—Jonah Beaman 7 pass from Vendemia (pass failed), 7:20
APA—Thompson 19 run (Kolby Jones kick), 2:53
First downs 8 13
Rushes/yards 25-44 41-151
Passing yards 112 165
Comp-att-int 10-27-2 6-11-1
Total yards 156 316
Fumb/Lost 3-2 7-4
Punts-avg 6-26.8 2-32.5
Penalties-yds 9-73 5-49
Rushing: BGC—Joseph Perry 14-38, Logan Coltrain 6-5, Jameson Perry 1-1, Dylan Whicker 4-0. APA—Shy Thompson 21-115, Blake Smith 4-31, Gabe Braswell 2-5, Zach Vendemia 10-0, Dallas Hill 4-0.
Passing: BGC—Coltrain 10-27-2, 112. APA—Vendemia 6-11-1, 165.
Receiving: BGC—Logan Hale 5-60, Tanner Lyle 2-32, Whicker 1-14, Jo. Perry 2-6. APA—Matthew Huntley 4-157, Jonah Beaman 1-7, Thompson 1-1.