Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Playoff Spot at Stake for ACA, Sipsey Valley

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Playoff Spot at Stake for ACA, Sipsey Valley

Article excerpt

TUSCALOOSA | Tradition favors the American Christian Academy football team in tonight's Class 3A, Region 3 showdown, but it doesn't guarantee a win.

ACA faces the Sipsey Valley Bears, who are hungry to make history. Tonight's winner will qualify for the AHSAA playoffs. ACA has been there before, but the Bears are looking to make their first appearance since the school opened in 2010.

"We've been talking about making history," said Antonio Ford, Sipsey Valley's second-year head coach. "That's exactly what the boys have been saying. Bottom line, the winner takes it all.

"I think the guys completely grasped how big of a deal that would be for a third-year program. Now it's the end of October, and we're right here at the helm of accomplishing that goal."

John Causey's first season as ACA's head coach produced a 12-2 overall record and a 3-1 playoff record, but he had to replace key players and injuries have thinned the Patriots' ranks. Junior Austin Mohlenbrok is winding up his first season as ACA's starting quarterback. Garret Lewis, a junior, was Sipsey Valley's starting quarterback as a freshman in 2010.

"We truly try to focus on ourselves, but we know they have a very talented football team," Causey said. "They've built it around Garret Lewis, and Coach Ford does a great job with them. We knew going into this year we were losing a lot of seniors. Not only were we trying to find replacements for those guys, but we moved up in classification (from Class 2A). Of course, that's not an excuse. It's our championship game, and we've got to approach it like that."

Lewis has thrown for 1,443 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has 544 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

"Our receivers have made life a lot easier for Garret along with the offensive line," Ford said. "We've got a lot of leadership up front. Garret does a great job of leading the offense and putting us in the right position. As far as rallying the troops, I think that Carson Windle is a great leader for us."

Windle is a running back who ranks second on the team with 440 rushing yards. …

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