Summit Christian Academy needed just 12 minutes, 48 seconds of game time to flex its muscles against Van Horn Friday at William Chrisman.
The Eagles (7-0), who scored on five straight possessions, swiftly defeated the Falcons 35-0 behind junior quarterback Grayson Sprouse and a stout defensive which held the Van Horn offense to just 120 yards of total offense.
“We have the speed and we break (big) runs, but they (Summit Christian) always seem to trip us up at the end because they play hard,” Van Horn coach William Harris said after the loss. “Until we learn how to play hard for four quarters and until we learn how to be focused for four quarters that team is going to continually beat us until we can match their level of focus.”
After failing to pick up a fourth-and-1 deep in Van Horn territory on its opening possession of the game, Summit Christian’s offense methodically marched down the field on its second drive and wasted no time scoring as Lucas Eckle, who finished the game with 10 carries and 124 and two touchdowns, scored his thirteenth touchdown of the season with a 37-yard jet sweep.
Van Horn’s offense showed some signs of life on its ensuing possession, but any momentum the Falcons had quickly evaporated into the chilly October air as the Eagles’ defense sacked Sean Mitchell on third-and-13 forcing Van Horn to punt.
The Eagles added to their lead with 6:55 left in the half. Facing a fourth-and-1 on their own 33, Summit Christian coach Todd Berck decided to go for it. But a false start pushed his offense back five yards and he decided to punt. On the very next play, Van Horn was flagged for having too many men on the field.
Once the dust settled, Berck called on his 6-foot-5, 220 pound quarterback to pick up the first down. Sprouse bulldozed his way through the Van Horn defense, picking up nine yards.
The gamble paid off a play later as Sprouse connected with senior wide receiver Isaiah Cahimba on 59 yard pass to give the Eagles a commanding 14-0 lead.
“Grayson made some great reads on the slant,” Berck said. “Isaiah did a good job of catching the ball and making some moves. He’s a very athletic kid. Hopefully he takes a lot of confidence (from) tonight. … Now that gives us another weapon.”
Harris said his team knew what they were going to get from Summit Christian’s high-octane offense.
Everything the Eagles did on Friday night, they showed on film prior to the game.
“We knew what they were going to do, we knew what they were capable of,” Harris said. “We knew what was going to happen.”
The Eagles really put the game out of reach on their next three possessions, needing only an eight plays to do so.
Grayson threw his second touchdown of the game to his brother, Christian Sprouse, on a beautifully executed 36-yard flea-flicker that put the Eagles 21-0.
Eckles scored his second touchdown of the night on 45-yard run – leaving the Falcons defense in his wake. The fifth, and final, touchdown was scored by Cahimba as he hauled in 36-yard pass from Sprouse. Sprouse finished the game going 8-of-12 for 173 yards and three downs and added another 22 yards on the ground.
After the game, Harris paid Sprouse a big complement.
“Watching him (Sprouse) today, his arm strength definitely improved,” he said. “The kid has always been good. Last year the kid was really good. He’s just gotten better, with the game experience he’s just gotten better.”