Originally created 08/29/98

Defense takes charge in Augusta Christian victory



McDONOUGH, Ga. -- The Augusta Christian scored 25 unanswered points against Eagles Landing Christian Academy to roll to a 25-7 season-opening victory.

The Chargers (0-1) jumped on top on a 52-yard run by quarterback Ryan Carter, before the Lions defense took control from there. The Augusta Christian (1-0) defense limited the home team to 152 total yards.

The Lions' Brandon Colberg scored on a 17-yard run on fourth-and-two in the second quarter. On the play, Colberg ran straight into the Chargers defense, breaking several tackles before carrying a pair of Chargers defenders into the end zone. Kicker Steven Robinson tacked on the extra point to tie the game.

The Lions clamped down on the Chargers wishbone offense after the first quarter.

"What you do in the first quarter won't affect what happens to you in the fourth," Augusta Christian coach Steve Price said. "We could have gotten down when they scored that first touchdown, but not a negative word was said. That's a tribute to our seniors. They know you how you finish the game is what's important."

The Lions started slowly in the first half, picking up only 77 total yards. But Augusta Christian's larger offensive line was able to wear down Eagle Landing's defensive line in the second half. The Lions also had superior depth with 32 players compared with 16 on the Chargers roster.

That advantage led to the Lions racking up 159 total yards in the second half.

The Lions defensive effort was keyed by a tenacious blitz. Senior Bryan Wilson plugged up the middle while linebackers Robbie Rodgers and Adam Greene shut down the Chargers outside run.

"This is the first time that we've seen the wishbone and we weren't clicking at first on defense. Once we got the lead, we knew that if we kept playing hard, we could hold on and win the game," Wilson said.

Augusta Christian killed any chances of an Eagle Landing comeback when Lions defensive back Brett Newton intercepted Carter's first pass attempt of the game midway through the fourth quarter. Two plays later, Duffie broke up the middle on a quarterback keeper then weaved to the far sideline for a 51-yard score to seal the win.

Augusta Christian -- 0 7 6 12 -- 25

Eagles Landing -- 7 0 0 0 -- 7

E -- Carter 52 run (Michael Smith kick)

AC -- Brandon Colberg 17 run (Steven Robinson kick)

AC -- Colberg 35 run (kick failed)

AC -- Nathan Duffie 5 run (pass failed)

AC -- Duffie 51 run (kick failed)

Records: Augusta Christian 1-0, Eagles Landing 0-1.

Next: Athens Christian at Augusta Christian, Sept. 12, 8 p.m.

Individual stats: Augusta Christian total yards -- Passing: Duffie 5-7, 63 yards. Rushing: Duffie 11-83, Colberg 9-64.