Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

Christ’s Church Middle Goes Down Swinging In First Ever Playoff Game

Christ’s Church Academy- After defeating Seven Rivers to move to 4 and 0 on the season,Head Coach Robbie Brown knew he would learn something about his young team in the following weeks. They would face Zephryhills, who many believe to be the best middle school football team in the SSAC before heading into their first playoff game in school history. Zephryhills was indeed who they thought they were, dealing them their first loss of the season. Yet Christ’s Church learned something very valuable, that they could compete against the best the state had to offer, which made them one of the best too.

This confirmation became reality when the Eagles trotted out of their tunnel Wednesday night for their first playoff game. They again would have to face one of the best teams in their first round matchup against Palm Bay. Palm Bay had overcome a lot of obstacles to arrive at this moment. What was originally supposed to be a home playoff game for them in Palm Bay (near Melbourne Florida), instead turned into an away game after their field was destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Travelling five hours by bus didn’t seem to phase the long and strong team from down south as they took their very first offensive play 70 yards for a touchdown. Running back #28 Kye Elegele set the tone for Palm Bay offense that showed their ability to strike fast. 

After stopping Christ’s Church on their second, it was now the tun for 6’3 160lb Daniel Harris to go to work. Harris would take a sweep right and race 80 yards for his first score. Harris would score again in the first half on another long run and the Palm Bay lead ballooned to 22-0 in the second quarter.

In the blink of an eye Christ’s Church had fallen behind by three touchdowns to a team that seemed bigger, faster, and tougher. But Coach Brown and his staff beseeched their players to muster up the grit that led them this far, and they responded. Running back #10 Hayden Brown began to pound the rock on the ground gaining chunks of yards and carrying players for first downs. Running back #45 Joseph De LaSalle reeled off strong runs as well. The ball controlled drive would be effective in keeping Palm Bay off the field and eating up clock. The end result was a beautiful touchdown pass from #10 Hayden Brown to #15 Tyler Otts to get the Eagles on the board 22-8.

Otts is a player that would answer the call of the coaches. He was flying around on defense and making plays on offense. After his second touchdown catch of the game, head varsity football coach Jim Stomps was noted in saying ” that kid Tyler Otts has one of the biggest hearts on the team”. It was this type of heart that saw Christ’s Church never quit , and never give up. The undersized iron men of Christ’s Church gave it everything they had, but ultimately went down swinging to Palm Bay. Mr. Everything Carter Lundquist would score the final touchdown for Christ’s Church, however it was Palm Bay’s Jay-Quan Rock, who would “rock and roll” to the end zone in the second half to defeat Christ’s Church 42-14.

Daniel Harris and Jay-Quan Rock will lead Palm Bay into the second round of the playoffs, with their head coach, Coach Richardson. Christ’s Church will await the loser of other first round playoff match up in hopes of hosting another playoff game at home.