Adams County Christian School fell to St. Joseph Greenville 50-20 Friday in Greenville in the season-opener for both teams.
ACCS advanced to the semifinals in Mid-South Athletic Independent Association Class 4A last year before falling to Starkville Academy 20-15.
St. Joseph won its third straight Class 3A state championship last year, defeating Indianola for the title.
“I am solely responsible for that tail-kicking,” said ACCS head coach David King. “Not players, assistant coaches, parents, bus drivers, no one but me. I didn’t have our guys ready to play.”
St. Joseph quarterback Mekhi Norris evaded ACCS tacklers most of the night, turning losses into gains.
Norris also had a 39-yard TD pass just before halftime that gave the Irish a 21-14 lead.
St. Joseph got on the board first when the Fighting Irish recovered an ACCS fumble and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown. Frank Serio was good with the PAT kick with 5:13 left in the first quarter.
ACCS answered with a 1-yard TD run by Claven Dunbar with VJ Knight running in the conversion for an early 8-7 Rebel lead.
Norris regained the lead midway through the second quarter on a 5-yard run.
Dunbar scored his second TD with seven seconds remaining in the first half, catching an 11-yard pass from Knight giving ACCS a 14-13 lead.
St. Joseph recovered the subsequent squib kick and Norris tossed a 39-yard pass to AJ McCloud, who caught the ball after it was batted around to give the Irish a 21-14 halftime advantage.
The Irish outscored AC 7-0 in the third period.
AC’s last score came with 3:35 left in the game as Tripp Cotten and Josh Credit combined on a 58-yard touchdown pass to play.
Knight finished with 100 yards on 13 carries.
Dantavious Stampley led AC’s defense with seven tackles and a half sack. Corey Sewell collected 10 tackles and a sack.
ACCS hosts Columbia Academy Friday. Columbia lost to Riverfield in the second round of the playoffs last year.