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GHSA Football Class A Private School Championships, Second Round at Stratford Academy
Stratford Academy
Loss 22-36
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Past Games With Recaps

Wesleyan Green Team
Wesleyan School
Loss 27-46

Paladins Fall to Wesleyan Green Team

The Fellowship Christian School sixth grade boys dropped a 46-27 decision to the Wesleyan Green squad at Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners in Welyan League play on Nov 17.

The Paladins (0-2 overall in the Wesleyan League) netted six points in the first quarter, nine in the second, two in the third and 10 in the fourth.

“We hustled, pressed and created a lot of turnovers,” head coach Andy McCann said. “Pierce and Caden had a load of rebounds. We worked on if the defense is playing you high, then pass and cut.”

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GHSA Football Class A Private School Championships, Second Round at Stratford Academy
Stratford Academy
Loss 22-36

Varsity Football

Sad Ending: FCS Falls Stratford Academy in Second Round of GHSA Championships

The hole was just too big to climb out of.

The Fellowship Christian School football team could not overcome a 27-7 third-quarter deficit in its GHSA Football Class A Championships second-round game at Stratford Academy in Macon on Nov. 17. The Paladins lost 36-22 to end their second consecutive trip to the state playoffs, a school record.

Despite a couple of spectacular offensive plays, a fourth-down defensive stop forcing an Eagle punt to start the fourth quarter and a missed Stratford field goal with 2:13 to play, the 22nd-seeded Paladins could not pull out a victory.

FCS ended its school-record second consecutive winning season with a 7-5 record. The sixth-seeded Eagles (10-1 overall) moved on to the quarterfinals.

Stratford took a 27-7 lead on a 35-yard interception return and extra-point kick with 9:27 to go in the third quarter. The Eagles scored 16 of their 36 points in the third quarter. The Paladins added 15 of theirs in that quarter.

Senior Casey Barham returned the ensuing kick off 98 yards for a touchdown, and senior Jack Berends kicked the second of two straight extra-point kicks to pull Fellowship to within 13 points.

Following a Stratford field goal with 1:36 left in the quarter on its next possession, senior Merrick Haigler tip-toed the sidelines on a 75-yard sprint for a score. Senior James Milhollin took a reverse handoff from junior Cam Cochran for the two-point conversion to pull FCS to 30-22 with 1:11 left in the third.

But the Paladins could not get any closer.

Stratford tacked on a rushing touchdown later in the fourth. The Paladins stopped the conversion attempt, but the Eagles led by 14.

Fellowship took a 7-0 lead with a 52-yard touchdown pass from junior Brooks Bryant to Haigler just 1:56 into the game.

The game was tied 7-7 after the opening quarter on the first of four TD runs by Stratford (5 yards). The Eagles held a 14-7 halftime advantage following a 50-yard second-quarter TD run.

The Eagles extended the lead to 20-7 just a minute into the second half on a 65-yard touchdown run.

Haigler, one of several seniors playing their last football game at Fellowship, led the Paladins with 135 yards on 11 attempts with one TD, but also had a fumble (one of two FCS turnovers). Bryant was next with 31 yards on eight scrambles.

Bryant finished his junior season with 119 yards passing (7-of-19). Five different Paladins hauled in his passes at Stratford, including Haigler (one for 52), Milhollin (one for 35), Barham (three for 12), junior Cameron Gill (one for 12) and Cochran (one for eight).

The Eagles outgained FCS, 380-276, in the contest. FCS picked up 157 rushing yards in the contest, but Stratford gained 307 on the ground.

Gill and junior Reed Bott led the Paladin defense with 12 tackles apiece. Gill made seven solo stops and Bott added five to go with a sack and two tackles for a loss. Senior Matt Morton recorded nine tackles and six assisted stops, and senior Matt Curry recorded seven tackles (five assists).

Season Stat Recap

Haigler finished his career with 13 touchdowns and 1,030 yards on 144 carries, all team highs, in just nine games. His brother, freshman Lawson Haigler, was second on the club with 735 yards and six TDs on 133 carries in 10 contests.

Bryant played in all 12 games and completed 100-of-173 pass attempts for 1,826 yards and 18 TDs. He was intercepted six times and sacked just three times in his first varsity season at the helm.

In his first varsity football season, Barham led the Paladins with 53 catches, 880 receiving yards and seven receiving TDs. Milhollin was next with 350 yards and five scores on 15 catches. The senior also collected 251 yards on the ground with three more scores.

Senior Billy McCurry led the Paladins with 98 tackles, 45 solo stops, 15 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss. Morton made 86 tackles, including a team-high 65 assisted stops. Curry finished with 84 tackles (61 assists) and Gill added 82 (36 solo).

Week 12 Preview: FCS Travels to Macon to Face Stratford Academy in Second Round

It’s pretty simple. The Fellowship Christian School football team will have to execute better on Friday.

“I was very pleased with the effort at George Walton Academy [41-35 overtime victory],” head coach Al Morrell said. “But we will need to execute much better against Stratford. We fought hard in that game, but we made a couple of costly mistakes. Our execution needs to be better. We have had a couple of very good days of practice, and the boys are very excited to play on Friday. We believe we can win.”

Stratford Academy (9-1 overall) enters Friday’s GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships second-round game against the 7-4 Paladins coming off a bye week. The Eagles’ last game was a 30-27 loss to Aquinas of Augusta at home that snapped a nine-game win streak on Nov. 3. They are the sixth ranked squad and FCS is 22nd.

“They are a solid program,” Morrell said. “They have the best defensive line we have faced this season. It will be a challenge to block them. Their team is very well coached.”

Execution against the Eagles is the main key for Fellowship, according to Morrell. The coach added that his club needs a solid effort on offense and defense.

The Paladins have out gained their opponents 4,281 to 2,966 this season.

On the ground, the Paladins have picked up 2,468, led by the Haigler brothers. Senior Merrick leads the way with 133 carries, 895 yards and 12 touchdowns, while freshman Lawson has collected 733 yards and six TDs on 131 carries. Senior James Milhollin has added 263 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 39 attempts.

Junior Brooks Bryant, coming off a huge 282-yard and four TD effort at George Walton, has thrown for 1,707 (93-for-154) of FCS’ 1,813 passing yards. Bryant has thrown for 17 touchdowns.

Senior Casey Barham is Fellowship’s top receiver with 50 catches for 868 yards and seven touchdowns. Milhollin has grabbed 14 passes for 315 yards and five scores. Junior Cameron Gill has hauled in 12 passes for 294 yards and four TDs.

Billy McCurry has recorded 95 tackles to pace the Fellowship defense. The senior defender leads the team with 44 solo stops, 15 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss.

Seniors Matt Morton and Matt Curry have registered 77 tackles apiece. Morton leads the team with 59 assisted tackles, and Curry is next with 56.

The Paladins enter the game on a three-game win streak and have won four out of their last five contests.

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Mount Pisgah Christian School
Paladin Park
Boys and girls fall 0-5

FCS Teams Fall to Mount Pisgah in Regular-Season Finale

The Fellowship Christian School middle school boys and girls tennis teams both fell 0-5 to Mount Pisgah Christian School at Paladin Park on Nov. 16.

Avery Young, Katelyn Albright and Emily Dresback all competed in singles, while the teams of Grace Morgan and Satine Bustamante, and Jamieneal Roe and Mia Persiano competed in doubles.

Connor Dell, Andrew Schmidt and Jack Ring played singles matches, while the duos of Everett Carpenter and Aiden Duffy, and Pierce Loescher and Quinton Traywick played doubles matches.

(Photos by Margo Miller)

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Pinecrest Academy
Pinecrest Academy
Loss 63-61

Paladins Fall at Pinecrest Academy in Opener

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball team dropped a 63-61 decision to Pinecrest Academy in Cumming on Nov. 15 in its regular-season opener.

Senior Cody Frazer led FCS with 19 points. Junior Noah Dryden chipped in with 10 points.

Senior Teddy Keim and junior Dawson Carey netted eight points apiece for Fellowship, which had 17 points after the first quarter and 27 at halftime.

FCS netted 15 points in the third quarter, and had 19 in the final quarter.

Keim netted two 3-point buckets and sophomore Drew Conroy netted one trey.

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Perimeter Christian School
Paladin Gym
Win 44-38

Paladins Beat Perimeter to Capture Season Opener

The Fellowship Christian School seventh grade boys basketball team posted a 44-38 victory over Perimeter School at Paladin Gym.

Caleb McMickle netted 15 points and four steals to lead FCS. Luke Howard netted 11 points, while Nick Persiano added seven points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

“It was great to get the first game out of the way, and get the win,” head coach Brad Welty said. “The guys played hard, and I was proud how they responded to some adversity in the second half. A lot of teams would have ended up losing the game, but they kept their composure and pulled it out.”

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Pinecrest Academy
Pinecrest Academy
Win 57-49

Swartz Nets School-Record 45 Points in 57-49 Victory

Cameron Swartz had quite the night at Pinecrest Academy.

On Nov. 15, the senior netted a school-record 45 points to lead the Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team to a 57-49 victory over the host Lady Paladins.

Senior Sadie Schulz tallied six points and senior Caroline Keim added four for Fellowship.

“The girls played solid defense and fought through fatigue to seal the victory,” head coach Troy Schulz said. “It was a good first game for the ladies. They played real hard and fought to the end surviving a Pinecrest run and closing out the victory from the charity stripe.”

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