National Christian Academy rolls past Imani Christian

Saturday, August 24, 2019 | 4:10 PM

In just its sixth year of football, National Christian Academy has designs on becoming a national powerhouse.

The Eagles could be well on their way to that status with a resounding, 70-6 victory Saturday in the Western PA vs. Everyone Showcase at Turtle Creek’s Wolvarena.

After a fumble in its first series of the day, National Christian (1-0) scored on its next nine possessions. Elijah Sorprea and Roberto Alvarez scored two touchdowns apiece to lead the Eagles, who dressed 59 players and were down to their fourth string late in the game. Four different quarterbacks engineered scoring drives.

The one bright spot for Imani (0-1) was a 38-yard run by Adrian Nanji on the Saints’ first play from scrimmage.

“When you look at that roster, they’re just loaded,” Saints coach Ronnell Heard said. “There were some Imani mistakes made, but at the end of the day, that first drive showed you what we can be.”

“We were struggling when we first came out,” National Christian coach Andre Kates said. “We had a fumble that first drive, but then we picked it up. We have more depth than we have in previous years.”

The Fort Washington, Md., school has been most known for basketball, producing NBA star Kevin Durant.

Two touchdowns in 59 seconds early in the game set the tone for day.

After a snap went over the Imani Christian punter’s head, the Eagles took possession and scored two plays later on an 8-yard run by Brown Anglin. On the second offensive play after the kickoff, Tristan Armstrong picked off a Pharoh Fisher pass and weaved 24 yards for a touchdown to give National Christian a 16-6 advantage with 8 minutes, 41 seconds left in the opening period.

The Eagles had fresh players serve on the kicking teams.

“If they don’t make the two-deep, they go on the kicking teams,” Kates said. “”The special teams are just as important as the offense and the defense. The special teams can make-or-break in this game.”

National Christian has 11 major college recruits on its roster. Aaryn Parks, a 6-foot-5, 304-pound tackle, is rated the No. 5 recruit in the country at his position. Defensive back Joshuah Moten is committed to Texas A&M and Teylor Jackson is committed to East Carolina.

National Christian led 38-6 at the end of the first quarter, but Heard was happy with how his team stayed together without the luxury of substitutions. Imani dressed just 19 players and Nanji had a minor injury and sat out most of the encounter.

“You check it out, if you take out that first quarter, we played a really good second half and second quarter,” Heard said. “I’ve got two seniors, one junior and about 10 sophomores. So we’re a really young team, but we’re a talented team.”

Six minutes quarters were employed in the second half.

Imani Christian will visit Springdale on Friday in the Class A Eastern Conference opener.


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