Coosa Valley drops region game at home against Crenshaw Christian

It was a night of missed opportunities for Coosa Valley Academy on Friday night. The Rebels got the ball inside the opponent’s 30-yard line four times, but was only able to put one score on the board. As a result, Coosa Valley came away with a 21-7 loss to visiting Crenshaw Christian.

Crenshaw Christian was able to get on the scoreboard first with a 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Coosa Valley answered with a score of its own early in the second quarter as John Bullen took a handoff and make a nifty run for a 25-yard touchdown. Cody Garrett’s extra-point attempt was good to help Coosa Valley tie the game at 7-7.

The Rebels had two more opportunities to get on the scoreboard and take the lead as they drove deep into Crenshaw territory. Both opportunities would be halted by Crenshaw interceptions.

Crenshaw would take advantage of the second interception and march down the field to score and take a 14-7 lead going into the half.

Coosa Valley’s offense continued to struggle to get into the end zone in the second half, as it couldn’t get much going against the Crenshaw defense. The Rebels were able to move the ball down the field most of the second half but were denied getting into the endzone.

Coosa Valley’s defense continued its strong play in the second half, just allowing one Crenshaw touchdown with less than 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it 21-7.

Neither team was able to score in the fourth quarter as the defenses dominated. The Rebels had one final chance to get on the scoreboard but fell short on their last drive of the night.

Coosa Valley coach Vince DiLorenzo was obviously disappointed in his team’s loss, but was proud of the effort put forth by his players.

“We had opportunities to win the game but weren’t able to take advantage of them,” DiLorenzo said. “Our defense played well and our offense was able to move the ball up and down the field. We just struggled once we got inside the 30-yard line.”

Coosa Valley rolled up nearly 300 yards of offense on the night. Phillip Neal completed 13-of-29 passes for 203 yards and rushed the ball 16 times for 41 yards. Teammate John Bullen had 31 yards rushing on four carries with a 25-yard touchdown run and caught five passes for 92 yards. Teammate Tanner Wood added three catches for 81 yards.

Defensively for the Rebels, Bud Bliss led the way with 18 tackles and Ricky Ellison added 13 tackles.

With the loss, the Rebels fall to 5-3 overall and 5-2 in region play. Coosa Valley returns to action Oct. 23rd with a non-region contest at home against Sumter Academy on senior night.