Commanders move to 2-1 overall -
LEBANON -- Friendship Christian took care of business early with a 27-0 lead and never looked back in a 44-7 win over Chattanooga's Grace Baptist Academy Friday at Pirtle Field.
The lead was 44-0 at intermission, forcing the game to be played with a running clock in the second half.
Longtime FCS head coach John McNeal was not on the sidelines due to illness -- along with several regulars. Offensive line coach Shaun Caven handled things as interim head coach of the Commanders.
“I’m extremely proud, these kids came out and gave the effort that we expect out of them,” Caven said. “We had a lot of kids get physical, and a lot of kids that came out and stepped up big for this team.”
FCS opened the contest with a five-play, 70-yard yard drive capped off by a Don Dunning nine-yard touchdown run.
On the following drive, FCS marched down the field with authority on a quick four-play series that ended with a 56-yard touchdown run by Drew Porter, pushing the lead to 14-0.
QB Delanie Majors threw back-to-back touchdown passes to Brock Montgomery and Porter -- expanding the Commander’s lead to 27-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Friendship picked up another score with 6:16 remaining in the second quarter when receiver Tyler Smiley fell on a Don Dunning fumble in the endzone for a 34-0 Commander lead.
Dunning made the most of another opportunity on the ensuing drive, scoring from 6 yards out for a 41-0 lead.
Dunning finished the night with 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns. For good measure, he intercepted a Golden Eagle pass.
Although the Commander offense was rolling in the first half, the defense more than did its share.
Kicker Landon Williams closed out the FCS scoring with a 20-yard field with 00:02 left in the half, sending his team to the fieldhouse up 44-0.
Senior linebacker Bobby Owen spearheaded a tough Commander defensive unity by recovering three fumbles and blocking a Grace Baptist punt.
“My teammates opened up some holes and that led me to be around the ball,” Owens said. “Without them, I would have never been in a position to make those plays.”
The FCS defense smothered the Eagles in the first half, just one first down and six total yards of offense.
With just over a minute to play in the game, the Golden Eagles (0-2) prevented the shutout on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Mason Long to Joe Colbaugh to end the game 44-7.
FCS (2-1) is scheduled to host Donelson Christian Academy Friday, Sept. 18 in a Division II-A East contest.