Moore Haven Terriers to play First Baptist Academy Lions

Moore Haven had their bye week at the right time this year as the Terriers were given time to get players healthy, and get 10 days of practice in for their toughest test of the season, the First Baptist Academy Lions, (6-2). The defending district champions have had another strong season. They lost their first two games to Northside Christian of St. Petersburg 22-18 and Lakeland Christian 27-14, but have responded with six consecutive victories against Evangelical Christian 48-12, Southwest Florida Christian 41-0, Marco Island Academy 41-7, Community School of Naples 54-7, Triumph Christian Academy 54-16 and St. John Neumann 49-0. Moore Haven has to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Moore Haven Terriers

Coach Richard Roudybush said the practices focused on little things. They worked to eliminate mistakes and spent a lot of time instructing the younger players on ways to improve. First Baptist has a potent running game this year led by running back Jayce Howell who has ran for 1,079 yards and 16 touchdowns. Quarterback Julien Tirade has thrown for 442 yards and eight scores and also has ran for 309 yards and four touchdowns. The team has completed 59 percent of their passes.

Joseph Sparacio has ran for four scores and added two touchdown receptions. Zach West has 15 receptions and a touchdown, Keean Burlison nine receptions and three touchdowns, and Drake Woods 13 receptions and two scores.

The Lion defense is led by Sparacio with 55 tackles with 14 tackles for loss. Blane Briggs has 39 tackles, Julian Mcgillis has seven tackles for loss, Chad Hassey eight tackles for loss and Michael Ritter has four interceptions. Spencer Aristizabal has over eight sacks on the season.

Moore Haven counters with quarterback John Cox who has thrown for 1,019 yards and 10 touchdowns while completing 64 percent of his throws. Cox has rushed for 1,007 yards and 17 touchdowns. Cox was recently named all-area first team in Southwest Florida.

Other Terriers named to the first team all-area included wide receiver Aldulvar Gary and defensive back Torrie Moore. Honorable mentions went to Conner Thomas, Sean Cowen, Billy Rednour and Da’shon Ross.

Coach Roudybush said his team is confident they can compete in this game, “The best part about our kids is they love to play football. They don’t care who they play, they show up, and give their all.”

First Baptist has 15 seniors and many have been with the program since the sixth grade. “They have set the bar where we want to be. Friday, Oct. 28, we will see how close we are in the process of development,” he added.

Roudybush said his team can’t get down when the Lions make plays because the Lions will make plays. “You have to tackle and stop drives and get the ball back to our offense. You just have to understand who you are playing. They run the ball, they don’t do anything fancy or flashy and they come right at you.”

Friday’s, Oct. 28, game is played at First Baptist Academy at 3000 Orange Blossom Drive in Naples. The kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans can expect a charge for parking and admission.

Special to Glades County Democrat

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