Highland Christian runs over Lummi
August 27, 2008 · Updated 7:08 PM
The Highland Christian Knights added to their successful inaugural season with a 34-20 victory over the Lummi Blackhawks on Oct. 2.
Playing at Haller Field in front of their home crowd for the first time, the Knights put on an impressive offensive display to win easily.
Highland got on the board first on a slick misdirection play in the first quarter. Stormee Brown wound up with the ball out of a wing-t formation and ran virtually untouched through the line and down the field on a 50-yard score. It was the first points scored at home in school history and the 300-plus fans in attendance roared their approval. The crowd was particularly impressive considering only 86 students attend Highland Christian Prep. Equally impressive was the fact that the Highland team has 40 players on its roster, nearly the entire male population of the school, many of whom are playing football for the first time.
After trying an onside kick, the Knight defense got to work as well. Vincent Kurtzenacker and Stormee Brown combined for some crushing tackles on the Lummi running backs. Lummi attempted a number of screen passes with little success due to the fine play up front of Josh Mani, among others.
On their next offensive possession, Highland got consecutive long completions from Kurtzenacker to Craig Crawford and Jeff Kelly. That put the Knights into the red-zone and a quick slant reception from Stormee Brown went over the goal line for the second touchdown of the night.
The half ended 12-0 but Highland Christian was far from finished on the scoreboard. They opened the second half with a long scoring drive, using the running of Caleb Brown to their advantage. Brown finished with three carries on the drive for 35 total yards, including a run off-tackle from 15 yards out to put the Knights ahead 20-0.
Lummi finally answered with a score of their own, capitalizing on a facemask call against the Knights defense to get good field position. The Blackhawks used a quarterback sneak on third-and-goal to snag their first six points.
But Brown as not finished and neither was Kurtzenacker. The shifty tailback burst 60 yards around the left side on the following drive to put Highland back in business. Several plays later Kurtzenacker went over the goal line from four yards out to bring the score to 26-6.
Later, Stormee Brown would go in again from 15 yards to increase the offensive total for Highland.
The team is off to a remarkable start to their season, currently sitting at 3-2 overall in the standings, 2-1 in league.
Beating Lummi signified two important steps for the program. First, it put Highland on the path to be post-season eligible, even in their first year of existence.
We have to have a better record than the third place team in the Pacific Coast League to qualify, said Coach Joey Brown. Now that weve beaten Lummi we have a chance if we win out to achieve that.
Secondly, it showed the progress of a young team as the season moves along. Highland lost to Lummi by four points in the first game of the year. This time the team scouted Lummi extensively on film to better handle the shovel and screen passes from their opponents.
We shut them out in the first half, said Coach Brown. That rarely happens in eight-man football. We still made some mistakes on defense and well have to adjust for next week, but overall Im pleased with the progress.
One of the big contributors to the early success of the Highland program has been the Arlington Youth Football Association. The AYFA provided the field, the announcers, the scoreboard and the concession stand operators.
The AYFA has been a huge help to us, said Brown. Were talking to their youth players as well, showing them that there is another option if they want to play high school football in Arlington. Thats how Terry Ennis built his program at Archbishop Murphy, by going to the youth programs and encouraging those kids to continue to play. Ennis program is a pretty good model to follow.