Rocky Bayou had their first home game of the season on Friday night. The Knights looked to get back to the basics without head coach Josh Childers. Ultimately, the Knights would fall 41-6 to Lighthouse Private Christian Academy to drop to 0-2.
SHALIMAR — On a night filled with quite a bit of emotion, the Rocky Bayou Knights lost 41-6 to the Lighthouse Private Christian Academy Stingrays in their home opener.
The stage was set: the sun setting over Pope Field, the announcer enthusiastically playing Baby Shark way too many times for my liking. I looked in the stands and saw the Knights faithful packing the seats. On the field, the team was pumped.
One key element was missing: coach Josh Childers. Just hours before the game, Childers pulled his coaching staff into his office to inform them that he would not be coaching because his wife had gone into labor.
The show, or the game in this scenario, had to go on. Offensive and defensive line coach Aaron Cain took the reins for the night, but things didn’t go the Knights way.
Childers wanted his team to establish a run game. Will Murray, Will Ferguson and Aaron Grabinger rushed for just 72 yards, which ended up being the majority of the Knights offense Friday night. They tried to go back to the basics, but that didn't stop the Stingrays.
Tempers flared throughout the night on the Stingrays' side. Two different dead ball fouls sent both their head coach and one of their players to the locker room, but that didn’t stop them from big plays. An explosive offense and stellar defense lead the Stingrays to a 41-6 victory.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: 473
That would be the amount of total yards the Stingrays put up against the Knights. Compare that to the Knights 112 total yards and you’ll see how the game was won.
OFFENSIVE MVP: Deontae Reinhardt
The freshman quarterback for the Stingrays left it all on the field. It wasn’t a perfect night for the young and talented Reinhardt, but overall his playmaking was stellar. From passing the ball off to Nick Mosley to throwing for 202 yards, he found a way to get it done.
His leadership started before the team even came out of the locker room.
“I talked to them before the game,” Reinhardt said of his teammates. “I told them ‘Even if we make a bad play, just keep your head up, don’t get frustrated or let anyone get in your heads.’”
And don’t think his coaches don’t know what a talent they have.
“We believe in our freshman quarterback,” Stingrays Assistant Offensive Coordinator Yasen Brown said. “We believe he can lead us to the promise land. He’s a special kid.”
DEFENSIVE MVP: Johnny Linn
The 5'8" 165 pound junior got his work in going from one side of the field to another all ight. It seemed like almost every play Linn’s name was called. Four solo tackles, two of which were for a loss, and a handful of assists made for a pretty nice night for Linn.
“I saw a team right on the brink of being great. We created a bunch of turnovers tonight and we had a bunch of good kickoff returns so I think we are on the brink of greatness,” Rocky Bayou offensive and defensive line coach Aaron Cain.
The Knights will look to find their first win of the season on the road when they travel almost 5 hours down to Orange Park to take on St. John Country Day.
- The two teams combined for a six turnover.
- The Knights were 0-8 on third down conversions.
- Both teams has 11 penalties.
- Each time Nick Mosley had the ball, it took three, four Knights to drag the big man down.
- The Knights marching band halftime performance of music from “The Greatest Showman” was the best I’ve seen.
- Baby Shark will be stuck in my head for the next three week.