Cougars dominate Sparta in season opener

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

In a stunning display of prowess on the gridiron, the Crenshaw Christian Academy (CCA) Cougars launched their season with an emphatic victory over the Sparta Academy Warriors, securing a commanding 48-0 win. The showdown took place Friday evening at Stuart McGee Field in Evergreen and marked the season’s opening game for both schools within the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA).

Under the guidance of new head coach Brandon Burleson , the Cougars wasted no time making their presence known, seizing control of the field from the kick-off. The electrifying performance left fans on the edge of their seats as the Cougars continuously executed plays with precision and determination, while the Warriors struggled to keep up.

“I am really proud of the guys,” Burleson said after the game. “They showed up early and although we kind of got off to a little bit of a slower start than we anticipated, it picked up very quickly.”

During the first quarter, Brayden Moore’s impressive return put the Cougars at an advantageous first-and-10 on the Warrior’s 25-yard line. In a skillful play, Moore connected with Jake Lawrence, resulting in the game’s first touchdown. Lawrence followed that up with a successful two-point conversion, propelling the Cougars to an early 8-0 lead.

The Cougars maintained their iron grip on the field as the game progressed. With just 28 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Crenshaw Christian’s defense intercepted a pass, setting the stage for a rapid 76-yard advance in just 21 seconds. The drive culminated in another touchdown; this time credited to Drake Mills. A perfectly executed two-point conversion further solidified the Cougars’ dominance, closing the first quarter with an impressive 28-0 lead.

“We ran plays that got us into situations that we could score when we had the opportunities,”Burleson said. “After watching the film, we found a couple of mistakes that we are going to clean up before next week.” 

The third quarter saw no respite for the struggling Warriors as the clock ticked down. With nine minutes and 43 seconds left, the Cougars added to their growing lead, stretching it to a formidable 35-0. The fourth quarter brought no relief to the Warriors’ plight, as the Cougars continued their unrelenting assault. With 11 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock, the score soared to 41-0, leaving the Warriors still without a response.

A show of sportsmanship punctuated the final moments of the game as the Cougars opted to take a knee, allowing the clock to wind down. With 28 seconds left on the play clock and only 42 seconds left on the game clock, the Cougars’ 48-0 triumph stood as a testament to their skill, teamwork and determination.

“Overall, I am extremely proud of all the guys and of the junior and senior leadership,”Burleson said. “They really stepped up and had everyone ready to go. It was a pretty special thing to be part of this big win as the new coach and I thank the team and the coaching staff for their immense dedication and for, together, working so hard.”

The Cougars are set to face off against Abbeville next week at home.