ALBANY -- Sherwood Christian Academy head coach Reggie Mitchell said his team's defense made a promise that they would come out and give a high-quality performance in their game against Trinity Christian School.
They did just that -- and more -- Friday night as Darren Atkins and the rest of the Eagles' defense made a number of key plays that led to Sherwood narrowly escaping with 7-6 win over the Crusaders.
"It was a hard game and we just had to keep fighting and fighting," Atkins said. "You couldn't slow down out there because (Trinity) played a good game."
Atkins had a game-high two sacks and the key block on the extra-point attempt that allowed the Eagles to preserve their slim lead after giving up a late touchdown to Trinity.
Offensively for Sherwood, senior quarterback Terrance Burnette completed 9 of 17 passes for 116 yard -- the bulk of which came on a 36 yard pass to Mack Green for the only Sherwood score of the game. The other part of the Sherwood offensive attack came from RB Phillip English, who rushed for a game-high 71 yards on 17 attempts.
"(Sherwood) played well and were well coached," Trinity coach Buddy Woodard said.
With the win by Sherwood, both teams have identical 3-2 records at this point in the season.
"It was a game we needed," Mitchell said. "We needed to see how our guys would respond when it's crunch time."
Both teams were scoreless after the first quarter, with Trinity having missed on a 40-yard field goal attempt and had another attempt from 26 yards out stopped after a botched snap. In the second quarter, both teams turned to the air as each sustained long drives.
With Atkins at the front, Sherwood was able to make two red zone stops on Trinity, giving its offense a chance to go ahead, 7-0, when Burnette found Green on a slant as Green did the rest to get into the end zone.
But things got tight for Sherwood late in the third when Trinity's Chris Hobbs found Mathew Weigal for a 20-yard score, but Atkins was able to bail the entire team out with the block on the point after attempt.
Late in the fourth with Trinity threatening for a late score, English intercepted a down-field pass attempt by Hobbs to seal the win for Sherwood.