Commanders will host Nov. 13
LEBANON -- No doubt, Friendship Christian's John McNeal is a good football coach, but he may have a second career in weather forecasting.
After careful study and consulting the weather app on his phone, McNeal moved Friendship's first round playoff game up 24 hours with positive results.
FCS moved to 8-3 on the season and will host a second round DII-A playoff game after blanking Ezell-Harding 35-0 Thursday at Pirtle Field.
Moving the game up a day did little to impact the Commanders who scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters, before a third period touchdown enacted the running clock.
"Defensively, I felt like we were a little lackadaisical," said McNeal. "The last two weeks we've tried to shorten practice a little bit in order to get our legs back and that's on me. I just didn't see that fire."
Quarterback Mikey Jones accounted for four Commander scores, with TD runs of 11 and 61 yards, along with two "Utah-style" passes that went for 37 and 11 yards.
"The shuttle pass is a base part of our offense, not that we're in the I," McNeal said, "and the thing I like about it most, if we drop the ball, it's an incomplete pass."
Jones finished the night 4-of-7 for 61 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran six times for 98 yards.
Spencer Burge ran 11 times for 104 yards while Speedy Foutch added seven carries for 71 yards. Backup quarterbacks Caleb Farris and Braden Reece came off the bench to run for 25 and 23 yards respectively.
With the victory, the Commanders will host Harding Academy in a second round game Friday, Nov. 13.
Friendship 35, Ezell-Harding 0
FC - Mikey Jones 12 run. Will Burrus kick. 5:36 first qtr. Eight plays, 72 yards.
FC - Speedy Foutch 37 pass from Jones. Burrus kick. 00:13 first qtr. Five plays, 53 yards.
FC - Jones 61 run. Burrus kick. 7:35 second qtr. Three plays, 63 yards.
FC - Gage Bentley 11 pass from Jones. Burrus kick. 4:43 second qtr. Four plays, 58 yards.
FC - Spencer Burge 12 run. Burrus kick. 5:46 third qtr. Three plays, 76 yards.