Strawberry Crest’s defense had four words for the King Lions on Friday night: “Not in our house.”
The Chargers’ stop unit stole the show in their home opener, a 7-6 win over King that sent Crest into its bye week on a high note.
It took a little while for the Crest defense to find its footing, as King had success handing the ball off to JaQuon Edwards and Darius Tolbert on the game’s first drive. Edwards and Tolbert traded touches and moved the chains — also with help from some penalties against Crest — until Edwards’ 23-yard touchdown run ended the drive. But it wasn’t long before momentum swung the Chargers’ way, as they were able to block the PAT attempt and set the score at 6-0.
Crest’s offense wasn’t able to get going at first, but Hasan Sharrieff’s first of two picks with 3:13 left in the first quarter set the Chargers up for a scoring drive that bled into the second quarter. Quarterback Makenzie Kennedy broke off several big runs to put his team within striking distance and Andre James-Williams punched in a one-yard touchdown at the 11:16 mark. With a good PAT, the Chargers took control and never let up.
King got deep into Crest territory several times during the rest of the game, even running a sweep left for a touchdown called back by an offensive holding penalty. Besides that one instance, the Chargers were rock solid. The defensive backs, specifically Sharrieff and Cody Newman, were able to break up many of the passes freshman quarterback Carson Mohler fired off. Down in the front seven, Josh Young and Adam Ibarra flew all over the field to make solo plays and help their teammates. Jake Craig scooped up a fumble for Crest in the third quarter and Sharrieff picked Mohler off a second time with 36 seconds left in the game, effectively ending it.
The Chargers now have two weeks to prepare for their upcoming game against Tampa Bay Tech.