The North Central Texas Academy Pioneers continued their turnaround from a slow start, opening the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Six-Man Division II playoffs with a 54-8 thumping of Longview Trinity Friday in Rockwall.
The game was called in the third quarter because of six-man football’s 45-point mercy rule.
NCTA (7-4) won for a fifth straight game following a 2-4 start to the season. The Pioneers will next face Lubbock Kingdom Prep (7-4) Saturday at 2 p.m. at Robert Lee High School. The Warriors also bring a five-game winning streak into the contest.
“We played well on both sides of the ball. Defensively, other than the first series, we played lights out,” said NCTA head coach Kirby Rasco. “I believe they got one first down after that first drive that they scored on.
“Elias played like an all stater should last night. He has really started playing head and shoulders above our opponents the last two weeks.”
Demissie posted a game-high 9.5 tackles, along with carrying the ball seven times for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns and catching a 22-yard pass.
“We are rotating more kids in on defense and it seems to really motivate our kids to step it up,” said Rasco. “They don’t want to be the person who lets our defense down so it has improved our defense greatly. Coach (Derek) Stevens has done a great job turning our defense around.”
Tyler Hoskins led the NCTA offense, rushing just 12 times for 174 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Jared Dodson also threw a pair of TDs to Cole Rasco and William Waymon.
“Offensively, Tyler had another outstanding game. He ran with the football the way a running back is supposed to,” said coach Rasco. “We got our center, William Wayman, back on the field and with him there, our offense really clicks.
“We seem to be gelling at the right time. Our running game has really taken the pressure off Jared and he continues to play like a veteran, although this is his first year playing solely at quarterback.
“I’m super proud of our whole team. The guys continue to work hard and we are excited about what lies before us and are up to the challenge.”
NCTA 54, LONGVIEW TRINITY 8
NCTA 22 24 8 – 54
LV Trinity 8 0 0 – 8
(Game called in third quarter because of six-man football’s 45-point mercy rule)
Rushing – Tyler Hoskins 12-174, 3 TDs; Elias Demissie 7-64, 2 TDs.
Passing – Jared Dodson 4-6, 87 yards, 2 TDs, 0 int.
Receiving – William Wayman 1-33, TD; Cole Rasco 2-32, TD; Demissie 1-22.
Tackles – Demissie 9.5, Drayton Williams 4.5, Matt Torres 4, Rasco 4, Cale Dodson 3.
Sack – Torres.
Fumble recovery – Williams.
Records – NCTA 7-4, Longview Trinity 4-7.