The ACA Patriots defeated the Sipsey Valley Bears 51-29. Kai Young led the Patriots with 23-32 passing for 317 yards and four total touchdowns (three passing and one running). Along with him were wide receivers Bubba Lester (116 yards and a touchdown), Davis Dare (111 yards and a touchdown), and running back Jackson Willingham (140 yards and a rushing touchdown).

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The Bears were led by quarterback LJ Cormier, who finished with 411 yards passing and 57 yards rushing. Cormier was helped by wide receiver Wyatt Bailey, who had two touchdowns and more than 100 yards.

Whether it was on the ground or in the air, ACA was in command of the offense. The Patriots offensive line was terrific, allowing their quarterback to see the field while aiding Willingham on his monster rushing night.

Young scored the first two touchdowns for the Patriots. The first score was a 20-yard pass to Lester, then a three-yard rushing touchdown.

Young to Dare's 48-yard touchdown was one of the game's top plays. Dare had to catch the ball after it was deflected by a Sipsey Valley defender.

Sipsey Valley got on the board at the hands of Bailey on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cormier.

The Bears were beginning to gather momentum to reduce their deficit, but it was lost on their ensuing possession. Linebacker Myles "Cooper" Dempsey skillfully intercepted the quick pass from Cormier and returned it for a touchdown. The quarterback and receiver appeared to have miscommunicated as the play was being drawn up, which resulted in the game-changing play.

Sipsey Valley would score again before going into halftime thanks to Bailey and his 45-yard touchdown.

A fourth-down effort by ACA in the second half was unsuccessful, which was exactly what the Bears wanted to do to start the half. Cormier completed three passes in a row to get his team into the red zone and give the Bears the boost they required.

Unfortunately, the drive was cut short by another pick-six, this time by ACA's Eric Hines, who ran 85 yards in the end zone. That seemed like the game's backbreaker.

"It was a big play by Eric right there, just being attentive and ready," ACA head coach Cody Martin said. "We practice returning interceptions for touchdowns for that exact reason. I am just proud of those guys for being in the right spots."

A few more possessions later, Young would finish his night as he connected with Cade Durrett on a 15-yard touchdown pass.

Sipsey Valley scored twice in the fourth quarter to try to salvage the game. Cormier connected with Ashten Long on a 22-yard touchdown pass, and Ayden Abernathy scored on a three-yard run.

Willingham put the game out of reach with a 50-yard touchdown run to seal the victory for ACA.

"It was awesome tonight," Martin said. "Two defensive touchdowns were great, the offensive line blocked great, and I thought we executed well."

Jackson Willingham had a fantastic night tonight, rushing for 140 yards, and this game was a testament to his journey since coming back from injury last season.

"Well, my journey has been long," Willingham said. "I've been hurt a lot and I thank Jesus Christ for helping me on that, and everyone has been praying and helping me out about it."

"He did great tonight," Martin said. "He was out all last year with an injury. The offensive line blocked great, and he runs hard, and he's a hard-nosed kid. That guy really wanted to put the team on his back."

ACA vs Sipsey Valley

Gallery Credit: Susan Dickinson

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