DAPHNE, Ala.—Bayside Academy reeled off seven touchdowns and a 23-yard field goal in the first three quarters to take a 51-21, 3A Region 1, home win at Freedom Field in Daphne over visiting Excel Friday night. The Admirals improved to 1-1 overall …
DAPHNE, Ala.—Bayside Academy reeled off seven touchdowns and a 23-yard field goal in the first three quarters to take a 51-21, 3A Region 1, home win at Freedom Field in Daphne over visiting Excel Friday night. The Admirals improved to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in region play.
The Panthers scored first on the game’s opening drive. Excel’s Quamie Penn threw to Rayford Dale for a 65-yard air-mail touchdown on a reverse-pass and Axlerod Avalos added the point-after kick for the early 7-0 EHS lead.
But the trick play would be the Panther varsity’s only score while the game was in reach as the Bayside defense tightened up and the Admiral offense cut loose. Bayside answered with a 60-yard first-possession drive capped by a 3-yard Tripp-Puckett touchdown run and a Colin Douglas extra point to tie the game with less than four minutes off the first-quarter clock. It was all Admirals all night the rest of the way.
“We went to sleep on that first series, but that reverse pass definitely woke us up,” said Bayside head coach Phil Lasseter. “But we came back on offense and scored and reset, then our defense made a good stand down there for us and that kind of set the tone the rest of the way. We moved the ball well. Didn’t have to throw it a lot but when we did it went well. Hunter and Greg Wallace both played well and Tripp and Zach (Dyas) and then Landon Lasseter was big for us tonight on the returns and from the backfield.
“And our defense looked real good, so I’m very proud of both offense and defense and special teams. We played very aggressive football in all phases. Our kicker, Colin, had a good night. Kicks it deep and that always helps a lot. Now we just have to get everybody ready for Opp next week and that will tell us a lot about where we are as a football team.”
Excel was forced to punt on their next drive and Greg Wallace returned the ball to the Panther 30. A 17-yard carry by Landon Lasseter and a Hunter Slater-to-Wallace pass took the Admirals to the EHS six, but the Panthers held to force a Douglas field-goal from the 13 to make it 10-7.
A big stop by Bayside’s Will Fleming on a 4th-and-3 at the Admiral 15 turned the ball over on downs and Slater and company went 85 yards in seven plays to make it a 17-7 Admiral lead on Zach Dyas’ early second quarter TD run from the three. The score was set up on a 40-yard Slater to Wallace pass play. The two later connected for a 44-yard gain on the next Bayside series.
That second big gain followed a kick-off fumble recovery by Dylan Kemper at the Excel 48. Wallace’s second big-gain catch set up a Bayside TD run from the five for Lasseter who then scored on the next Admiral possession from 11-yards out. That made it 30-7.
A sack of Panther quarterback John Hudson by Bayside’s Austin Chastang and Garrett Palesano was followed by a blocked punt by McCain Arnold which gave Bayside good field position at the Panther 29. Slater then picked up 28 yards on a keeper and Arnold swept in for the one-yard TD. With the Douglas PAT, the Admirals held a 37-7 halftime lead.
Bayside added two more bang-bang touchdowns in the third quarter. Lasseter returned the second-half kickoff to the Panther 11 and Puckett scored on a third and goal from the four. On the next EHS series, Chris Johnson scooped up an Excel fumble and returned 57 yards for the final Bayside score with 5:10 remaining in the third period.
EHS scored twice in the fourth quarter to trim the margin to the final score. Bayside’s backups made several first downs in the later minutes with freshmen Jared Yenewine and Connor Sirmon making multiple big gains. Sirmon also made key tackles from his inside linebacker position.
Bayside will host 3A’s No. 11-ranked Opp next while Excel will host Region 1 powerhouse T. R. Miller.