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Friendship Christian wins Class 2A football title

Commanders win second 2A crown with 44-7 triumph

12:00 AM, Dec. 01, 2012 EST

Friendship coach John McNeal told his team they had two choices -- come out hungry or complacent.

The Commanders chose hungry.

Offensive MVP Steven Hollis rushed for 161 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries, leading Friendship to its second straight Class 2A championship with a 44-7 win Saturday over Adamsville at Tennessee Tech's Tucker Stadium.

"I told the kids that since they won it last year they could say, 'We're good, nobody can beat us and you're going to lose,' " McNeal said. "Or you can be hungry about it and say, 'I want this.' We had a lot of kids that didn't play a lot in that game last year."

Hollis didn't play on offense in last year's win over Dresden, but the sophomore was the workhorse against Adamsville (12-2), getting 60 percent of the carries.

"My line, they blocked real good up front for me and they made big holes," Hollis said. "It's been that way all year long. All I've got to do is run behind them. They do all the work. I just get the ball and I run."

Commanders sophomore Austin Taylor added 87 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just five carries.

Friendship junior A.J. Long completed six of 14 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. The transfer from Pennsylvania has offers from UCLA, Syracuse and Arizona.

"Our offense is pretty much a three-headed monster," said Long, referring to Hollis, Taylor and himself. "And on top of that you have to worry about our receivers because those guys can move. And if they get behind you you're in trouble. This team is just great. They're phenomenal."

Friendship (13-1) built a 17-0 halftime lead, but John Reed Odom narrowed the deficit to 10 with a 73-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

Friendship took command after that, scoring four consecutive touchdowns during an 11-minute stretch. It was the first state final appearance for Adamsville.

Odom rushed for 112 yards and one touchdown on nine carries.

"I don't think we played our best game," said Odom, a quarterback/cornerback. "They did have a lot of weapons. Maybe we were a little over-anxious, first time here and stuff."



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