Pace Academy Plays "Knights football" In Shutout Wins To Advance To The Elite 8
On Tuesday, the Georgia High School Association flag football state championship tournament got underway as rounds one and two were held by number one seeds. The Pace Academy Knights were one of the No. 1 seeds to host as Callaway, North Oconee and Towers, who face the host in a round one match up, all made their way to Pace’s home fields.
The Knights and Towers faced off in the first match of the day and both defenses came up with early stops on the opposing offense’s opening possession. However, on Towers second possession of the game, the Knights defensive intensity looked to be turning the heat up a bit as they forced the Titans to a three and out on a drive that saw Pace’s Ellie Carter making back to back solo flag pulls, including one for a sack.
After forcing Towers to punt, the Knights would get a begin return by Ansli Hennings, who would return to the five yard line of the Titans before being downed. Shortly after, Pace would get on the scoreboard thanks to a rushing touchdown by quarterback Harper Auchincloss. Though the Knights would fail on the extra point, they would take a 6-0 lead. On the ensuing Towers possession, the Titans would put together a solid drive that would see them reach Pace territory, but the Knights’ defense would come up with a stop and force the Titans to turn the ball over on downs.
The Knights would take possession with under a minute to go in the first half and Auchincloss would take a shot down field to Kaitlyn Souza, who made a leaping catch and would make her way into the end zone, however an offensive penalty would push the Knights back. Despite the penalty, the Knights kept their composure and a few plays late, Auchincloss would connect with Audrey Welch for a touchdown pass and with the extra point, Pace would take a 13-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
Pace would continue stingy defensive play throughout the second half while managing to put together a solid drive that would result in Auchincloss’ second rushing touchdown of the day. The Knights would go up 19-0 and win by that same score moving on to the second round, where they would go on to defeat North Oconee 15-0, as their defense once again kept their opponent out of the end zone for the day. “Playing disciplined, pulling flags, watching the ball in, playing Pace Knights football,” Pace head coach, Ty Johnson said would be key for the Knights to continue to be successful throughout the postseason.
Pace will host Calvary Day on Thursday in the Elite 8 round of the playoffs, a rematch from the 2021 playoffs in which Calvary Day eliminated the Knights in the Elite 8 round of the playoffs.