Class A private championship: Aquinas 27, Calvary Day 7

Aquinas captured the first football state championship in school history by taking advantage of its limited scoring opportunities while preventing Calvary Day from doing the same.

Liam Welch threw two touchdown passes to Daniel Lindsey, and Ruben Garnett rushed for 111 and a touchdown to lead the Fighting Irish to a 27-7 victory over Calvary Day in the Class A private-school final Friday at the Georgia Dome.

The victory capped an undefeated season for third-seeded Aquinas (14-0) and its first-year coach, 26-year-old James Leonard, whose grandfather, Denny Leonard, was Aquinas’ first coach in 1957.

“It means everything to the school,” Leonard said. “We’ve never had one. We’ve never even been the region champions before this year. It’s the biggest deal ever, we’re very excited about it, and we’re going to keep building on it.”

The loss snapped a school-record 11-game winning streak by fourth-seeded Calvary Day (11-3), The 11 wins were the most in a season in school history.

Aquinas finished the game with less yardage (328-274) and time of possession (25:32 to 22:18) but took control in the third quarter despite running just eight offensive plays in the period. The key came midway through the quarter when an interception by Antonio Clark gave the Fighting Irish the ball at the Calvary Day 42. On the next play, Welch teamed up with Lindsey for their second touchdown and a 21-7 lead. John Morris scored on a 33-yard run with 7:40 to play in the game to put it away. Welch, a sophomore, finished 9-of-12 passing for 132 yards.

Fourth-seeded Calvary Day got inside the Aquinas 20-yard line four times but scored just once, on a 16-yard run by Robert Heyward that gave the Cavaliers their only lead with 3:43 to play in the first quarter. The Cavaliers turned the ball over on downs on their other three trips deep into Aquinas territory.

“The defense played big tonight,” Leonard said. “We knew going in we were going to have to stop a very good offense.”

Calvary Day dominated early but led just 7-0 despite outgaining the Fighting Irish 125-5 in the first quarter. Heyward’s touchdown run capped a seven-play, 51-yard drive and was set by Tyrone Riley’s blocked punt that gave the Cavaliers the ball at their 49-yard line.

Calvary Day had a chance to add to the lead on its next possession, driving from its 41 to the Aquinas 11. The Cavaliers came out to attempt a field goal from there on fourth-and-6, but a 5-yard penalty moved it back to the 16. Calvary Day decided to go for the first down, but Michael Peterson’s pass was incomplete and the Cavaliers turned it over on downs.

Heyward was the game’s leading rusher with 154 yards on 27 carries. Peterson was 16-of-38 passing for 173 yards, giving him 3,170 for the season. He was intercepted three times.

“We’ve been down a lot this year, and we know we’re not going to stop fighting,” Leonard said. “You don’t have to say a whole lot to them, maybe just scream a little bit and they’ll get their engine going.”

Calvary Day – 7-0-0-0 – 7

Aquinas – 0-14-7-6 – 27

C – Robert Heyward 16 run (Dan Hatch kick)

A – Ruben Garnett 37 run (Justin Thompson kick)

A – Daniel Lindsey 12 pass from Liam Welch (Thompson kick)

A – Lindsey 42 pass from Welch (Thompson kick)

A – John Morris 33 run (kick failed)

47 comments Add your comment

CSRA706

December 13th, 2013
6:20 pm

Just finished the Cake Walk, now Everbody Eats!!!!!

Max Sizemore

December 13th, 2013
6:45 pm

So did Calvary stop running early? They ran the ball well, then started throwing unsuccessfully, lost their momentum, then got whipped. Good job in the secondary by Aquinas.

Max Sizemore

December 13th, 2013
6:45 pm

So WHY did Calvary stop running . . .

Luvit

December 13th, 2013
6:49 pm

@csra706 kick my ass you idiot you are no class loser no matter how those kids played congrats to the team but you can bite me

hit a single

December 13th, 2013
6:53 pm

Just curious where the officiating crew was from? Thought they did a good job and had alot of close calls and tough calls on many passes. Not blaming the officials because Aquinas was the more physical team and played a heck of alot harder,

police911

December 13th, 2013
7:11 pm

This is a HIGH SCHOOL F@@TB@LL GAME! Right?

RG 1

December 13th, 2013
8:53 pm

Aquinas was clearly the most dominant and physical team, eventhough they were outsized. The scarey thing is: Most of their key players are returning next season.

proud

December 13th, 2013
10:26 pm

Way to go Aquinas…QB and RB back nest year…can you say back to back.

Calvary Cavs Fan

December 13th, 2013
10:34 pm

Hats off to Aquinas. They were the better team today. Calvary didn’t stop running. QB was holding onto the ball too long and sacks began to mount.
Shout out to the Aquinas fans who were gracious in their celebration. Great drumline from Aquinas. In closing, UGA needs to contact that Aquinas PK/FG kicker

Sportsnut

December 13th, 2013
11:32 pm

Congrats to Aquinas for winning the State Title. Very well done.

Sam Roney

December 14th, 2013
12:51 am

Well, we think we beat a pretty good Cavalry team. Luvit, I don’t know what your beef is, as CSRA is doing nothing but posting happy comments about the win.,He said nothing uncharitable about Calvary at all. Probably a misprint where you invited him to
“kick your ass”, because he probably could. Calvary was gracious in defeat, and can
hold their heads high after beating the vaunted ELCA team last week.
Notice things are quiet with the Swamp Lizard..Another prediction missed by you Swamp man. Guess your system that taught you so much more than the rest of us
(in your mind) let you down again. I don’t think you need voice any more Reg. 5 SEC
comments, do you? (Course, I’m sure you will have more alibis for us…Or, resort to
calling us names again, like you did before, which only makes you look like the sore loser you are, and I say that because lately, you are only able to call me and others,
a “dumbass”, which only serves to make you look poor. As to the rest, there was a lot of good competition. We managed to win it with hard play. We beat a lot of very good teams in the playoffs. We think we deserved it, but hats off to the good sportsmanship
we saw from Calvary, Mt. Pisgah, Mt. Paran. Some of these programs will obviously be back next season. We look forward to seeing some of you on here next year.

Sam Roney

December 14th, 2013
12:56 am

Oh, and Thomas C., your predictions weren’t up to par either, were they?

Middle Lion Backer

December 14th, 2013
1:24 am

#34 on aquinas line backer was outstanding! Kid hustled all night.

The Dogfather

December 14th, 2013
7:52 am

Middle I think you mean 24 -John Morris-probably one of the most under-rated player in Georgia -but has the biggest heart . Calvary has so many d-1 prospects.They had Aquinas mis-matched at so many skilled positions. To reach the state finals -both teams-All players-You should all be commended for all the hard work,sweat,blood,time and toll. Congrats to All players for a great year. no head should be hanging. Now -T. Colman–sounds like you might have angered some irish folk with your predictions–all jobs have a tough side- but you can redeem yourself by educating yourself on the Aquinas basketball . I can help you here–pick the IRISH.

Calvary Cavs Fan

December 14th, 2013
8:49 am

Refs called a good game. Very few penalties and certainly no big ones. Both teams had issues early with the 25-sec play clock. They were near both goal post and the qbs didn’t pay attention to them.

We built this

December 14th, 2013
9:14 am

34, 47 and 24 all played great games as well as the D-Line, 54 was a beast early on as well as 82. Cavalry had to adjust to block them and that freed up the linebackers. It should be recognized that the Aquinas DB’s played great also. #1 ran for 110 yards and had to cover 81 who had him by 80 lbs and 10 inches. 23, 5 and 4 were also outstanding. Great defensive effort. Great Defensive schemes by the coaches as well. Congratulations to Aquinas, its players, coaches and fans.

football fan

December 14th, 2013
9:19 am

@ Sam Roney have you guys started recruiting for next years team yet.

Mitch Cumstein

December 14th, 2013
9:26 am

I watched from the dome yesterday as my alma mater defeated a tremendous team in Calvary Day. I certainly thought they’d take the game after in the first quarter Aquinas was flat. Those boys woke up and played the way they were coached. James Leonard should be considered one of the top coaches in the state, particularly since he dominated his schedule after losing tons of talent from last year.

Mitch Cumstein

December 14th, 2013
9:30 am

Oh, and the Thompson kid is definately D-1 material. he was nailing field goals from the 40 yd line during warmups with plenty of room to spare. I’d be shocked if he weighs 125 lbs.
Richt was impressed by what he saw. Expect an offer asap

Smokey

December 14th, 2013
10:04 am

I saw on TV that CMR was there at the game. I wonder if anyone in particular caught his eye.

CarolJTaylor

December 14th, 2013
10:37 am

Enter your comments heremy best friend’s step-sister makes $67 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her income was $20512 just working on the laptop for a few hours. have a peek at this web-site http://www.tec70.com

CarolJ

December 14th, 2013
11:47 am

You must have gone to public school. 20,512 last month at $67.00 an hour is 306 hours for the month or if you work 20 days a month, 15 hours a day. Doesn’t seem like a “few hours”

Rabiddawg1

December 14th, 2013
12:26 pm

Football fan,,,,, come on now, let’s not start that…. I’m sure not all those D1 size receivers on Calvary grew up dreaming of wearing the purple and gold….

ARC_Alum

December 14th, 2013
2:06 pm

Augusta here, and I remember back in the day when what is now Aquinas was Boys Catholic High of Augusta. As a student (at the time) at Richmond Academy, I hated the Irish, even though they really weren’t very good back then. I have to say though, that I am proud as hell of them for winning the state championship. GO IRISH !!!

Go Irish

December 14th, 2013
3:39 pm

Aquinas’ kicker will most likely get offers, but he still has a couple years left IIRC. So does the QB.

That said, Calvary has some outstanding players as well.

Augusta68

December 14th, 2013
3:49 pm

Having a good kicker is very important in high school football. The stops that Aquinas made the last two games inside the red zone gave them tremendous momentum. If either team had a decent kicker who knows what would have happened. By the way, Aquinas’s Justin Thompson was 12 for 13 in FGs this year with half (6) of them coming from 40 yds and beyond. Certainly a nice weapon….While Aquinas never didn’t win with Brendan Douglas, his impact was certainly felt on this years teams. His tremendous work ethic and great toughness certainly rubbed off on players like 47, 24, 34, who didn’t have the great athletic ability coming into Aquinas, but working hard in the weight room and on the practice field have made them great Class A high school football players.

jewell jenkins

December 14th, 2013
4:32 pm

I go to calvary day school and I believe that our team could have done better but I’m also proud of them because this is the first time they made it this far and there’s no reason to stop now GO CAVALIERS! and also Aquinas u did pretty good yourself to congratulations.

Sam Roney

December 14th, 2013
4:43 pm

Football Fan…You keep alleging that (recruiting)…So, I don’t expect you to suddenly smarten up, but for the record, all of Aquinas’ players are totally home-grown, and have been there since the 9th grade..No one likely would recruit 8th graders. Most of
ours came up through the St. Mary’s grade school feeder, which is only blocks from
Aquinas. Reuben Garnett’s mother has been a teacher at nearby Glenn Hills High for
a good while. Only one moving in here that I am aware of was safety Nash Bennett, who moved here from Florida to live with his grandfather. We sure wouldn’t have any
system to recruit out of Florida. Brenden Douglas of last year’s fame and this year at
UGA, is one of I think eight kids raised a few blocks from Aquinas. His older brother
John Douglas, a good Irish player of a few years back, was also home-grown a few
blocks from school. He went on to play at Auburn and GA. Southern, where he was a
star on defense for two years. We have another Douglas coming up to the 9th grade
this coming year..Home grown similarly. You should get your facts straight when you
make allegations without any facts. Scholarships are not illegal, but Aquinas does not
have the money for that so far. Maybe you have a smart idea how to do that without any money? I think you have us confused with some others.

We built that

December 14th, 2013
6:28 pm

If anyone thinks Aquinas has money go back and look at those 4 year old jerseys they wear! Then compare that to what the publics wear. Oh, and just this year had lights for their field.

CSRA706

December 15th, 2013
5:41 am

@luvit, don’t be mad cause I stand behind my words, I said it before our first playoff game and I am gonna say after, is it my fault you all choose not to take notes, but you all watched the game be it live, on t.v., or online, and saw what it was so, enough said, don’t get confused I am not taking nothing from Calvary unlike you and I they were on the field, my comments are for the folks on this thread and I will continue to rub ur faces in it as long as we over here at Aquinas and region 7 Reign Supreme!!!!

JAB

December 15th, 2013
9:53 am

CONGRATULATION TO BOTH TEAMS ON A WELL PLAYED GAME, HAVE A GOOD SAFE OFF SEASON, AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS! GOD BLESS…

Really

December 15th, 2013
12:22 pm

Holiday wish….that CSRA706 and Sam Roney learn how to be good sports and they earn GRE this year and finally graduate from high school.

Augusta68

December 15th, 2013
3:06 pm

I guess Aquinas’s championship performance has left the Swamp Lizard speechless…Calvary Day ended up being a good match up for the Aquinas’s defense, as Aquinas has a great secondary, but has struggled against good running teams.

Sam Roney

December 15th, 2013
3:08 pm

Is that right, “Really”? I’ve been a good sport all the way through this. There is nothing wrong with taking up for your team, and pointing out their superlatives. I have never failed to point out that our opponents were all good teams, and that all exemplified good sportsmanship…So take your “holiday wish” (it’s Christmas with us), and what-
ever your “GRE” is supposed to mean, and shove it (U know where). I expect my grade point average in high school
and college exceeded yours, based on what I see here. I don’t hide behind any name
do I? There’s nothing wrong with usernames, unless you hide behind them to call folks
names.

CSRA706

December 15th, 2013
6:57 pm

@All, Me and Mr. Rooney have taken the high road all year after continuos insults, but im not talking to any kids just those wanna be Class A experts whom were blowing hot air all year and those region 5 folks, better luck next year!!!!!

Go Irish

December 15th, 2013
7:41 pm

Some folks obviously haven’t learned that one should never pass up a perfectly good opportunity to keep their “mouth” shut.

football fan

December 16th, 2013
5:08 am

Seem to remember Sam Roney calling out elca on recruiting. So as you say back it up with proof. If you can not then you can shove it.

football fan

December 16th, 2013
9:15 am

Aquinas got in early recruiting in atlanta. Hope they got some to sign up early.

football fan

December 16th, 2013
9:20 am

If anyone thinks Aquinas has money go back and look at those 4 year old jerseys they wear! Then compare that to what the publics wear. Oh, and just this year had lights for their field. That is why they pay top dollar to their players

luvit

December 16th, 2013
9:33 am

@ Sam Roney ..You now join the other idiot in thinking that finished the cake walk is the way to celebrate a great season. Aquinas whooped the Cavs good and they deserve the trophy and praise. As for kick my ass it was to be kiss but I’m a full grown man (@49 years old) not a little boy so threating folks isn’t my style..Great Season for the Aquinas football team and keep posting so everyone can see just who you are…

Camden 2013

December 16th, 2013
11:55 am

Next year it will be Prince Avenue….Jeff Herron will have his team primed…..

Swamp Lizard

December 16th, 2013
11:59 am

@ CSRA706 & Augusta 68 …… congrats on the win and bringing home the State Championship. I know how happy all of you are. Aquinas played a great game !! I will be the first to admit I had my doubts about Aquinas coming into the playoffs ….. the schedule they played ( according to Maxwell ) being one of the weakest in all of Class A, but they took care of business one game at a time and deserve all credit as State Champs.

Swamp Lizard

December 16th, 2013
12:08 pm

@ Sam Roney ….. First off, I’m happy for Aquinas players, coaches and fans for taking care of business week in and week out and winning the State Chmapionship. Second, I never once made a “prediction” on the Calvary Day / Aquinas game . Right now today I KNOW who the best team in Class A is …. I don’t need your “football knowledge” to tell me that. As I’ve stated before, I have forgot more football than you will ever know ( anyone can see that ) ….. You were a “Dumbass” yesterday, you are one today , and you will be one tomorrow.

Sam Roney

December 16th, 2013
2:23 pm

That’s good Swamp Man. I’m glad to see you still alive on here..Probably reading over your ELCA
programs, and wondering where all your predictions went wrong. I repeat..When you need to resort to calling people names to make your points, it only shows further that you knew very little as to what
you were talking about. If you want to call me a “dumbass” I’ll let that lay without calling you a name, because I don’t wish to lower myself top your level..”Swamp Lizard” appears to fit you well enough.
Football Fan..Look it up, I only stated I had seen some on here earlier alleging recruiting to ELCA. I
never said they were doing so….Dogfather, #24 John Morris deserves any accolades he got, but wanted to mention that #34 Griffin Scott was very strong in the middle as well also….Glad you cleared that up Luvit..Actually, I liked the majority of your posts. Didn’t only on the rare occasions that you strayed into calling people names. Look forward to seeing you on here next year. The only one I don’t care for on here was Swamp Lizard..He got what was due him.

S. Thomas Coleman

December 16th, 2013
2:27 pm

All: The final football blog of the year is now up. Read it and weep … and then comment!

STC

Sam Roney

December 16th, 2013
10:32 pm

Okay, S. Thomas C…I did enjoy your blog, even though you picked against us(Aquinas)…Lot of fun on here with most that were on…Who does your son play for?
And what year is he? I sort of assumed ELCA, but wasn’t sure..

football fan

December 17th, 2013
5:24 am

@ Sam Roney guess you were not on blog all year. His son plays for OLM. You be wrong again.