MGA wins NCFA national championship
The game opened with the Knights kicking off and the Red Hawks driving down on a big pass play before getting stopped by the Knights and being forced to kick a field goal for an early 3-0 lead. The Knights took their opening drive and drove 46 yards for a touchdown on a Eric Forrest pass to Mark Hawkins, Jr (FR). for a 6-3 lead after the extra point was blocked. Both teams went 3-and-out the next two drives before the Red Hawks scored a touchdown to take a 10-6 lead. The Knight answered with a touchdown by DD Wright and took the lead back 13-10.
The second quarter saw more fireworks as the Red Hawks Ty Rus scored on a 1 yard touchdown run and a 17-13 lead. The Knights drove down and scored to take a 20-17 lead on a Forrest pass to Justin Simms (FR) that was just over the outreached hand of the Red Hawks 6’5″ safety. The Knights looked to take a lead to half however the Red Hawks thought differently and on a 3rd down tossed a ball up to their 6’8″ tight end who pulled down a 20 yard pass for a first down and gave the Red Hawks the opportunity to had the ball to Rus again who scored four plays later and with only 11 second remaining in the first half and after the extra point was blocked, the teams went to half with the Red Hawks leading 23-20.
The Knights and Red Hawks both played outstanding defense in the third quarter with neither team scoring and headed to the 4th with the Red Hawks still leading. Miami opened the 4th quarter with a field goal and took a 26-20 lead. The Knights answered two drives later with a touchdown pass from Forrest to Kevin Williams III (SO/Albany, Ga) to tie the game and after the extra point was blocked, the game was tied at 26.
The Knights defense stood tall and forced a punt and got the ball inside their own 20 with 3 minute to go and drove the length of the field capped off by a DD Wright 3 yard touchdown run and Dimitris Yokaris extra point to put the Knights up 33-26 with 53 seconds remaining. The Red Hawks threw two incomplete passes then got a 17 yard pass play for a first down. On first down CJ Dunnum batted away the pass and on 2nd down Mark Hawkins, Jr. dove over a sliding Red Hawks receiver to make the interception and preserve the win for the Knights who took a knee to end the game.
The Knights finish the season at 10-0 and will be ranked #1 in the final NCFA National Rankings due out this week. Eric Forrest threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers to earn the game MVP while DD Wright had two touchdown runs including the game winner with 53 seconds remaining.