It wasn't a win, but it was a start.
Calvary Christian came up short in its bid for revenge against Loganville Christian, losing 19-7 on Friday at Britt David Park.
The loss was difficult to take for the Knights (0-1), but it still gave them plenty of reason for optimism. In this game a year ago, they fell behind 38-0 at the half, ultimately losing 41-8.
What a difference a year made.
"It's a start," coach Brian Osborne said after the game. "It's a testament to how hard these kids have been working in the weight room and in practice. We came in feeling like this game would be a good gauge to our progress, and we've definitely come a long way."
It didn't start out that way, however.
On the Lions' (1-0) first drive of the game, it appeared it would be more of the same when Jantsen Brinkley brought the opening kickoff to the Calvary 44-yard line. Running back Matthew Lype followed that with a 29-yard run to set up the Lions inside the Knights' 20-yard line.
The Knights stiffened to force a fourth down, but Lions quarterback Zac Snowden finished the job with a 14-yard pass to Lype to give his team a 7-0 lead. Lype led the Lions' attack on the ground with 129 yards.
It was the first of many times that the Knights forced third or fourth down and failed to hold the Lions.
"Defensively, I thought we did a great job," Osborne said. "What we need to work on now is finishing when we get the opposing offense backed up like that.
"We let them convert too many times."
But the Knights responded well following the early score. The Lions didn't sniff the end zone again until midway through the third quarter when Snowden connected for another touchdown pass, this time to Josh Owen. The Knights blocked the extra point, a potentially big play at the time.
Overall, Snowden finished 7 of 15 passing for 145 yards and two scores. Owen was his main target, snagging four balls for 118 yards to go with his touchdown.
But the Knights' offense, while quiet for the majority of the game, found life late in the third quarter.
Osborne said that his goal on offense was to run, run and run some more until his team could catch the defense creeping.
That's exactly what the Knights did, when Jacob Ammons found Joshua Mixon down the right sideline. Mixon caught it, took five steps and dove into the end zone to complete a 35-yard scoring strike, cutting the Lions lead to 13-7.
Ammons said after the game that plays like that, and the game as whole, serve to give his team confidence.
"We're more confident now," he said.
Ammons finished 3 of 7 for 44 yards to go with his touchdown, and the Knights were led by Duncan Newton (55 yards) and Justin Moss (35 yards) on the ground.
Overall, the Lions outgained the Knights 332 to 174.
The Knights didn't score again, and another touchdown run for the Lions, this time by Tyler Browning, put the game out of reach.
David Mitchell, 706-571-8571
Friday at Britt David Park
Loganville 7 0 6 6--19
Calvary 0 0 7 0--7
L--Lype 14 pass from Snowden (Gilleland kick), 10:31
L--Owen 17 pass from Snowden (kick blocked), 6:48
C--Mixon 35 pass from Ammons (Walker kick), 1:42
L--Browning 7 run (kick failed), 7:19
Team records: Loganville Christian 1-0, Calvary Christian 0-1. Next: Loganville Christian, Friday vs. Community Christian; Calvary Christian, Sept. 1 at Horizon Christian.