While Syracuse is having some issues at their quarterback position, their quarterback commitment, A.J. Long, was putting on a show in a highly exciting contest on Friday. He threw for nearly 150-yards and ran for almost 200 more, adding five touchdowns to his stat line.
Friendship Christian needed every bit of Long's production as they pulled a last second victory in a back and forth game.
"We won 52-49 on the very last play of the game," Long said. "It was a 13-yard touchdown pass from me to my other senior receiver. It was a crazy game. We went into halftime up 24-21. They came out and on their first offensive play, take the ball 75-yards for a touchdown. We go three and out. They get the ball and on the same exact play, go 69-yards to the house. To start the third quarter and be down 35-24 before you could blink an eye. It was like, ‘alright now we've got to get the ball rolling again.'
"After that we scored on the next possession. They went and scored again to make it 42-31. Then we come back and scored on the next drive then stopped them. We got the ball on our 10 but got pushed back to the 5 after a penalty. They gave me the ball, and I ended up spinning out of the middle, going to the left and taking it 95-yards all the way back across the field to give us a 45-42 lead.
"They got the ball back and scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass," Long continued. "We got the ball back with maybe 45-seconds to go on our own 40. We completed three fourth down conversions. The last play of the game was a fourth down, so we were either going to score or that was the game. I threw the touchdown pass and our team's confidence is through the roof."
The game winning touchdown was actually a busted play, where Long trusted his receiver would come down with the ball. He did and Friendship Christian escaped with a win.
"The play was called trips left tight, post wheel seam," Long said. "I was supposed to have my tight end run a seam route. Well my tight end lines up on the wrong side of the formation. That causes me to have one less receiver than I should. I told my line, ‘give me time and we'll win this game.' Well they gave me time and my outside receiver, who's probably my best receiver, they blanketed him. They had the corner and the safety on him, which left one on one coverage with number two receiver.
"I threw it up to him. After that, I don't even know because I fell down. My leg just gave out on my and I was laying on the ground. The crowd went into an uproar and I looked over to see him running around on the field. The whole play was a busted play that turned out to be great because we almost lost five yards on a delay of game penalty."
Coming up this week, Long is hoping that things are not quite as suspenseful.
"We have Fayetteville," Long said. "This is the first time I've ever heard of them. It should be a good game. Not like this last week but still good. So we'll see."
With the win, Friendship Christian is in a good spot to make the playoffs in order to make a run at the state championship.
"Right now we're seeded second in our division," Long said. "We'll play these two games, and after we win these next two, we'll have a home playoff game. Then we'll go on the road for the next two."
Leading his team to victory wasn't the only thing Long did over the weekend. He also watched his future teammates struggled against Georgia Tech. He believes, however, the future is still bright.
"Even against Georgia Tech, they aren't overflowing with talent," Long said. "It's just a lot of athletic kids and an offensive system that works for them. Nobody's really concerned about Syracuse. All the commits, that just makes us want to get there more.
"Talking to Rodney (Williams), Aaron (Roberts) and Ziggy (Zaire Franklin), Jason too. We just all want to get to Syracuse more to prove to everybody that this is not going to happen in the future. This is not the type of team we're going to have."