Academy defeats rival in homecoming game

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After breaking his finger during a game against Sheridan, The Academy quarterback Joey Ray was unable to compete in the homecoming game against Pinnacle Sept. 28 at North Stadium. But it didn’t matter, because his replacement helped the team to a much-needed triumph.

Junior Devan Caswell, who usually plays running back, stepped up on the Wildcats’ homecoming day, scoring two touchdowns and one two-point conversion, assisting his team to a close 32-29 victory.

“He did a great job for us,” Academy head coach Park Vogel said. “He’s young; it was his first time playing quarterback so I thought he did a pretty good job.”

Pinnacle didn’t make the defeat easy for The Academy. The Timberwolves were on the Wildcats’ back the whole way.

Caswell ran in the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter, while Academy’s J.J. Pita completed a two-point conversion. Pinnacle answered right back with a touchdown and two-point conversion of their own, tying the game at eight points apiece.

The Timberwolves scored twice within three minutes in the second quarter, completing the point-after-touchdown only once, taking the 21-8 lead.

The Academy running back Zach Morgan scored just a few minutes before halftime, tightening the score to 21-16 after successfully completing another two-point conversion.

“We’ve got to correct all our mistakes,” Vogel said. “We had a bushel full of mistakes. We do something good then give it back. We need to tighten up our blocking.”

With one minute 30 seconds left in the half, Pita intercepted the ball from Pinnacle quarterback Hector Venegas. The Academy pushed the ball downfield until 23 seconds left in the half when Caswell ran the ball in for his second touchdown of the day. Pita completed the two-point conversion for the 24-21 lead at halftime.

Wide receiver Anthony Ramirez sealed the deal for The Academy scoring their final touchdown of the day, plus a two-point conversion by Caswell for the 32-21 lead.

Caswell said he enjoys playing with Ramirez and trusts he will always be there to catch his passes.

“Just to have confidence in someone to catch the ball, it’s great to rely on him,” Caswell said.

Pinnacle scored again with a two-point conversion, but it wasn’t enough. The Academy won their homecoming game 32-29.

“It’s always big because it’s a conference game and Pinnacle is a big rivalry,” Vogel said. “You have kids that know kids, you have relatives that go to both schools, it’s a big game.”

The Academy completed four two-point conversions for eight points. Vogel said they go for two points after every touchdown since their kicking situation isn’t the greatest.

The Academy is now 2-3 overall, 1-0 in league and will travel Oct. 4 to a 3-2 Woodland Park team. Pinnacle dropped to 0-6 and will go home Oct. 5 to play Faith Christian.