Caleb and Micah Taylor got Russell Christian’s season started with a bang Friday night against Tuscaloosa Christian.
Caleb Taylor caught a punt at midfield and outran would-be tacklers all the way into the end zone in the first quarter on his team’s first touch of the ball.
The senior then hauled in two touchdown passes later in the same quarter from his quarterback brother, starting his first varsity game, and later scored on two kickoff returns in a five-touchdown, 240-all purpose yard performance. When it was over, RCA stood victorious, 60-19.
“He’s a threat any time he gets the ball in his hands,” RCA head coach Andy Braddock said. “He’s a Taylor.”
The sophomore Micah Taylor threw 114 yards and went 4-for-4 passing in his debut, with all of his throws touchdown passes. In addition to two thrown to his brother, 21 and 29-yard strikes over the middle in single coverage, he also connected with junior Seger Moore on a 25-yard pass in the second quarter that had Moore falling backward, and with Kyle Ingram for a 39-yard touchdown in the third after scrambling left, running right and finding Ingram wide open.
“Putting Micah at quarterback and put Caleb back at receiver was the right move to make,” Braddock said. “It looked like (Micah) had been playing varsity for a long time.”
Moore had a 71-yard touchdown run on a right sweep to make the game 26-0 after the first. Caleb Taylor scored his first kickoff return, a 70-yard touchdown run, in the second quarter to give RCA a 40-6 halftime lead. He scored his second on a 65-yard return in the third, after which RCA led 53-6.
“It’s pretty cool, knowing that it’s my senior year and I can give everything I’ve got, and it’s cool the line blocked for me and had my back,” Caleb Taylor said. “It’s kind of fun getting passes from my brother. That’s something I’ll always remember.”
Junior Mason Easterwood picked up a 5-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter as part of a 204-rushing yard total by Russell Christian (1-0).
Braddock said offensive linemen Kenyon Darden, Duke Moore and Barrett Howell were exceptional.
“They did and unbelievable job holding the line to let Micah have time to air it out,” Braddock said.
Quarterback Landon Pate accounted for all three touchdowns for Tuscaloosa Christian (0-1): a 5-yard pass to Jacob Osborne in the second quarter, a 56-yard pass to Logan Minor early in the fourth and a 2-yard quarterback keeper in the final seconds of the game. Tuscaloosa Christian finished with 247 yards on offense.
“The three touchdowns they had against my second defense, it was a lot of kids who had never been in a varsity game,” Braddock said. “So I’m just as proud of them.”
Russell Christian hosts Ezekial Academy (1-0) next week.