ATLANTA - In a game that seemingly would never end, Greater Atlanta Christian fought back from a 30-0 deficit but suffered its fourth consecutive loss, 39-20, to Westminster at Maloof Field on the campus of St. Pius.
The Spartans' frustrations on defense continued as the hosting Wildcats scored on their first play from scrimmage on an exciting run by speedster Ralph David Abernathy.
Played at St. Pius because of flood damage at Westminster, the neutral field did little to plug a porous Spartan defense that allowed the Wildcats to consistently move the ball. Abernathy is a handful although diminutive. The 155-pound scatback, grandson of the famous civil rights leader, amassed 111 yards on only eight carries before the rain delays.
In a game normally divided by halves, this contest was better defined by before and after rain and storm delays of more than three hours. The game was stopped with nine minutes left in the first half and Westminster already up by a 20-0 margin. After about an hour, both teams returned to play, but for only three plays before lightning in the area again suspended the game with 7:05 still to play in the first half.
The second delay was more than two hours and the game did not resume until after 6 p.m. The kickoff was at 2 p.m. and the conclusion came just after 8.
In addition to Abernathy, the Wildcats' offense was led by junior quarterback John Egan who scored twice in the opening quarter on runs of two and five yards. And Westminster padded its lead to 30 when Egan hit Chris Tattarus for a touchdown and Jeff Oser added a field goal as time expired for a very brief halftime.
In the second half, GAC showed some spunk on defense by holding Westminster scoreless during a third quarter that saw the Spartans finally get on the board via a Beaux Hebert pass to his big tight end Corey Simmons, who broke two tackles on his way to the end zone from 38 yards out. The Spartan's score came with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.
GAC cut Westminster's lead to 16 with about six minutes to go in the game when Hebert hit Taylor Bruner on an 80-yard bomb that was perfectly thrown, keeping Bruner in stride.
Connor Cox added his second point after and GAC was down 30-16.
Westminster responded to GAC's challenge by forcing a safety when Hebert was called for intentional grounding from his own end zone. The lead went to 39-14 when Westminster's Sam Hinkle broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown run with only 1:50 left to play.
GAC scored its final touchdown on the last play of the game on an 18-yard pass from Hebert to Julian Horton.
The extra point was not allowed as time had expired.
Hebert finished the game with 270 yards passing on a 13-for-28 effort with two interceptions and three touchdowns. The Spartans look for their first win of the season this week at home against Blessed Trinity.