Tabernacle Christian had a simple slogan: “Leave No Doubt.”
And of there were any doubters left after the Torches’ 52-22 thrashing of North River Christian, they left sometime around halftime.
Led by playmaker Fred Goodgame and his six rushing touchdowns, Tabernacle took control of the Christian Football Association’s eight-man championship game early, and never looked back as they prevailed Friday night at Tuscaloosa Christian School.
The title game was the end to the school’s first-ever perfect season, with 11 wins in as many contests. Only last week’s semifinal victory against Tuscaloosa Christian could even remotely be called close.
Goodgame didn’t live up to his name this time; he surpassed it.
He opened the scoring by busting through the Chargers’ defense for a 48-yard touchdown dash just 90 seconds into the game. He followed that up with two more scores within 36 seconds of each other — he also kicked an onside kick after the first which the Torches recovered.
North River did manage to make things interesting late in the first period, as they capped off a 55-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run by quarterback R.J. Spence. Then after the Chargers pulled off their own onside kick recovery, Spence found D.J. Riggs on the first play from scrimmage for a 43-yard scoring pass.
That was as close as the Northport-based Chargers got, as Goodgame got back in the game again with two more touchdown runs in the second quarter. The first was for nine yards with 9:59 left, and the other was from the 2-yard line exactly seven minutes later.
The Torches opened the second half with another successful onside kick, recovered by Goodgame himself. He finished the drive with his sixth and final touchdown of the night from the 1-yard line.
Tabernacle did have issues controlling North River’s big fullback, Jamarcus Gray. He answered Goodgame’s last score with a 14-yard touchdown of his own, but that was the last score the Chargers made.
Goodgame almost made it seven TD’s for the night, but his 2-yard plunge was called back on a holding penalty at the goal line.
Tristan Castro got Tabernacle’s last touchdown on a 20-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
Goodgame finished with 207 yards rushing in his final high school game. Not surprisingly, he walked away with an armful of individual honors in the post-game ceremony: All-CFA running back, offensive player of the year, and most valuable player of the championship game.
Second-year coach Wayne Dabbs couldn’t say enough about his star player. “It was an absolutely great game and an absolutely great season,”
Dabbs said. “He was a true leader tonight. He made big plays on offense and defense, threw the ball well, he did everything to help us win tonight. He is a great playmaker. The Lord’s definitely blessed him, and he had good players around him.”
“We’ve had better talent on teams, but I don’t know that we’ve had a better team. Look at the all-star team — we only had three on there. But we’re 11-0.”
Dabbs, whose father Keith coached alongside him (and who got the same ice-water bath as his son at the end of the game), was named CFA Coach of the Year. Jacob Stewart was also named to the all-CFA team as an offensive lineman.

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