High school football kicked off the season this week with an inaugural Charter School Classic, pitting two charters schools in Shelby County against each other in competition for a rotating trophy and bragging rights.
The inaugural Charter School Classic matched the two oldest charter schools in Tennessee, the Memphis Academy of Health Sciences (MAHS) Lions against Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering (MASE) Phoenix. The Lions won 46-6.
After a weather delay, MASE took an early 6-0 lead. The Lions were not fazed by the early deficit scoring two quick touchdowns to take a 14-6 lead.
“When they came and struck first, we knew we had to come and strike them fast and that is what we did,” said MAHS sophomore RB Cameron Miller. “I am going to do whatever I need to do to improve this team. We are going to push one another to make everyone else better this season.”
From there on, MASE suffered a string of self-inflicted missteps. By halftime, MAHS held a 34-6 lead, and never looked back.
“We came out and played our style of football,” said Lions Head Coach Cedric Miller. “We were physical at the point of attack. We had a great combination of backs in Bowen, Miller and Landon Wright. These guys have been working in the weight room all summer and we came out to show what we are working with. We want to make this school proud.”
Meanwhile, it’s back to the drawing board for MASE, said Head Coach Julius Jackson Jr.
“I am disappointed. We got pushed away,” Jackson said. “We had a few plays we could have made that would have changed the game. Overall the kids got frustrated. I lost a lot of seniors last year. Those guys had experience. I’ve got to get my quarterback playing better. We are going to put our head down and try to move forward. ”
Late in the third quarter, chaos erupted when an unidentified MASE player threw a football at the MAHS bench. There were several skirmishes and it took several minutes for coaches, referees and security officials to calm the situation down. Three MASE players and one MAHS player were ejected.
After the game, both teams took a knee among one another and the administrators from both schools spoke to players about the importance of the game and brotherhood they each share with one another.
TSSAA will review the game official’s report and evaluate if any of the players involved in the altercations will receive additional penalties.
NEXT: The MAHS Lions play at Bartlett while MASE travels to Westwood for the league opener for both teams. Both games will be played Friday, Aug. 30.