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Patriots have strong showing at national 7-on-7 camp

The Bob Jones Patriots traveled to Hoover July 23-25 for the National Select 7-on-7 Championships, and, like the 2009 season, the Patriots emerged with an 11-2 record.

Bob Jones’ two losses came at the hands of Carver-Montgomery, who won the tournament with a 25-23 victory over McGill-Toolen, and Kenton High (Ohio), who eliminated the Patriots.

Bob Jones nearly advanced to the semifinal round by scoring what seemed to be a touchdown with just 20 seconds remaining, but the referee ruled receiver Collins Moore juggled the ball and the pass was ruled incomplete.

Despite the two losses, the Patriots emerged from pool play as the No. 1 seed, and defeated both the Louisiana and Illinois state champions.

Second-year head coach Kevin Rose said the 32-team field was the strongest it’s been since he began attending the tournament.

“We went 1-8 the first year, 7-4 last year and then 11-2 this year,” Rose said. “We played really well and the kids have really made strides.”

Rose said he was really impressed with the play of the Patriots’ defense, which gave Bob Jones the No. 1 seed coming out pool play because they gave up the fewest points.

“Defensively, we showed flashes of being really good,” Rose said. “Our defensive coordinator, Bryan Styles, does a really good job of getting our guys ready.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Rose said quarterbacks Zach Freeman and Jeffrey Moss both showed poise in throwing the ball.

“Both of our quarterbacks played well,” Rose said. “We showed we’ll be able to throw it around again this year.”

However, the Patriots did have four interceptions in the loss to Carver, and Rose said his team needed to settle down and make smarter decisions.

“We’ve got to clean it up, and polish it up a bit,” Rose said of the offense. “We’ve got to be patient, take the underneath (pass) sometimes and just be extremely efficient.”

The Patriots will hit the field Aug. 2 for the first official day of practice.

The Patriots will play host to Fairhope in the Madison Bowl, a preseason game, Aug. 19, before opening up the regular season in the Progressive Football Challenge at North Gwinnett (Ga.) Aug. 27.

The game will be televised by CSS.

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