BGA traveled to Lipscomb Academy tonight as both first-year coaches were looking to end the year on a win. For Lipscomb Academy, it was all about securing home field advantage with a win.
The Mustangs got a hold of the momentum early on with a touchdown on first drive. Jaden Lyles would cap off a six play, 81-yard drive for Lipscomb Academy with a one yard touchdown from inside the five as they got down the field in roughly two and half minutes.
Lyles once again had a big impact running the ball for the Mustangs as he toted the ball 24 times while netting 121 yards rushing and averaging five yards per carry. Lyles’ only touchdown on the night would come from his one yard scamper in the first quarter.
Momentum doesn’t change easily in football, but apparently no one told BGA that as they snatched it right back shortly after the Lipscomb Academy drive. BGA quarterback Nick Semptimphelter heaved a beautiful 52-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Shaw just two minutes after the Mustangs took the lead. This made it tied up at seven with 7:25 left in the first quarter.
Semptimphelter would once again have a lights out game for the Wildcats, throwing for 273 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception.
Just as Lipscomb Academy was looking to strike back with a touchdown, the momentum quickly left them once again. An overthrown pass on the Mustang 23 yard line would be intercepted and taken back for a pick six by BGA’s Antonio Stevens (a Purdue commit).
Along with his interception, Stevens would also have 80 yards receiving and three tackles as he played as an outside linebacker as well tonight, much like he has done all season.
With things looking bleak for Lipscomb Academy at home after the pick six, it was up to Luther Richesson to right his wrongs from the previous drive, and he did just that.
All the mustangs needed were five plays to tie the game up with a 45-yard bomb to Kyle McNamara making it 14-14 with 4:36 left in the first quarter. This would be McNamara’s only contribution to the game as the Mustangs favored the run game more heavily than the pass tonight.
Then, after three quarters of pure, defensive football, the tie would finally be broken by a 26-yard field goal from BGA kicker Jack Sauder.
This would be the final scoring play of the game as Lipscomb Academy would have its chances, but would ultimately be stopped on four downs on its final drive. This loss prevents Lipscomb Academy from hosting its first round playoff game but still keeps them in the playoffs.
Mustangs head coach Trent Dilfer shared his thoughts on how the game went for them.
“It was a hard-fought battle, they are a good football team," he said. "We just didn’t make enough plays. We had a chance to block a field goal on the scoop and score, we had a chance to make a couple plays in the passing game. It really came down to they made more plays in the big moments than we did.”
On the other side, Wildcats coach Jonas Rodriguez reflected on his first year at BGA.
“It’s been a fun year," he said. "I’m really just proud of how these guys have come together over the course of a season and we’re really excited to see what the future may hold for us in the playoffs.”
As of right now, Lipscomb Academy is set to play Boyd-Buchanon on the road in the first round of the playoffs after finishing 5-5 on the year.
BGA improved to 7-3 on its final game of the year. They'll face First Assembly Christian School at home to start the playoffs.