The Father Ryan Irish got a much-needed home win in an upset of upstart Lipscomb Academy in a nonstop rain storm Friday night, 32-24.
Lipscomb came out aggressive. On the very first play Lipscomb quarterback Luther Richesson hit a 58-yard pass to Sophomore Willie Walton, taking the ball to the Irish 21.
But the Irish stood strong, forcing a field goal. And with the rainy conditions the kick was wide left.
Father Ryan was ready to match the offensive pace, as Jayden Robinson used his speed to run 62 yards to the 24 yard line of the Mustangs.
Off the momentum Father Ryan continued to pound the ball until Parker Erdman caught a 17-yard touchdown pass on a corner route from David Tabscott, electrifying the home crowd and giving the Irish a 7-0 lead with 7:08 in the first quarter.
On the next drive Lipscomb responded. They drove the ball to the red zone and the drive featured a 37-yard pass from Richesson to Kyle McNamara. The drive was stopped by another great defensive effort by the Irish and at 2:34 Mason Long made a 29-yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.
Both teams bowed their backs on defense the next couple of drives. Then with 10:24 in the second quarter Father Ryan struck lightning as Tabscott threw a 58-yard bomb to Erdman for their second connection of the night.
Father Ryan went for the two-point conversion and Robinson ran it in, extending the Irish lead to 15-3.
Father Ryan had all the momentum at this point. Then as Lipscomb was driving in Irish territory on what seemed to be for a potential score Matthew Zito intercepted Richesson at the 25-yard line and returned it to the 35 with just under five minutes to go to half.
And on the very next play Tabscott hit Erdman on another 52-yard bomb to the 18-yard line of Lipscomb. The Mustang defense stood strong on first, second and third down but on fourth down the Irish wanted to pull away and went for it.
And the result was the Tabscott to Erdman duo striking again on a 13-yard touchdown to give the Irish a 22-3 lead late in the half.
But on the next drive Lipscomb ran a hurry-up offense and drove the ball down the field as Richesson hit his receivers on the drive. To close out the drive he hit Adam Walker on an 8-yard touchdown on a corner route just before halftime to make it 22-10.
Father Ryan wasn’t shaken by and tried to take the momentum back before halftime when Christian Smith caught a 35 yard pass from Tabscott to the 6 yard line with 9 seconds left. The Irish’s Zach Wesnofske kicked a field goal to take a 25-10 lead into halftime.
At the half the difference has been the success the Irish has had throwing and scoring touchdowns when they had the opportunity. Tabscott was 7 for 14 for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns to Erdman who himself accounted for 159 yard on 6 catches.
Tabscott would finish 9 of 17 for 208 yards. On the ground Robinson had 64 yards on 3 carries and the huge 62-yard sprint. He would end the game with 9 carries for 86 yards.
Lipscomb had success in the air as well as Richesson was 8 for 15 for 185 yards and a touchdown. He would finish 15 of 28 for 272 yards and two touchdowns.
To start the second half Father Ryan had issues as Robinson fumbled on the very first play setting the Mustangs up with first and goal at the 3-yard line. Then on second down Richesson hit Cole McDowell on a 9-yard touchdown to shrink the Irish lead to 25-17 with 11:09 in the 3rd quarter.
But on Lipscomb's next drive they returned the favor as Richesson fumbled a high snap giving the Irish the ball at the 14-yard line in prime scoring position.
Father Ryan was able to capitalize when Tabscott scored on a quarterback sneak from 1-yard out making it 32-17 midway through the third quarter.
Late in the game Lipscomb drove the ball down and Richesson scored on a quarterback option cutting the lead to 32-24 with 4:33 remaining.
The Irish ran the remainder of the clock out securing the victory.
Father Ryan head coach Brian Rector talked about his team's upset win.
"Honestly, anytime we can get a win at this point in the season we’re happy, and excited," he said.
"Our kids fought. We made a lot of plays. We made a lot of mistakes. But at the end of the day a win’s a win, and we’ll take it. And my hats off to Lipscomb to how they kept fighting."
Lipscomb finishes off the regular season next week hosting BGA while Father Ryan travels to Knoxville Catholic.