By GRANT LEDGISTER
It was a tale of two halves for the Lipscomb Academy Mustangs (1-1) against the Pope John Paul II Knights (2-0). Lipscomb started well in the contest but allowed 33 unanswered points and ultimately fell to the Knights 33-14.
In the beginning, it looked like defense was going to be the name of the game for the Mustangs. In the first half, the defense did not allow a score and recorded several turnovers and tackles for losses.
One such turnover came in the second quarter. With the game tied at zero, the Knights had the ball at their own four-yard line. Kyle McNamara jumped in front of the pass to score the game’s first points.
A couple minutes later, following another defensive stand, Lipscomb Academy forced a punt and started its next drive at their own 48. A quarterback keeper would gain 30 yards, and the Mustangs would punch in the ball for a score on the next play.
Yet again, the Mustangs recovered a turnover, this time a fumble, to end the Knights’ scoring hopes in the first half.
The half was not without miscue for the Mustangs, especially early on. A fumble (though recovered by the Mustangs), an interception, and several penalties helped to end Lipscomb drives or extend drives for Pope John Paul II.
At the beginning of the second half, it seemed like Lipscomb’s defense would continue its dominating performance shown in the first. Pope John Paul II’s offense was clicking and drove into scoring range, but a sack on third down by Nicholas Paschall forced a field goal attempt that would be missed.
It would, however, be the Knights’ defense that would prove to make the biggest difference in the game. On the Mustangs’ first possession of the half, deep inside their own territory, the Knights would cause and recover a fumble. It would only take one more play for the Knights to bring it down to a one score game.
The Knights would force the Mustangs’ next drive to stall out, despite a series of great runs from Jaden Lyles, who had a good outing despite the loss.
In the fourth quarter, it all fell apart for Lipscomb.
Other than killing drives by stalling them out, Pope John Paul II’s defense was also able to create and recover turnovers in the second half. To help put the game out of reach, the Knights took the ball away three times, including one that went for a touchdown.
Lipscomb Academy lost the momentum and wasn’t able to find the end zone again before the clock struck zero.
The Mustangs will look to bounce back from this loss next week. The team travels for a district game against Franklin Road Academy next Friday.
Photo from school.