The recovery of a fumble at the 1-yard line by sophomore Jackson Matthews with nine seconds remaining saved the game for Christ Presbyterian Academy Lions.
The team (2-0) held on to win against the Brentwood Academy Eagles (1-1) at home 21-17 Friday night in what was a historic matchup for the county. Neither team had met before Friday night.
“[The BA player] just came out to the left in front of me, and I was able to make a big play to stop him,” said Matthews.
“That is just something Coach [Ryan] Taylor and staff work on every day, tackling and turnovers,” said CPA head coach Ingle Martin. “Those kids executed it perfectly tonight.”
“It is tough to lose, but they are a great team,” said BA quarterback Landon Wells. “It did not turn out the way we wanted, but we have a lot to look forward to in the region.”
With the win, the Lions will donate their $2,000 grant from the Tennessee Titans for being selected as the game of the week to the Waverly High School football team, who had their field destroyed by last week’s flooding.
In the first quarter, CPA started the scoring with an 11-yard rushing touchdown by senior Langston Patterson to give the Lions a 7-0 lead with 8:25 remaining in the frame. Both defenses held each team scoreless for the rest of the quarter.
Brentwood Academy tied the game at 7 in the early stages of the second quarter with a sustained drive that ended with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Wells.
With close to four minutes remaining in the first half, Wells threw a 33-yard strike to junior Ian Scott to give the Eagles the 14-7 lead.
“I am not giving myself the glory,” said Wells. “The offensive line played great all night, and the wide receivers made great plays down the field. It was a good team effort.”
With 11 seconds remaining in the first half, BA pulled off a rare free kick on first down from the CPA 35 yard line to stretch their lead to 17-7.
After the break, CPA mixed it up with a rushing and passing attack, capping off the drive when senior quarterback Cade Law rushed into the end zone on a 1-yard scamper to cut into the BA lead 17-14 with a little over a minute remaining in the third quarter.
The Lions had the comeback in their sight on their next drive when Patterson found another gear, accelerating for a 35-yard rushing touchdown with 2:17 remaining in the fourth quarter and grabbing hold of the lead. 21-17.
“He is just a tremendously gifted athlete,” said Coach Martin. “He does everything the right way and plays hard for his teammates.”
“It is all the offensive line that made it possible,” said Patterson, a Vandy football commit. “I just hit and kept driving after contact, and they were pushing behind me.”
Brentwood Academy had time for one more possession, taking it down to the 4-yard line. On the next play, the Eagles picked up a 3-yard gain. CPA’s Matthews forced and recovered a fumble at the 1-yard line to shut down the drive for the Eagles and secure the Lions victory 21-17.
“Things did not go our way in the first half,” said Patterson. “We were able to outlast them. Great job by the defense not allowing a single point in the second half.”
Brentwood Academy will face region rival Briarcrest on the road next Friday.
“We need to learn from the mistakes we made tonight,” said Wells. “All we can ask for is to keep improving throughout the season.”
CPA will host Battle Ground Academy at home next Friday.
“Next week is the start of the real season with region schedule,” said Patterson. “We’ve just got to get better every day and keep it going.”
“Coach Rodriguez does a great job with his guys and staff,” said Coach Martin. “BGA is a really good team.”
“It is a big game, so we need to come out ready,” said Matthews.