There's a chance Goodpasture and CPA could meet again next week in the first round of the state playoffs. If the rematch is anything like the regular season finale, it should be a good one.
Goodpasture came back from a 19-0 first-half deficit to beat CPA 43-32 Friday night in Madison. Tracy Mayes had 131 yards and a touchdown and Benjamin Cunningham had 80 yards and two touchdowns for the Cougars.
It looked like it would be all CPA early as outstanding Lion quarterback Connor Lowery looked like a high school version of Florida QB Tim Tebow, rushing for big yardage with each carry and bowling over defenders. He scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Kemp as the Lions took a quick 19-0 lead. Lowery finished the game with 110 yards rushing with two TDs.
But Goodpasture fought back with 22 unanswered points. The Cougars got on the board with a 48-yard drive led by Thomas Goodloe, who finished the series with a 2-yard touchdown run. Shortly before halftime, Cunningham scored on a 20-yard dash to cut the score to 19-14.
"You've just got to buckle down and keep playing," said Goodpasture coach David Martin on how his team stayed confident while trailing by three scores.
In the third quarter, things got really interesting. Cunningham sprinted 54 yards on the first play from scrimmage in the second half for a score that gave the Cougars a 22-19 lead.
CPA's Trevor Starnes, who was a dangerous offensive weapon all night, scored two touchdowns in the period, sandwiched around a scoring drive by Goodpasture finished by Michael Rogan touchdown. With 5:21 left in the period, the Lions led 32-29.
But late in the third, Starnes was injured and was limited for the rest of the contest. The CPA offense never recovered.
Mayes ran 53 yards for a touchdown on the Cougars' first possession in the fourth quarter to give Goodpasture a 36-32 lead. After a three-and-out by CPA, the Cougars' Aaron Gillaspie scored on a 30-yard run to finish the scoring.
Neither team's fans seemed pleased with the prospect that the teams could meet again at Goodpasture next week. But Martin said it's out of their hands.
"If that's the hand that's dealt us, we'll go," Martin said. "If that's what happens, that's what happens."