Some polar opposites in offensive styles should combine to make a good game in a North vs. South Nashville matchup Friday.
Christ Presbyterian Academy (2-2) visits Maplewood (3-1) in a region duel with some midseason playoff hopes dancing in the air.
Maplewood’s 1-2 rushing tandem of Stanley Hagan and Ladarius Vanlier is one of the best in Nashville. CPA senior quarterback Nolan Genovese is by far the leader of all of Nashville passers and is already closing in on the 1,000-yard mark through the air.
But CPA is more concerned about snapping a two-game losing streak after getting off to a 2-0 start.
“As impressed as I am with their offense, I may be even more impressed with their defense which may be the best we’ll see all year,” CPA coach Jay Mathews said. “They have some exceptional defensive backs. They are very dangerous.”
A one-touchdown midseason victory by Maplewood at CPA last year proved significant when the Panthers ultimately made the playoffs and the Lions did not.
“I really love our team and our ability to compete,” Mathews said. “We have 12 starters who are freshmen or sophomores. Our offensive line consists of two freshmen and three sophomores. We’ve very young.”
That’s where Genovese and 10 seniors come in for leadership.
“They have all been very inspirational in their leadership,” Mathews said.
With a recent loss to East Literature, it appears likely CPA will have to beat Pearl-Cohn in Week 10 to make the 3A playoffs.
“It’s a tough chore,” Mathews said. “At this point, one of our goals is to try to win at least 5 or 6 games and manage to pull ourselves into the playoffs. We think we can.”
After opening their season with wins over Kentucky powerhouses Lexington Christian and Ft Campbell, the Lions have lost twice. A heartbreaking 28-27 defeat at Goodpasture, when a late extra-point attempt was blocked, hasn’t dampened the players’ spirits.
“They came back to work Monday, ready to go,” Mathews said. “It’s been said often that players recover faster than coaches, and that was probably true here.”
• MBA visits Baylor: Unbeaten MBA (4-0) visits Chattanooga Baylor on Thursday night as the Big Red gets the jump on the rest of the teams, which play Friday.
• Eichelberger to TSU: Pearl-Cohn star defensive back Senquay Eichelberger, 6-0, 180, committed to Tennessee State this week. He transferred from Tupulo, Miss., before his junior season.
• Ryan Volleyball: The annual Father Ryan Invitational volleyball tournament will be held Friday and Saturday in the Irish Gym with 10 teams, five each in Pool A and B.
Nashville teams include Ensworth, Lipscomb and the host Irish. Play begins are 4 p.m. Friday on two courts at Ryan. After pool play finishes Saturday, the semifinals will be held at about 4 p.m., with finals to follow at are approximately 6:30.
MBA at Baylor
Antioch at Cane Ridge
Brentwood High at Ravenwood
Brentwood Acad. at Pope JPII
Centennial at Independence
CPA at Maplewood
East Robertson at Jo Byrns
Ezell-Harding at Zion Christian
FRA at Knoxville Webb
Father Ryan at BGA
Goodpasture at Westmoreland
Hillsboro at Franklin
Hillwood at McGavock
McCallie at Ensworth
Pearl-Cohn at East Lit, at TPS
Riverside Chr. at Davidson Acad.
Overton at Glencliff
Stratford at David Lipscomb
St. Andrews-Sewanee at DCA
Whites Creek at Hunters Lane