If any game exemplifies the importance of some late-season playoff implications, this one would certainly qualify.
For Christ Presbyterian Academy (7-1), it’s a chance to continue its much-better-than-expected season under Ingle Martin, who would be in the conversation for any Nashville coach of the year consideration.
And for David Lipscomb (4-4), it is an opportunity to continue building momentum for a team that appears to have righted the ship with three straight wins after two blowout losses.
CPA visits David Lipscomb on Friday. The winner closes in on at least a second-place finish in District 10-AA and an accompanying home playoff game the first round Nov. 4. The loser still has playoff aspirations, but the road is a little rockier.
Recent history tilts Lipscomb’s way.
When the teams were placed in the same district two years ago, David Lipscomb won the first matchup 13-10 at CPA, on a miracle finish The Mustangs then won their final game over East Lit to secure a spot in the playoffs. CPA then lost to Pearl-Cohn and missed out on the postseason.
Last year, David Lipscomb won 14-10, then won its last game and went to the playoffs, where it advanced to the quarterfinals. CPA lost to Pearl-Cohn again, then lost to Goodpasture in the postseason, closing on a three-game losing streak.
Currently, CPA (3-1 district), which bounced back from its first loss of the season with a resounding 35-6 district win over Whites Creek on Friday, is having its best season since 2000, when it won the state championship.
David Lipscomb (also 3-1) is finally getting its starters back healthy, most notably standout quarterback Luke Simpson. Simpson returned for the past three games, in which the Mustangs outscored the opposition 58-16.
First-place Pearl-Cohn (5-1 in the district) and Maplewood (4-1) also have just one league loss.
“It’s a huge game,” Martin said. “Coach [Glenn] McCadams is the best coach in the state, and his teams are outstanding every year. It’s big because we have a chance to play for a home playoff game.
“The Maplewood game was just one loss. We’re putting much more emphasis on the playoffs and particularly getting a home game with our great fans behind us.”
Martin said he was comfortable with the school passing out T-shirts that showed the school mascot lion along with a simulated picture of Martin with the words “Look what the Cat dragged in.”
“They ran (the picture) by me,” he said. “I’m OK with it.”
CPA was eager to bounce back from the disappointing loss to Maplewood (21-20). The Lions lost a 20-7 lead in the final quarter, fell out of first place and dropped their No. 2 state (AP) ranking in Class 3A.
They roared back with a vengeance against Whites Creek.
Senior back Winston Williams ignited the win with two short touchdown runs in the first quarter.
“Last week, the loss to Maplewood left a sour taste,” Williams said. “There was extra emphasis to come out and prepare hard for these last three games.”
Asked if it was his best game of the season, Williams said, “for sure it was my best quarter [two touchdowns], but not my best game. [On the touchdowns] the blocking was great. I just made my cuts, the holes were there.”
Vic Wharton rushed for 66 yards and his third-quarter 14-yard ran gave him a team-high nine touchdowns (54 points).
“The loss to Maplewood woke us up, and we really had a good week of practice,” Wharton said. “The coaches emphasized all week we needed to come out, be more physical, more balanced.
“Lipscomb is our big rival, and we have to come out focused and ready. We have to continue to play the way we did [Friday].”
Junior quarterback Albert Mitchell was efficient again. He hit 10 of 15 passes for 126 yards, which included a leaping catch by Wharton deep in Cobra territory. Chase Smith also bolted for a 50-yard run, en route to a game-high 84 yards rushing.
Whites Creek quarterback Ashuntae Bass had the lone Cobra offensive highlight, a one-yard touchdown run late in the final quarter.
• Lindsey gets more offers: It was a big weekend for CPA and especially for basketball star Jalen Lindsey. According to coach Drew Maddux, the 6-foot-6 sophomore forward got a scholarship offer from Vanderbilt on Thursday and one from Tennessee on Saturday.
That gives him five after earlier offers, with the other three from Memphis, Alabama and North Carolina State.
“It’s crazy all the attention he’s getting when he still has three more years to play,” Maddux said.
Senior Craig Bradshaw committed to Belmont the past summer.
• Volleyball: Hume-Fogg upset regular season champ CPA in four tight games and won the District 10- A/AA championship last week at Whites Creek.
In the Region 5-AA tournament at Goodpasture on Tuesday, Hume-Fogg will meet Macon County at 4 p.m. CPA faces 9-AA champ Goodpasture at 5:30 p.m. Finals follow at 7 p.m.
CPA’s Martha Sheffield was named District 10-A/AA coach of the year.
In the Region 6-AAA tournament at Ravenwood on Tuesday, Hillwood meets the defending state champ and the host Raptors, followed by Overton against Independence. The championship match follows.
And Nashville Christian School is playing in the Region 5-A tournament at Eagleville High Tuesday.
• Soccer: CPA is the site of the District 9-A/AA tournament. The regular season champ Lions host Stratford in their opener, 6 p.m. Monday. Semifinals are 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday at 4, followed by the finals at 6 p.m. Thursday on the main field.
Antioch at Columbia
Blackman at Brentwood
Christ Presbyterian Academy at David Lipscomb
Donelson Christian Academy at Davidson Academy
East Literature at Overton
Ensworth at Brentwood Academy
Ezell-Harding at Sycamore
Father Ryan at Battle Ground Academy
Franklin Road Academy at Knox Webb
Houston County at Nashville Christian
Montgomery Bell Academy at McCallie
Maplewood at Lancaster Christian
McGavock at Goodpasture
Pope John Paul II at Baylor
Shelbyville at Centennial
Siegel at Independence
Smyrna at Ravenwood
Stratford at Hillsboro