Showcasing its entire arsenal, Christ Presbyterian Academy showed it expects to make a serious run at the state Class 3A state championship.
The unbeaten Lions (11-0) dismantled Goodpasture 62-31 in their opening playoff game on Friday and showed their fans they are hungry for the school’s first state crown since 2002.
Ranked No. 2 in Class AA, behind Alcoa, in the final Associated Press prep poll, CPA rolled up a season high in both points and total offense (666 yards) against the Cougars, a team they beat 14-7 in the first game of the season.
The offense operated like a smooth machine. After a punt on the first possession, the Lions scored touchdowns the next nine times they had the ball. They got to fourth down twice – and scored touchdowns on both of them, the first on a run by quarterback Albert Mitchell and the second on a pass.
Receivers Thomas Richard and J.R Osborne both topped 100 yards receiving and scored three touchdowns apiece. The two helped CPA rack up 384 passing yards to go with the 282 yards rushing. Richard had 188 yards on seven receptions while Osborne collected 159 yards on six catches.
Mitchell was near perfect. He hit 15-of-19 passes for 368 yards and the six touchdowns.
“In the first game against them, we were pretty successful running the ball, so we thought they would try to stop the run, and things just opened up for us in the passing game,” Osborne, who scored CPA’s first TD on a 43-yard bomb, said. “We’ve looked forward to the playoffs for some time, and we hope we make some big things happen.”
Added Richard, CPA’s leading receiver on the season: “Right away, things just opened up for us, and Albert threw a great ball. We just need to keep putting in the work at practice, and we’ll be successful.”
MULTI DIMENSIONAL ATTACK: Leading rusher Chase Smith (15 carries, 140 yards) made sure the Lions didn’t forget the running game, which included his spectacular 93-yard bolt – untouched – early in the third quarter. It was the longest play in a game of many big ones.
“I knew when we called the play, I had a chance to score, with the way their defense was aligned,” Smith CPA’s leading rusher, said. “I got some great blocks, guys who sealed off their defenders.
“This time, the passing game set up the run. We’re playing our best football of the season, and everyone is doing their part to help us be successful.”
Jason Arrington’s two touchdowns and Eric Reed’s 85-yard kickoff return for a score provided most of the highlights for Goodpasture, which finished 5-6 and was eliminated by CPA for the second straight year. It marked the first time since 1998 the Cougars, hit with injuries and a number of player suspensions along the way, finished below .500.
The game was marred by 24 penalties for 247 yards (160 for CPA, 87 for Goodpasture).
“Overall, a great job by our guys, and it started up front with the blocking,” coach Ingle Martin said. “We’re making progress one step at a time. We obviously need to clean up the penalties.”
CPA, which is 13-0 at home in Martin’s two seasons, hosts Westmoreland on Friday with a spot in the quarterfinals at stake.
“We’re playing a good Westmoreland team next week, and I hope we keep improving,” Martin said.
Should CPA get past Westmoreland, a possible matchup looms with undefeated Cheatham County. Farther down the line is a potential contest with Milan, the team that knocked out CPA last year.
With big senior lineman James Elliott leading some fight songs in a jubilant dressing room after the game, these Lions look plenty motivated for more success.
In other news:
• Antioch’s bad breaks: Antioch saw a promising season end suddenly at 6-5 with some late-season breaks going against them.
Three weeks ago, the Bears lost a chance to tie for the region title with a late controversial call in the end zone ruled a catch, which proved to be a winning touchdown for Overton.
On Friday in the 5A playoffs, with the Bears driving for the winning score in the final minutes against Hillsboro, officials ruled a fumble on an attempted pass by quarterback Reakwon Hosey. It was a call hotly disputed by Antioch, which believed Hosey’s arm was going forward.
Hillsboro recovered and ran out the clock pn a 17-12 victory, its first playoff triumph since 2009 when it beat Glencliff. The Burros (7-4) face a monster task Friday at No. 1 Beech (11-0) and super back, 2,000-yard rusher Jalen Hurd.
• State soccer: It was a big weekend for CPA, which won the Class A/AA girls soccer championship with a 1-0 victory Saturday over defending champ Christian Academy of Knoxville.
Senior Maeson Wampler scored the only early in the second half with an assist from Joy Myers. Goalkeeper Meredith Roman notched the shutout for CPA (21-2-2).
It was the first state soccer title in school history and avenged a loss to CAK in last year’s final. Brandy Gagliano has taken her team to the state playoffs all six of her years as head coach and has been in the finals three times.
-- Brentwood High (18-2-1) won the Class AAA championship with a 1-0 victory over Siegel on an early goal by Meg Howard.
-- Two Nashville teams won Division II titles. Father Ryan (12-3-4) beat host Girls Prep 1-0 on a second-half penalty kick by Sarah Bossung (DII-AA). University School of Nashville (20-3-1) beat Franklin Road Academy 1-0 on a goal by freshman Karishma Patel (DII-A).
• Cross Country: Lipscomb Academy’s Barbara Lee Ball won her third straight Class A/AA girls championship, and M.L. King’s Sam Klockenkemper successfully defended his AAA boys crown at the state cross country meet Saturday at Percy Warner Park.
Brentwood Academy’s Allison Cheeseman won the Division II-AA girls race, and Siegel’s Nicole Gardner ran to the Class AAA girls title. Brentwood High’s boys and Ravenwood’s girls won the AAA team titles.
• Middle School football: Smithson Craighead crushed Oliver 50-8, and Haynes defeated J.T Moore 12-0 last Thursday in the semifinals of the Metro Middle School football playoffs.
S-C meets Haynes Thursday for the championship.
• TSSAA Awards: The TSSAA will present District 5 awards to: Richard Anderson, CPA (administrator of the year), Steve Chauncey, Hillwood (principal of the year), Chip Sullivan, Hunters Lane (athletic director of the year), Becky Legate, CPA (female coach of the year), Presley Ramsey, DCA (male coach of the year), Darryl Keckler, Mt. Juliet (official of the year) and Mike Organ, The Tennessean (contributor of the year) at 10 a.m. Thursday at Franklin Road Academy.