Polishing up their presumed playoff resumes at mid-October left David Lipscomb still red-hot and Christ Presbyterian Academy still very much in contention.
After Lipscomb’s narrow 14-10 victory over CPA last Friday, the Mustangs are a virtual lock for Class 4A playoff berth. Despite the loss, CPA still is likely to reach the postseason in 3A after a year’s absence.
Lipscomb (6-2) is the hottest team in Nashville these days. It has won six straight after a 0-2 start, its first since 1987. A likely move up in the AP poll from No. 9 and – more importantly – a probable move up in the TSSAA playoff rankings from No. 8 seems certain.
“The way I’m looking at the (TSSAA) standings, I think we’re all right,” coach Glenn McCadams said. “The thing I like best is that our guys kept battling and practicing hard and never let down after the 0-2 start when we played bad and turning the ball over.”
The Mustangs are not quite out of the woods. A visit to Pearl-Cohn and a home game versus East Lit remain before they know for sure whether they make their 18th straight playoff appearance.
It was Mustangs’ linebacker Hank Hillen to the rescue against CPA with three big plays on the final three defensive series’. He broke up a fourth-down pass with 8:34 left. Then in the final 2:10, he intercepted two others, the final one at the CPA 27 clinced the win with a minute left.
“It’s (the two interceptions) kind of hard to believe, I’m probably not the most likely guy to do that,” Hillen said. “We watched film all week, and we anticipated where the passes might go. We just need to keep trucking, keep improving as we move toward the playoffs.”
Dependable tailback William Officer scored two more touchdowns, including the game-winner early in the final quarter. That gave him eight touchdowns and 816 rushing yards for the season.
CPA, Trapnell rest up for final game
CPA (5-4) takes this Friday off and rests up for a regular season finale Oct. 29 at home against Pearl-Cohn. A win against the Firebirds guarantees a playoff berth.
“I think even at 5-5, that would get us in to the top 32,” coach Jay Mathews said. “We have a tough one with Pearl-Cohn. A lot depends on what happens in the other parts of the state.”
CPA was 14th last week but shouldn’t drop much, despite the loss.
CPA had 278 yards total offense but scored only one touchdown, a smooth 21-yard pass from quarterbck Nolan Genovese to senior wide receiver Louis Trapnell. Trapnell caught four passes for 56 yards, which gave him 30 catches for the season.
“This one definitely hurts,” Trapnell said. “Lipscomb beat us (13-10) last year, scoring in the final minute. We’ll use the off week to heal up and get ready for Pearl-Cohn. As a senior, I’m definitely looking forward to the playoffs after we missed last year.”
With his 231-yard passing game, Genovese is closing in on the 2,000-yard mark passing, a barrier CPA’s Luke Roman passed last year. Genovese has 1,916 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“What’s really good is the connection Nolan and I have – he knows instinctively where I’m going to be on a pass route, even if I have to re-adjust,” Trapnell said.
The game turned dramatically on one play.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Lipscomb, trailing 10-7, lined up to punt on fourth-and-13 from its 34. Before the snap, CPA was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct because one of its players, officials said, simulated the snap count. CPA countered that it merely was one of its own defensive calls.
“We don’t teach our players to do that,” Mathews said. “It was very unfortunate.”
Officer scored three plays later and capped a drive highlighted by a 35-yard pass from quarterback Baylor Bickenstaff to Lance Runion.
Then Hillen took over for the defense, which also got 13 tackles from Cooper Jackson, 10 tackles from Seth Hubler and two sacks by William Vantrease.
“When we were 0-2, we still knew we had a good team and that we were a better team than that,” Bickenstaff said. “The coaches stayed with us. When the playoffs start, we need to go in with momentum and show what we can do.”
• Volleyball: Hard to believe – but for the first time since 1982, neither Brentwood High nor Glencliff will be going to the region volleyball tournament.
McGavock eliminated Glencliff in five close games in the District 12-AAA semifinals, and Independence rallied to defeat Brentwood in five games in the District 11-AAA semifinals, which the Bruins.
McGavock will host the Region 6-AAA tournament Tuesday. The Raiders will meet district champ Ravenwood at 4 p.m., and Hillwood, led by district MVP Kennetha Wallace, will take on Independence at 5:30 p.m. Final will follow at 7 p.m.
In the Region 5-AA tournament Tuesday, host David Lipscomb meets rival Goodpasture at 4 p.m. followed by district champ Hume-Fogg vs. Sycamore at 5:30 p.m. The final will start at 7 p.m.
Nashville Christian hosts the Region 5-A tournament Tuesday. NCS meets Eagleville at 4 p.m. followed by Community vs. White House Heritage at 5 p.m. and then the championship match.
Sectionals are Thursday, with those winners advancing to state.
• Soccer: CPA again hosts the District 9-A/AA soccer tournament following first-round elimination games Monday at home sites.
The top-seeded Lions host Whites Creek 6 p.m. Monday in one of four opening-round games. Winners arrive at CPA Tuesday for semifinal games at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The final will be 6 p.m. Thursday.
In DII-A East/Middle Region opening matches Saturday, Franklin Road Academy blanked St. Andrews-Sewanee 4-0 on two goals each by Carly Bowen and Christine Matthews, DCA edged Knox Webb 1-0, and St. Cecilia blanked Mt. Juliet Christian 9-0.
All advanced to the semifinals at Saturday at FRA.