Six games that stood out from the Division I quarterfinals/Division II semifinals:
Davidson Academy 27, Friendship Christian 10: Bryce Rawls and A.J. Quinn combined to send the Bears back to Cookeville in hopes of defending their Division II-Class A crown from a year ago. They also helped dispatch the team Davidson Academy downed for that title in doing so on Friday by ending Friendship Christian’s season. Failing to score twice inside the Bears’ 30 did the Commanders in as well.
It’s still a great season from Friendship Christian, albeit two wins short of where they’d want to finish. It’s now 10 in a row for the Bears after they dropped their first two games of this season. Davidson Academy is 53-19 since Quinn took over in the 2014 season and the Bears have won 34 of their last 37 games.
CPA 24, Lipscomb Academy 7: CPA basically dared Lipscomb Academy to put enough defenders in the box and stop the run. They dared the Mustangs, double-dared them, even triple-dog-dared them, and the Lions still rolled up more than 330 rushing yards in earning a return trip to the Division II-AA title game.
Lipscomb Academy’s offense didn’t get going enough to keep up, really only having two long sustained drives. The first one got in the end zone only to have CPA snatch the momentum right back by running back the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. The second one? From the 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal, the Mustangs lined up in shotgun, handed off up the middle and never sniffed the end zone. A field goal would have cut the gap to 17-10 with plenty of time remaining.
Instead, CPA drained the clock and ended Trent Dilfer’s first season at Lipscomb Academy one step from Cookeville. Still a very good year for the Mustangs, but the extremely battle-tested Lions get a chance to avenge their first loss of the season to ECS and repeat as champs.
Trousdale County 22, Watertown 19: A calculated gamble helped boost the Yellow Jackets into the semifinals. A fake punt near midfield set Trousdale County up for the go-ahead score, but the Yellow Jackets’ defense needed to make a stop in order to avoid the same fate as their regular-season meeting.
The game was as good as advertised, and the result sends the Yellow Jackets to their second consecutive class 2A semifinal after they avenged their only loss of the season. First-year head coach Blake Satterfield gets to hold his first Thanksgiving practice before the Yellow Jackets head to Meigs County on Black Friday.
Springfield 28, Hardin Co. 21: The Yellow Jackets worked overtime to reach their third consecutive Class 4A state semifinal. Kevontay White did a lot of the heavy lifting with 183 yards and three touchdowns.
Now, Haywood comes calling – again – for the ticket to Cookeville. The home side has won each of the last two semifinals, and it’s Springfield turn to host again. The Yellow Jackets are 7-1 at home this season and 20-2 since moving into their new stadium on campus for the 2017 season. More paint for the field this week, fellas.
Summit 20, Shelbyville 12: A slow start didn’t deter Summit from reaching its first-ever semifinal game. Despite being down 12-0 (thanks to poor placekicking from Shelbyville) and having watched the Golden Eagles recover a surprise onside kick, the Spartan defense stepped up and shut out Shelbyville the rest of the way.
And Destin Wade went to work on the comeback, which they achieved before halftime. So, add Summit to the list of teams that’ll enjoy Black Friday with a semifinal game for the first time – but they’ll get to play at home for the first time since Oct. 10.
Ravenwood 34, Brentwood 6: This one got out of hand early with several Brentwood fumbles and Ravenwood never looked back. The Raptors have hit their stride in the playoffs, and although their shutout streak ended, their quest for Cookeville did not by reversing their fortunes against the Bruins much like they did last year.
Next up is a date with Houston in the semifinals. Will the Raptors’ field be playable again after a few rainy days – they’ve had issues for the last month – or will this one also have to be moved to another site, too? Hopefully Ravenwood will get to host one more time this year.