Opening Drive (Dec. 2): How they got here

With six area teams left in the BlueCross Bowl championship games, let’s try to sum up each of their seasons in a paragraph or two, in order of when they’ll take the field this week:

Lipscomb Academy: Year two of the Trent Dilfer era didn’t start like they might have hoped, with road losses at Brentwood Academy and a seven-turnover, seven-point setback at Pope John Paul II, but it wasn’t long before Alex Broome was cleared to play after transferring from Maplewood and transforming the Mustang offense into a giant. Lipscomb Academy enters the title game on a 10-game winning streak, including one over CPA during that run.

CPA: Some uncharacteristic mistakes cost the Lions in that Lipscomb Academy loss, but Ingle Martin’s squad is no stranger to the big stage, getting to Cookeville for the third consecutive year. They’ve been hard to handle as well, as teams like Ravenwood found out, but while their defense has largely been very good, their offense has kicked into high gear in the postseason.

Davidson Academy: The Bears would like nothing more than to end their time in Division II-Class A having left their mark on the class, and winning a third consecutive BlueCross Bowl title would serve that purpose just fine. They’ve held 10 of 12 opponents to 14 points or fewer, while they typically have 14 by the midway point of the first quarter. They’ve failed to score 35 points in a game just twice this season, while beating all but one by 19 points or more each time out.

Summit: When you talk patience, you have to mention Summit. Four of the Spartans’ 13 wins came because of COVID-19 cancellations where they were unable to secure another game. In the playoffs, they’ve shown why they were a preseason favorite to reach Cookeville. Getting Keaten Wade back last week puts them as healthy as they’ve been all season, and that’s a positive sign for a team trying to put last year’s disappointment behind them. Oh, and having Destin Wade doesn’t hurt, either.

Oakland: They scored a season-low 22 points on Oct. 23 against Coffee County. Only two teams even managed to score 20 against them in a game all season. Maryville? Just seven. That should tell you all you need to know.

Brentwood: The Bruins aren’t just riding a wave of emotion into the championship game, it’s an emotional tsunami. The postseason has been one giant flood of moments, whether it’s playing without a significant chunk of the roster or grieving after the passing of head coach Ron Crawford’s mother, Pat, all coming while Brentwood has simply found a way to get the job done, whether it’s a backup quarterback filling in or a wild improv to secure a win.

Meanwhile, catch up on what you might have missed from Tuesday:

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