COOKEVILLE — CPA’s game plan in the Division II-Class AA BlueCross Bowl championship game wasn’t complicated.
The Lions wore down Lipscomb Academy’s defense with 72 rushing plays, then struck late with a pass to pull ahead, as Cade Law’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Cade Reynolds with 2:31 to play provided the go-ahead points in CPA’s 35-28 victory.
Reid Williford intercepted a deflected Luther Richesson pass on the next series to seal the Lions’ fifth title in school history and second in three years.
“We just needed one play on defense,” CPA head coach Ingle Martin said. “(Lipscomb Academy) did a great job of being multiple and our kids were ready for it. They practice that every week and Reid Williford was ready when it happened.”
Law won Most Valuable Player honors, rushing for 168 yards on 25 carries, adding a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as the Lions led 28-14 with 5:04 left in the period.
“I just really feel fulfilled,” Law said. “I feel good for these seniors. We got them out of here with a goal of a gold ball. That was our goal all year — be here on the last day. Be here with this team as long as we could.”
Martin said of Law, “He’s a kid who’s talented enough to play quarterback at any level, but he’s tough enough to play linebacker at any level. Really proud of him just staying within himself, and he did a great job when plays weren’t there scrambling.”
Langston Patterson added 191 yards and three short touchdowns on 34 carries as the Lions (11-1) racked up 424 yards on the ground. CPA had possession for nearly 39 minutes, while Lipscomb Academy’s drives totaled 9:14 in the contest.
Lipscomb Academy junior Alex Broome found the end zone twice — a 2-yard run and a 22-yard reception from Richesson — to help the Mustangs (10-3) pull even with 9:49 to play.
That’s when CPA embarked on a 15-play, 74-yard drive that devoured 7:14 of clock, with Law’s 18-yard scramble on 3rd-and-9 helping extend the drive and get into Lipscomb Academy territory.
“That was awesome,” Patterson said. “That’s kind of how we play football, five yards at a time. If you stop it, we’ll do something else, but if you keep letting us have five yards, we’re going to take five yards.”
Broome also found the end zone on a 4-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter, but he was largely bottled up on the ground with only 27 yards on seven carries, though he did catch four passes for 43 yards.