Friendship Christian’s defense made two late stops with Nashville Christian driving to hold on for a 34-27 victory in the Division II-Class A BlueCross Bowl state championship game Thursday evening at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium.
Notes from the game:
How it went down: Friendship Christian led 34-20 after a Tylor Smiley 35-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter, but the Eagles responded in the fourth on a reverse by James Warmbrod that turned into a 19-yard touchdown.
Nashville Christian made two defensive stops to give its offense a chance to tie or win the game, but a fumble inside the 5-yard line ended a scoring threat with less than three minutes to play. After forcing the Commanders to punt, the Eagles drove back inside the 5 with less than 20 seconds to play before Smiley intercepted a fourth-and-goal pass to seal the victory.
Notable numbers: Nashville Christian outgained Friendship Christian by one yard, 321-320 … Nashville Christian went 3-of-4 on fourth down.
Turning point: Tylor Smiley’s interception return put the Commanders up 14 points in the third quarter and ended up being the difference in the contest.
Key performers: Garrett Weekly was the game’s Most Valuable Player, completing 13-of-16 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns, rushed 17 times for 94 yards and added six tackles (three solo) on defense … Brock Montgomery caught seven passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns and added two tackles … Devin Lively had four total tackles (two solo), a sack, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble … Chase Eakes, Austin Weatherford and Car’Lando Barton each had seven tackles to lead the Commanders’ defense … Barton also added an interception and two tackles for a loss … Jorge de Araujo finished with two sacks for Friendship Christian … James Warmbrod caught four passes for 83 yards and a touchdown, returned a kickoff for a touchdown, rushed for a score and finished with six tackles (five solo) … Jared Curtis finished 10-of-21 passing for 195 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, and rushed for 32 yards on 12 carries … Cameron Carden rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries and had nine tackles (six solo) … Peyton Woodard also finished with nine solo tackles for Nashville Christian.