STORY AND PHOTOS BY RUSSELL VANNOZZI
The Christ Presbyterian Academy football team has two wins in as many games this season, but their latest victory did not come easily on Friday.
After CPA took a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, Ensworth clawed back to make it a close contest. The Lions used a touchdown grab by McNeill Stout and a rushing score from Kane Patterson to pull away for a 38-28 victory over the visiting Tigers.
“When you play a really good opponent in a bigger classification, your kids get excited,” CPA coach Ingle Martin said. “That’s why we schedule these games. I think this [experience] will pay dividends down the road.”
The biggest news of the night came from Patterson, who decommited from Ohio State amid uncertainty surrounding coach Urban Meyer.
But the four-star athlete did not let the circumstances distract him, as he rushed for a pair of scores and anchored the Lion defense, which forced punts on five of Ensworth’s first six drives.
“We came out pretty hot in the beginning and they came back and punched us in the mouth,” Patterson said. “We just had to respond, and we did that tonight.”
Touchdowns runs from Andrew Madden and Eledge got the CPA offense rolling in the first quarter. Kicker Sebastian Stubblefield also hit a 30-yard field goal to give the Lions their 17-0 lead.
The Tigers didn’t get on the scoreboard until quarterback Cole Kennon tossed a bullet to Dante Wynn, who raced up the sideline for an 85-yard score.
On CPA’s first drive of the second half, quarterback Ryan Eledge scrambled for a 28-yard gain to set up Patterson’s first rushing score from two yards out.
Ensworth tailback Toleo Malone answered with back-to-back touchdowns runs to cut CPA’s lead to 24-21. Malone’s second score came after a host of Tigers blocked Hall Perdue’s punt.
“They made their adjustments, we made ours,” Martin said. “That’s part of the deal when you go against good players and coaches.”
However, a 17-yard strike from Eledge to Stout and a seven-yard touchdown run from Patterson gave CPA all the offense it needed.
“Kane’s someone you definitely rely on in those short-yardage situations,” Martin said. “He’s a heck of a kid – we’re blessed to have him.”
Kennon’s touchdown pass to Jude Maloy in the final minute only made the final score a bit closer.
CPA will visit Smyrna (2-0) in a battle of unbeatens next week.
“It’s a big school, big program,” Martin said of Smyrna. “It’ll be an important game [for us].”