STORY BY LOGAN BUTTS | PHOTOS BY DEB SCALLY
The Christ Presbyterian Academy Lions came away with a hard-fought 18-14 victory over Nashville high school football powerhouse Pearl Cohn on Friday night to remain undefeated on the season.
Senior running back Andrew Madden ran in the final touchdown in a back-and-forth second half to put CPA (4-0) ahead for good with under four minutes remaining.
The night started out on a sloppy note as the Lions and Firebirds struggled with rainy weather and a malfunctioning clock.
“We are prepared for that kind of environment,” CPA head coach Ingle Martin said. “The biggest thing was that the game started, the clock stopped, they couldn’t get it fixed, but things like that are going to happen. You have to be ready for it. Ultimately, the kids battled back.”
Martin said he was proud of the way his veteran-heavy squad handled the adversity.
While the clock never was fixed and the weather only somewhat cleared up, the Lions came out firing after a slow start.
CPA got on the board first thanks to a punch in from senior running back Sam West with five minutes left in the first half. After a missed extra point, the Lions headed into halftime up 6-0.
Madden and West were a strong running duo all night as they combined for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 31 total carries.
Eledge added 44 yards on the ground himself to go along with 120 through the air.
Pearl Cohn (2-2) struck first in what was a high-scoring second half. Kyndrich Breedlove burst through the hole for a 77-yard touchdown, giving the Firebirds a 7-6 lead.
CPA answered back with a vital drive in the fourth quarter from senior quarterback Ryan Eledge which was capped off with a 31-yard toss from Eledge to fellow senior Noah Henderson, to give CPA a 12-7 lead.
“I was just trying to do my job,” Eledge said. “We’ve got senior leaders who are great, but everyone on the team, the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, helped us win.”
After a pair of big runs, Breedlove scored again for Pearl Cohn with 5:21 left in the contest, putting the Firebirds back ahead 14-12.
Breedlove and shifty backup running back I’ven Dayton gave the Lions problems all night as they combined for 257 total yards.
Following Madden’s game-winner on the next drive, Pearl Cohn had one final chance to win, but senior William Horne made a pair of huge stops to save the game.
Star senior linebacker Kane Patterson was active early as he had his hand in four tackles in the first quarter, but the Clemson commit did not play for the rest of the night.
With another win under their belt, Martin and his squad are ready to dive into the region portion of the schedule next weekend against another unbeaten team in district foe Battle Ground Academy.
“We’ve had four good games,” Martin said. “There’s a lot to learn, and we’re looking forward to getting into region play next week.”
Below is a slideshow by photographer Deb Scally.