Middle TN High School Football Game of The Week: Lipscomb Mustangs vs CPA Lions Game Recap

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You couldn’t have designed a more perfect Middle Tennessee Friday night for a division matchup, let alone a rematch of last year’s state championship game between the always solid, always consistent CPA Lions and the Mustangs of Lipscomb, who have five of the top 50 recruits in Tennessee. This game was the hardest for me to find parking this season which is crazy considering CPA had the most parking available, and I arrived at “The Den” nearly an hour before kickoff. This was because nearly all of Davidson County was present for this one. Even during the warmups, it seemed both teams were trying to match the other’s energy.

This game started just like every other game, with an official’s time out to wait on the thick cloud of pink smoke to clear that Lipscomb dispersed on the field for their entrance as the away team. As the timeout was called, both sidelines showed their respective thoughts on the call from the officials. Although the smoke was on The Lion’s side of the field it was The Mustangs who were distracted as CPA’s London Humphreys took the opening kickoff back 95 yards for a touchdown.

Just twelve seconds into the game it was 7-0 Lions. How would Lipscomb respond? They tried to establish the ground game which they did well initially picking up their first first-down of the night but got put in a 4th and three situation. Coach Dilfer gambled and went for it on fourth. The Lions held strong and as the crowd roared you could hear “The Gambler” by Kenny Rodgers playing over the loudspeakers. The Mustang defense would force a punt as the Lipscomb student section was making their presence felt on the opposing sideline. Lipscomb went right back to establishing the run, but a penalty would force them into a second and long that they would attempt to pick up through the air. A great pitch and catch to the outside would pick up almost all the needed yardage, setting up The Mustangs with a third and short but no! CPA would strip the ball on the tackle and recovered, setting up their offense at the LA 45-yard line. The first quarter was a back-and-forth war and it would continue as CPA set up for a fourth and inches trying to move the ball inside the 30 and the snap was high and over the head of the quarterback and the Mustangs would recover but then fumble themselves and give the ball right back to CPA. The Lions would drive the ball to the 1-yard line on their next play and then finish off the drive with a touchdown run from running back Crews Law, as the CPA offensive line bulldozed the Lipscomb Defensive Line making it 14-0 CPA as we went into the second quarter.

CPA would force another punt and start their next drive just inside the 50-yard line, but after finding themselves in a second and 20 situation, Coach Martin would call a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, QB, Brandon Streeter would load up for a deep pass and get hammered from his blind side with a crushing hit, causing him to lose the ball. Lipscomb would recover as these teams continued to trade haymakers. Two reverse end arounds would help move The Mustangs inside the 20-yard line. QB Hank Brown would then throw a strike to Dylan Wroblewski cutting the CPA lead in half with six minutes left in the first half. Then, London Humphreys, again To. The. House. With a 95-yard return for a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, making the score 21-7 Lions.

The Lions were feasting on the momentum that they continued to create for themselves, but The Mustangs were not about to go quietly. Hank Brown drove The Mustangs down the field at 100 miles an hour, delivering strikes to his receivers on the outside and then finally to Dylan Wroblewski in the back of the end zone. The extra point was missed making it 21-13 Lions with two minutes left in the half.

After a CPA punt, Lipscomb would get the ball back near midfield with 1:35 left and a chance to double up as they receive the second half kickoff. Lipscomb continued to bring out beautifully designed misdirection plays but could not stop shooting themselves in the foot as they found themselves in a second and 15 situation. Brown would avoid tacklers in the backfield and throw a laser on the run to his receiver downfield for 17 yards. Lipscomb would move into the red zone with 32 seconds left in the half. On third and two the CPA defense came through in the clutch via a sack and as time wound down the offense for Lipscomb would stay on the field. Last play of the half, Brown would scramble to the outside avoiding a would-be tackler and keeping his eyes on the end zone. Just as he was pushed out of bounds, he released a rocket to the end zone that was dropped just inches above the grass. CPA would take a 21-13 lead to the locker room with all the momentum in the world.

Lipscomb faced a lot of adversity in the first half and CPA had the momentum. Championship teams find a way and that was what The Mustangs were going to have to do to win this one.

To start the second half, Lipscomb came out swinging with a deep shot on a great ball from Hank Brown, but the drive would stall, and The Mustangs would kick a field goal, making the score 21-16 CPA. After a forced punt Lipscomb would get the ball near midfield. Brown would then throw a 15-yard strike that was taken 30 yards into the end zone but another holding call on Lipscomb would negate the play. More self-inflicted, costly, mistakes for The Mustangs, but they would still pick up the first and move the ball inside the 35 once again. Another beautiful reverse play would take the ball inside the 10 and Hank Brown would finish it off with a pass to Nate Spillman for the touchdown. Lipscomb would try a two-point conversion to try to make it a three point game but were not able to convert. The score would remain 22-21 Lipscomb, as The Mustangs had their first lead of the game. The Lions’ offense could not move the ball. Their defense was going to have to get pressure on Brown or continue to be picked apart. They were not able to as Brown threw another strike over the middle and Junior Sherrill did the rest, dancing his way to the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown. Brown, the Liberty commit, had now thrown touchdowns to three different receivers.

As we entered the 4th quarter the Lions were mounting a drive of their own, moving the ball deep into Mustang territory. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kaleb Beasley who committed to Tennessee post-game intercepted the ball. You can watch that play below.

We had what looked like the rare “double turnover” but Lipscomb recovered the would-be fumble. On the next play, Dillon Lorick would display blistering speed as he took the pass all the way in for a Mustang Touchdown, making it 36-21 Lipscomb. This was Brown’s 5th on the night to a 4th different receiver. If CPA was going to respond it would have to come now. They only had one offensive touchdown on the night and desperately needed one here. It would all come down to a 4th and five on the Mustang 25. The Lions would enter the red zone or turn the ball over. The play call came in, the snap to the Quarterback was good, he loaded up to take a shot to the back left corner of the end zone, and overthrew his receiver. Lipscomb would then go on a long drive, which you can watch below, capped off by a Drew Patterson Jr. touchdown

After a CPA punt, Lipscomb would run out the clock and win the game with a final score of 43-21.

In his post-game speech that you can watch below, Trent Dilfer said to CPA, “We’re gonna win everything. You’re the best team Tennessee has ever seen, and we’re only gonna get better.” He spoke about the adversity Lipscomb faced in this game and how they overcame it. His Quarterback Hank Brown echoed that when I spoke to him post-game as our MVP.

MVP

Lipscomb Quarterback Hank Brown is our MVP of the night. Hank had five touchdown passes to four different receivers. I asked him about that, the adversity his team faced, and what he thought of Coach Dilfer’s comments, and he had this to say:

“It feels great…my receivers I think are the best in the country. We showed that tonight. Nobody can guard them when we do what we do. I just gotta thank my receivers and my O-line. Stuff happens and we went down 14-0, and I was going around on the sideline telling everybody ‘We’re built for this.’ It was awesome to come back from that and show who we are. I 100% agree [with Coach Dilfer] I think we are definitely the best team Tennessee has ever seen and we’re gonna keep doing what we do and get better every week and go win a championship.”

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