Donelson Christian Academy Wildcats spoiled the homecoming festivities for Middle Tennessee Christian School Cougars with a ground-and-pound 24-10 Friday night.
The running backs were the stars of the show at The Den. DCA unleashed a “three-headed monster” rushing attack centered around juniors John and Jordan Lewis and sophomore Jacob Cook, a converted wide receiver.
“We just inserted (Cook) this week and I thought he had an excellent game,” DCA coach Paul Wade said. “We moved him to defense for defensive specialty, and then this week we told him he was good to go on offense and he did better than we hoped.”
Cook got the ball 13 times and picked up 67 yards. John Lewis also got 13 carries, picked up 91 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 46-yard score on DCA’s opening drive. Jordan Lewis toted the ball 12 times and drove the ball in at the goal line to essentially put the game away early in the fourth quarter.
DCA reclaimed the lead mere seconds before halftime. Facing a fourth and goal at the two and having no timeouts to work with, Wade rolled the dice and elected to give the ball to John Lewis, and the gamble paid off with a touchdown and DCA had a 15-10 lead five seconds before the first half concluded.
“We did that last week and it cost us,” Wade said. “We didn’t make it on fourth-and-one. So, this week we talked about pushing it across the edge and getting it in and we did.”
Despite opening the game down 6-0, the Cougars were quick to respond when senior Kemari McGowan broke loose for a 52-yard scoring run to put MTCS ahead 7-6. The Cougars were able to extend its lead to 10-6 by way of a Garriot Scott 30-yard field goal.
But miscues would be MTCS' undoing as the Cougars were outscored 18-0 to close the game out. In the second quarter, the Cougar defense kept DCA out of the end zone on a fourth and goal at the one. But on the ensuing play, the snap didn’t make it to quarterback Jackson Green’s hands and the miscue earned DCA a safety, cutting the 10-6 lead to 10-8.
“We shot ourselves in the foot on offense,” MTCS coach Fred Shambaugh said. “And it really made the score not reflect how close the game actually was.”
Turnovers continued to plague the Cougars in the second half. With the Cougars trailing 18-10 at the start of the fourth quarter, another bad snap got past Green and DCA recovered the ball at MTCS' 20-yard line.
Jordan Lewis scored from a yard out five plays later to put DCA up 24-10. The Cougars also got an interception Chase Carnahan, putting an end to any comeback hopes the Cougars may have had.
“They’re all young,” Shambaugh said. “The majority of our starters are sophomores. If they can learn a lesson here then that lesson carries with them for another two and a half years, so that’s the way we have to look at it.”