Goodpasture and Christ Presbyterian Academy, located on opposite ends of the county, always seem to come together during football season.
Friday marks the sixth time in the last seven years they have met during the regular season, then followed up with a rematch in the playoffs.
Last year, CPA swept the series, winning 35-14 at home and 24-22 in the playoffs. In 2010, the Cougars won both, 28-27 and 20-6, respectively. The high-water mark, in terms of offense, was 2007 — Goodpasture won 43-32 in Week 10 and followed with a 47-41 overtime victory the following week.
The only time they split was in 2008 when Goodpasture avenged a regular season loss by pounding the Lions 35-21 in the postseason. Each year from 2006-08 CPA’s campaign ended with a loss to Goodpasture.
They met for the first time in 2012 in the opening week of the season at Goodpasture. CPA built a 14-0 lead and hung on for a 14-7 win. The Lions had significant edges in total offense, 353-228, and first downs, 18-9. Goodpasture had three turnovers to one for CPA.
Now comes the seemingly inevitable postseason rematch. CPA (10-0) hosts Goodpasture (5-5) in opening round of the TSSAA Class 3A the playoffs.
In a way, that first game mirrored Goodpasture’s season. Through a number of player suspensions and departures, the Cougars got off to a 1-4 start. They finished 4-1, similar to the second half against CPA when they drove to the 10 late but failed to punch it in for a game-tying touchdown.
“It’s a big game between two old rivals,” second-year CPA coach Ingle Martin, who guided his team to the 3A semifinals last year, said this week. “They have set the bar high with all the championships and finals appearances (three titles, six runners-up) they have made in recent years.
“I hope we get to emulate what they have been able to do some day.”
Martin’s team jumped one spot to No. 2, behind Alcoa, in this week’s final Associated Press 3A poll.
CPA has been one of Nashville’s most powerful offensive teams. Quarterback Albert Mitchell directs an offense that averages 36 points a game and has scored more than 40 four times. He has passed for 1,100 yards.
The Lions trailed after three quarters for the first time this season last week (25-20), but rallied for 15 fourth-quarter points at Pearl-Cohn to salvage a 35-25 win.
Goodpasture has won three straight and has averaged 29 points a game over that span, but protecting The Den is more than just a slick motto at CPA. Martin’s teams are 12-0 at home since he became coach prior to last season.
“Our team is very excited to start the playoffs, we’re now in a situation of either win or go home,” Martin said. “We are blessed to have a home game.”
• SWEET SOUNDS: A performance three years ago has paved the way for a visit by the Stratford High marching band to play at the half of Friday night’s playoff game at CPA.
Stratford’s band got a standing ovation after their show at the half of the Spartans’ 2009 game at CPA. Two friends from the Gould Turner Group and Star Physical Therapy of the schools were at the game, took notice and discussed the possibility of the band returning at some point for a guest performance.
Inasmuch as CPA has a fine arts department but not a marching band, the friends stayed in touch, and their plans for 2012 became a reality.
Thanks to the sponsorship of Turner, Star Physical, and also Smith Cashion & Orr, Stratford’s band will return to perform during Friday’s game. The group will have a rehearsal, a pre-game dinner with CPA officials, then a march to the stadium.
Riverdale at Cane Ridge
McGavock at Dickson County
Independence at Mt. Juliet
Overton at Arlington
Wilson Central at Brentwood High
Hillsboro at Antioch
Portland at Centennial
Lipscomb Academy at Giles County
Crockett County at Maplewood
Goodpasture at Christ Presbyterian Academy
McEwen at Nashville Christian School
(Winner plays at Clarksville Academy next week)
Pope John Paul II at Briarcrest
Battle Ground Academy at Baylor
Father Ryan at Montgomery Bell Academy
Byes: Ensworth, Brentwood Academy
SBEC at Donelson Christian Academy
Fayette Academy at Ezell-Harding
Davidson Academy at St. George’s
(Winner plays at Franklin Road Academy next week)