By Parker Bell
The Pope John Paul II Knights survived a thrilling finish at Lipscomb Academy 27 - 17 Friday night to pick up their second win of the season.
“The key to the win, it wasn’t offense or defense,” coach Justin Geisinger said, “It was the resiliency of our group, and the ability to come back from adversity.”
While the Knights win may have been a team effort, their offense led the charge with 408 total yards. QB Ben Nixon passed for 214 yards, completing 72 percent of his attempts. Nixon notched 2 touchdowns, running one in himself.
When Nixon didn’t look to move the ball with the help of his receivers, Antwan Roberts was a go to on the ground. Roberts rushed for 127 yards and ran in 2 touchdowns in the first quarter to make for an early Pope John Paul lead. The Knights led 20 – 3 at the half.
Lipscomb academy struggled offensively in the first half, as they were held to just a field goal. But in the second half, a combination of strong defense, that held the Knights to 1 touchdown late in the fourth, and a touchdown pass from QB Frankie Killebrew to Jaden Lyles pulled them within 10 points, setting them up for a comeback.
Late in the fourth quarter and up 10, the Knights were in prime position to put the game away, with the ball inside the Lipscomb 20. Disaster struck as the ball was snapped over Nixon’s head and picked up by Lipscomb who went the distance for a touchdown, or so it seemed. A penalty at midfield retracted the 6 points and put the ball on Lipscomb’s side of the field. The next play, Killebrew threw an interception, and the rest was history.
“There’s no easy game for us this whole season, including this Lipscomb team who is a very good well-coached football team,” Geisinger said.
Lipscomb academy plays Franklin Road Academy next week, while Pope John Paul II plays at Brentwood Academy.