Nick Semptimphelter etched his name in the Battle Ground Academy record books and the Wildcats football team advanced out of the TSSAA Division II-AA first round of the playoffs Friday in Franklin.
BGA blasted First Assembly Christian School 49-6 to earn a quarterfinal berth. The Wildcats will face first-year coach Jonas Rodriguez’s former team Evangelical Christian School on the road next week.
Semptimphelter, a senior Bucknell commit, threw for three touchdowns on 8-of-11 passing for 160 yards. He passed Drew Martin for the BGA all-time passing yards and touchdowns mark at the Franklin school.
Semptimphelter has thrown for 62 touchdowns in his career and ended Friday with 5,643 yards passing. Martin, a 2018 graduate of BGA and current member of the University of Tennessee-Martin football team, threw for 60 TDs and closed with 5,486 yards in a Wildcat jersey. Semptimphelter entered the night just three yards shy of the passing record.
The senior quarterback hit Garnett Hollis Jr. for a 14-yard strike, Antonio Stevens for a 19-yarder and Jorian Cantrell for a 29-yard TD on the night. Briston Bennett added two rushing scores and closed with 96 yards on just 10 carries.
The BGA defensed forced a pair of turnovers, including a fumble returned for a touchdown by Iman Lohrasbi late in the second quarter. The Wildcats led 42-0 at the half.
Joseph Cummings relieved Semptimphelter under center in the second half and added a 7-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Morra late in the third.
BGA, which improved to 8-3 overall, will travel to top-ranked ECS (10-1) next week. The Eagles topped Harding Academy 45-7 Friday in their first round matchup.
Rodriguez, who was hired in April at BGA, was named the 2018 Division II-AA West Region Coach of the Year after leading ECS to back-to-back playoff berths. The Eagles fell in the second round against Lausanne last season.
Battle Ground Academy 49, First Assembly Christian School 6, Division II-A First Round
FACS – 0 0 0 6 – 6
BGA – 21 21 7 0 – 49
1Q 8:51 B – Garnett Hollis 14 pass from Nick Semptimphelter (Jack Sauder kick);
1Q 6:03 B – Briston Bennett 6 run (Sauder kick);
1Q 3:25 B – Bennett 34 run (Sauder kick);
2Q 7:11 B – Antonio Stevens 19 pass from Semptimphelter (Sauder kick);
2Q 5:23 B – Jorian Cantrell 29 pass from Semptimphelter (Sauder kick);
2Q 2:39 B – Iman Lohrasbi fumble return (Sauder kick);
3Q 0:57 B – Daniel Morra 7 pass from Joseph Cummings (Jack Such kick);
4Q 10:59 F – Cole Putnam 80 run (Kick blocked).