Undefeated Battle Ground Academy, the state’s top-ranked Division II-AA team according to the latest Associated Press poll, grabbed a share of Middle Region lead with a 42-7 blowout of Goodpasture Friday night at Guffee-Brown Stadium.
The Wildcats’ advantage was evident on the first possession of the game as BGA, which improved to 3-0 overall, forced a quick three-and-out before senior quarterback Nick Semptimphelter dropped a 36-yard touchdown into the hands of senior wide receiver Antonio Stevens to start the show.
Scoring all 42 points in the first half, BGA dominated the entire game both defensively and offensively. The Wildcats out-gained Goodpasture 427-120 and limited the visitors to just eight first downs and 2-of-14 third-down conversions.
The performance was enough to please first-year head coach Jonas Rodriguez.
“Overall it was a great team win," Rodriguez said. "Both the older and younger guys got to get good work in. Everyone came out happy and healthy. Naturally there are things to work on even with a win like this one, but we will be able to learn from this and go on to the next weeks game.”
Semptimphelter and Stevens only played the first half, each putting up impressive numbers. Semptimphelter finished with 187 passing yards and three touchdowns, while Stevens pulled in 146 yards receiving.
BGA’s young offensive line helped to keep the Cougar’s defense honest, opening holes that allowed the rushing game to flourish with 218 rushing yards.
Sean Williams rushed for a pair of first-quarter touchdowns as BGA opened up a 21-0 lead after the first 12 minutes. Semptimphelter opened the second quarter with touchdown passes to Briston Bennett and Garnett Hollis Jr. before Trice Gordon added a 29-yard touchdown run with 4:01 left in the half.
Gordon closed with 100 yards rushing on just 11 carries.
Caleb Ryce led the BGA defense with 6.5 tackles, including two for loss. He also teamed up with Max Sale for a sack, while Iman Lohrasbi notched a sack as well. The Wildcats intercepted three passes.
BGA takes on Franklin-Simpson of Kentucky in Week 4 at home. Franklin-Simpson is looking to repeat as state champions this season.
Battle Ground Academy 42, Goodpasture 7
GCS – 0 0 0 7 – 7
BGA 21 21 0 0 – 42
1Q 10:26 B – Antonio Stevens 36 pass from Nick Semptimphelter (Jack Sauder kick);
1Q 5:06 B – Sean Williams 18 run (Sauder kick);
1Q 1:22 B – Williams 3 run (Sauder kick);
2Q 10:29 B – Briston Bennett 11 pass from Semptimphelter (Sauder kick);
2Q 7:43 B – Garnett Hollis Jr. 14 pass from Semptimphelter (Sauder kick);
2Q 4:01 B – Trice Gordan 29 run (Sauder kick);
4Q 11:12 G – Jeron Elkins 1 run (Darius Barksdale kick).