A pair of Division II-AA Middle Region football rivals are among the quarterfinalists left in the high school football playoffs after last week's first round.
Defending champion Christ Presbyterian Academy, which defeated regional foe Battle Ground Academy for the title last season, will host Chattanooga Christian Friday. BGA will travel to Evangelical Christian School in a matchup that pits new coach Joans Rodriguez against his former team.
Here's a closer look at both playoff matchups:
Chattanooga Christian (7-3) at Christ Presbyterian Academy (5-6), DII-AA Quarterfinal
Sophomore quarterback Cade Law passed for 263 yards with three touchdowns to lead the Lions to a 35-0 shutout of Knoxville Webb in the first round last week.
Wideout Maverick Rodriguez, a junior, snagged five catches for 143 yards with two scores and fellow junior Tyler Reid led the CPA ground game with two scores and 68 yards rushing.
Chattanooga Christian will make the trek to the Lions’ Den after a 42-10 first-round win against Christian Academy of Knoxville.
If both CPA and Lipscomb Academy advance Friday, the two Middle Region foes will meet in Nashville in the DII-AA semifinals. The Mustangs (6-5) travel to Knoxville Grace (9-2) in the second round.
Battle Ground Academy (8-3) at Evangelical Christian School (10-1), DII-AA Quarterfinal
Senior quarterback Nick Semptimphelter etched his name into the BGA record books last week, taking over as the all-time leader at the Franklin school in passing yards and passing touchdowns.
He guided the Wildcats to a 49-6 win against First Assembly Christian School last week in the first round, throwing three touchdowns. He has thrown 62 touchdowns and has more than 5,500 passing yards in a Wildcats jersey.
Friday’s second round matchup includes the first trip back to ECS for new coach Jonas Rodriguez. 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 but have continued their rise this season.
BGA will need another big defensive performance at top-ranked ECS. Last week the Wildcats forced two turnovers, including a fumble returned for a touchdown by Iman Lohrasbi.