MT. JULIET — The Mt. Juliet Christian Academy Saints were clawed by the visiting Middle Tennessee Christian Cougars 48-17 Friday night at Suey Field.
After the Cougars' Tanner Green punched it in for a 1-yard score with 7:44 to go in the first quarter, the Saints turned the ball over on downs, handing MTCS the ball. Quarterback Justin Winn found wideout Trey Hickey up the middle for a 43-yard touchdown.
A couple of minutes later the home crowd had something to cheer about as Noah Wilson scampered his way across the field for a 58-yard touchdown run.
An explosive second quarter saw the Cougars cross the goal line three times — a 1-yard run by Winn at just under the 10-minute mark, a 23-yard strike from Winn to receiver Griffin Harper and a 4-yard punch-in by Nick Merritt.
MJCA's Landon Boyd booted a 25-yard field goal at 7:44 of the quarter and Wilson drove through the line for a 1-yard score with four seconds to go in the half.
The Saints took the ball to start the third quarter but were stymied on the 18-yard line as the Cougar defense dug in, forcing a turnover on downs at 7:32 of the period. MTCS took command of the football and began an 82-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 5-yard touchdown grab by Green with 3:26 to go in the quarter.
The Cougars delivered the final blow when Austin Melton intercepted Rick Van Mali and ran 65 yards to the end zone for the final tally as the visitors improved to 3-0.
"Realistically from top to bottom, offense, defense, special teams, we did not execute and that's my fault," Saints coach Jake Roberts said after Mt. Juliet Christian dropped to 0-2. "I should have done things differently this week in practice. It's very simple, we came into this game knowing what they were going to do. They were going to run the football. We just didn't tackle. But this was on me, not on them."
Winn finished with 103 yards on 14 rushes and went 7-of-8 passing for 103 yards for the Cougars. Green rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries and hauled in two passes for six yards and a touchdown.
For the Saints, Wilson lead the way with 115 yards on 12 carries and scored both MJCA touchdowns. Van Mali finished 22-of-35 for 175 yards with an interception. Zack Jones hauled in five receptions for 53 yards and Race McLean finished with six catches for 62 yards.
Mt. Juliet Christian will travel to east Tennessee for a 6 p.m. CDT game at Oakdale next Friday.
Middle Tennessee Christian 48, Mt. Juliet Christian 17
MTCS - 14 20 7 7 - 48
MJCA - 7 10 0 0 - 17
MTCS — Tanner Green 1run (Philip Bonabi kick), 7:44.
MTCS — Trey Hickey 43 pass from Justin Winn (Bonabi kick), 4:25.
MJCA — Noah Wilson 58 run (Landon Boyd kick), 2:19.
MTCS — Winn 1 run (kick failed), 9:59.
MJCA — Boyd 25 FG, 7:08.
MTCS — Griffin Harper 23 pass from Winn(pass failed), 2:54.
MTCS — Nick Merritt 4 run (Winn pass to Harper), 1:55.
MJCA — Wilson run (Boyd kick), 0:04.
MTCS — Green 5 pass from Winn (Bonabi kick), 3:26.
MTCS — Austin Melton 65 interception return (Bonabi kick), 4:32.
First downs 15 20
Total yards — 305
Penalties 1-5 2-20
RUSHING — Middle Tennessee Christian: Justin Winn 14-103, Tanner Green 13-71. Mt. Juliet Christian: Noah Wilson 12-115.
PASSING — Middle Tennessee Christian: Justin Winn 7-8-0-103. Mt. Juliet Christian: Rik Van Mali 22-35-1-175.
RECEIVING — Middle Tennessee Christian: Tanner Green 2-6. Mt. Juliet Christian: Zack Jones 5-53, Race McLean 6-62.