SEYMOUR — Mt. Juliet Christian intercepted five passes and held host King’s Academy to less than 100 rushing yards. But those weren’t enough to prevent the Lions from edging the Saints 21-19 Thursday night.
Andy Pitman picked off a pair of passes while Elliott Lee, Nathan Greene and Landon Boyd each had one while King’s was held to 80 yards on 20 rushes. The Lions passed for 304 yards.
“It was an exciting game,” Mt. Juliet Christian coach Jake Roberts said after his Saints slipped to 2-6 for the season and 0-4 in the East-Middle District 1-A. “Our defense played excellent.
“We shot ourselves in the foot offensively. We had a few penalties that were costly. We were driving and had a chop block. It made it second and 25 and that’s hard to come back from.”
Quarterback Rick Van Mali completed 26 of 37 passes for 317 yard and two touchdowns with an interception. In all, Mt. Juliet Christian compiled 481 total yards.
Lee, back from a one-game TSSAA-imposed suspension after he was ejected from the game against Friendship Christian two weeks ago, scored two Saints touchdowns on a catch and a run. Race McLean had the other TD reception. Zack Jones caught six passes for 110 yards. Andy Pitman led the ground game with 93 yards on 12 carries and had 56 more on six catches.
King’s led 14-0 in the second quarter before the Saints methodically came back. But a missed extra point in the third quarter and a two-point conversion misfire in the fourth kept the Lions in front as the home team improved to 4-4, 2-2.
Playing on Thursday will give the Saints an extra day to prepare for a visit to Suey Field from Zion Christian next Friday. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.