by Danny Brewer

Let’s get real for a moment…high school football is one of those special things in the sporting world. The competition, the spirit, the real pigskin purity it possesses is the essence of the game. Seeing all that is special to say the least. And that’s exactly why Thursday’s contest between Christ Presbyterian Academy and Oakland is something to circle on the calendar.

As followers of high school football know, the TSSAA playoffs will produce heavy hitting contests. The regular season games will feature some good ones, but normally it is deep in the post-season before a matchup like this happens. So when the defending TSSAA class 6A state champion (Oakland) and the defending TSSAA Division II state champ (CPA) meet on the gridiron it is must-see.

“Playing these types of games helps you determine your strengths and your weaknesses”, says Oakland coach Kevin Creasy. “Playing championship caliber opponents in the regular season makes us better and our program always wants to be better.”

Under the care of Kevin Creasy the Patriot program has been pretty good to say the least. Two state titles (2020, 2018) and a runner-up (2016) finish in a five year tenure speaks volumes. The Patriots have already faced down one private school behemoth in 2021 when they toppled Lipscomb Academy 29-21 back on September 23. This game will certainly be a great test for a team looking for a repeat trip to the class 6A ‘ship

Christ Presbyterian Academy brings an unbeaten 7-0 record to Murfreesboro. Featuring a roster that has both size and skill, the Lions have already defeated Independence (48-21), Brentwood Academy (21-17), Montgomery Bell Academy (24-10), and Cane Ridge (42-10) in 2021. The win over Lipscomb Academy in last year’s TSSAA Division II state title game provided CPA with their fifth football championship (2020, 2018, 2014, 2002, 2000). Coached by Ingle Martin, these Lion’s roar has been heard in abundance this season.

The fact these two will face off is truly a tribute to both programs. Some schools do not want to take on these types of challenges in the regular season. Perhaps the willingness to knock heads with only bragging rights on the line speaks of their commitment to the sport. And it also tells us of their eagerness to showcase who they are as they prepare for a run at post-season glory.

“We  are always eager to get as many people into Ray Hughes Stadium as we can”, says Creasy. “It gives us an opportunity to showcase our program while competing at a very high level. This one should be a lot of fun.”

Kickoff is slated for 7 pm on Thursday, October 7 on the campus of Oakland High School.