NASHVILLE, Tenn.- In a tournament that featured some of Tennessee's top high school programs, it was only natural that two defending state champions, David Lipscomb and Montgomery Bell Academy, would meet in the final of Vanderbilt's third annual Music City Classic on Saturday. The Mustangs would prove to be too much for the Big Red, capturing the 7-on-7 championship with a 20-10 victory.
Lipscomb, who was led by all-state performer and Music City Classic Most Valuable Player, Zach Rogers as well as linebacker/tight end Evan Webb and quarterback Caleb Simpson, had to battle through adversty throughout the tournament and the final proved to be no different.
The game started off slow, with both teams playing stout defense and forcing three straight three-and-outs. However, MBA would have success during their second possession, driving down the field and completing a one-yard touchdown pass. A few plays later, the Big Red would expand the lead to 10-0 when picked off Simpson. The Mustangs appeared to look tired and disheartened after the interception, but a scoring drive on the next series proved to give the Mustangs new life.
Following a Simpson engineered scoring drive, the Mustangs defense shut down MBA for the next 10 minutes and forced a couple interceptions in the process. Then on Lipscomb's possession, Simpson would cap off a five play drive with a touchdown pass to Evan Webb in the back of the end zone. MBA would try to make a late comeback inside the final minute, but Big Red's Spencer Wise's final toss would fall incomplete, sealing the comeback victory for the Mustangs.
The comeback was really nothing new for David Lipscomb, as the team was constantly reaching back for a little more desire throughout Saturday's action. With not as many players as some other teams had, the small group of Mustangs appeared to battle through some fatigue and a lack of overall depth while facing some of the event's other top teams including the defending tournament champion Hillsboro and top-seeded program, Springdale Har-Ber of Arkansas.
On the flipside, the Big Red had two teams participating in the tournament but the "A" team that reached the final had to battle through some tough teams to even get to the championship game as well. Led by players like Joseph Sloan, Brad Bars and Drew Turner, the Big Red shocked a very athletic Whitehaven squad in the second round of the tournament before upending the third-seeded Independence Eagles, 11-6 in the quarterfinals. MBA would later prove to be too much for the second-seeded Franklin Rebels to handle in the semifinals, posting a 23-21 victory.
As a result of winning the championship, the Mustangs received an invite to the National Select 7-on-7 tournament in Hoover, Alabama next weekend. Even in defeat, the MBA Big Red also received the opportunity to represent the state of Tennessee at the event next week.
2008 MCC Tournament Results:
(#16) Lavergne over (#17) Ravenwood B team, 22-18.
(#12) Stratford over (#21) MBA B team, 31-8.
(#13) Brentwood Academy over (#20) Greenbrier, 27-14.
(#14) Cookeville over (#19) CPA, 23-8.
(#11) Whitehaven over (#22) Page, 24-7.
(#15) Maplewood over (#18) Clarksville, 10-8.
(#1) Springdale Har-Ber over (#16) Lavergne, 36-6.
(#9) DeKalb County over (#8) Plainfield North, 32-26.
(#5) David Lipscomb over (#12) Stratford, 27-7.
(#4) Hillsboro over (#13) Brentwood Academy, 19-8.
(#3) Independence over (#14) Cookeville, 32-16.
(#6) MBA over (#11) Whitehaven, 41-17.
(#7) Memphis University School over (#10) Ravenwood A team, 26-16.
(#2) Franklin over (#15) Maplewood, 11-0.
(#1) Springdale Har-Ber over (#9) DeKalb County, 29-15.
(#5) David Lipscomb over (#4) Hillsboro, 24-18.
(#6) MBA over (#3) Independence, 11-6.
(#2) Franklin over (#7) MUS, 17-14.
(#5) David Lipscomb over (#4) Springdale Har-Ber, 25-24.
(#6) MBA over (#2) Franklin, 23-21.
(#5) David Lipscomb over (#6) MBA, 20-10.
Note: Pope John Paul II was not able to participate on Saturday. Gallatin and Middle Tennessee Christian participated in the morning's pool play but were unable to compete in the tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Complete Team Records:
M.B.A. A team....10-3
Pope John Paul II....4-2
M.B.A. B team........2-8
Ravenwood B team..3-0
Check back later for a Music City Classic notebook on the camp's top performers.