HomeSportsJackson Christian unable to slow Nashville Christian

Jackson Christian unable to slow Nashville Christian

By Chip Cirillo

For Main Street Preps

Back in August, Nashville Christian didn’t look like a team that would return to the state final.

But that’s just where the Eagles are going.

Rebounding from a 0-2 start, Nashville Christian won its 10th straight with a 54-20 rout of visiting Jackson Christian in a Division II-A semifinal Friday night.

Nashville Christian (10-2) will face Friendship Christian (12-0) in the state championship at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga on Dec. 1.

“We were figuring stuff out,” NCS wide receiver Donovan Smith said. “I knew those two games were defining.”

Smith noticed something in a season-opening loss to Franklin Road Academy that gave him hope.

“Being down 29-3 and being able to rally back 21 points, that showed me something about this team,” Smith said. “I knew we were going to be special from there. This coaching staff never doubted us, people at the school never doubted us and we never doubted ourselves.”

Smith left no doubt against Jackson Christian (10-2) as the senior caught three touchdown passes from freshman quarterback Jared Curtis.

NCS finished second in the state last year after a loss to Donelson Christian Academy in the final.

Curtis torched JCS for 309 passing yards and five TD passes. He also threw two TDs to senior James Warmbrod.

Curtis also ran for a touchdown.

“We unfortunately lost it last year and we’ve been gunning all year for it,” Curtis said of the DCA loss. “It’s come back to this moment and here we are after a great win. We ain’t finished until we win the state championship ring.”

Nashville Christian improved to 6-0 against JCS.

“I think the thing that allows (Jared) to play the way he plays is he has so much joy playing,” NCS coach Jeff Brothers said. “It really is like a PE class out here to him. He’s just ripping and running and throwing and laughing and having a good time and when he makes a mistake it’s no big deal. Let’s just play the next play.”

NCS lost eight starters on offense from last year and seven on defense.

Jackson Christian narrowed the deficit to 14-13 early in the second quarter before NCS rattled off 33 consecutive points.

NCS’ 4-2-5 defense allowed some big plays, but held JCS in check.

“We’ve been playing good defense all year,” Brothers said. “Swarm, attack, suffocate. That’s kind of the mentality of our defense.”

JCS receiver Jay’len Mosley caught nine passes for 173 yards and two TDs.

The sophomore has college offers from Ole Miss, Liberty, Memphis and Miami of Ohio.

“We tried to pick it up, but it just didn’t go our way,” Mosley said.

Jackson Christian’s Kam Boyd rushed for 131 yards and one TD.

“Their quarterback (Curtis) kind of makes them go,” JCS coach Darby Palmer said. “He has an unbelievable future ahead of him. I think he’s a future Power Five guy the way that he’s able to keep his poise in the pocket, scramble and make plays for them.”

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