The Pope John Paul II High football program has suddenly put its past in the rear-view mirror.
The Knights entered their 10th season as part of Division II’s largest classification with a 2-58 record in East/Middle Region play.
They matched that victory total with their second regional win of the 2016 season on Friday night, a 21-19 victory at Baylor.
Led by senior quarterback Ben Brooks and a vastly-improved defensive unit, the Knights overcame a 13-0 deficit and held on thanks to the Red Raiders’ failed two-point conversion pass in the fourth quarter.
Baylor had won all 10 meetings between the two programs, with the closest of those contests coming in 2007 (a 28-20 contest).
Pope John Paul II (5-3, 2-3 in Division II-AA) snapped a 22-game losing streak in region play with a 20-17 win at Father Ryan on Sept. 9.
Lots of yards
The numbers were gaudy for multiple players as Shelbyville captured a key Region 5-5A victory at Stewarts Creek on Friday evening, winning the scorefest by a 49-47 margin.
The two teams combined for 989 yards of total offense.
Shelbyville (6-2, 3-2 in Region 5-5A) did it through the air as sophomore quarterback Grayson Trammell averaged better than 27 yards per completion, throwing touchdown passes of 25, 27, 49, 66 and 69 yards en route to a 325-yard night, and senior wide receiver Darius Young caught three of those touchdown passes and had 225 receiving yards.
Stewarts Creek (4-4, 3-2) rushed for 499 yards and had three 100-yard rushers..
A fantastic finish
Davidson Academy managed to survive a wild affair at Franklin Road Academy in a 50-46 victory on Friday evening.
There were six lead changes in the game, and the Bears rallied to score to the final 15 points, capped by sophomore Stone Norton’s 39-yard touchdown pass to junior Ben Switzer with less than a minute remaining.
Norton passed for 187 yards and two touchdowns, while Da’Juon Hewitt rushed for 220 yards and four scores. Teammate Eli Breece caught five passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Nigerian exchange student Ani Izuchukwu – a defensive end who collected numerous Division-I scholarship offers before ever playing varsity football – made his debut for Davidson Academy following shoulder surgery.
Franklin Road Academy also had a player to eclipse the 200-yard mark in Walker Palmerton, who picked up 201 yards on 22 carries, and classmate Adonis Otey ran for five touchdowns on 14 carries, compiling 119 rushing yards.
Getting on the board
Two teams – Mt. Pleasant and Livingston Academy – picked up their first victories of the season last Friday.
Mt. Pleasant claimed a 36-27 win at Richland, while Livingston Academy rolled to a 23-0 victory over winless Cumberland County.
Nine area teams are still in search of their first win, including Pickett County, Houston County, Loretto, East Hickman, Tullahoma, White House, Columbia, Glencliff and West Creek.
A passing fancy
A pair of junior quarterbacks aired it out in Pulaski as Page captured a 38-35 victory over Giles County.
Giles County’s John Bachus completed 28 of 45 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns.
Page’s Jacob Van Landingham averaged better than 20 yards per completion, connecting on 14 of 20 for 285 yards and three touchdowns.
Giles County piled up 585 total yards in the losing effort, while the Patriots (5-2, 4-0) produced 425.
Page’s win sets up a showdown with Marshall County (7-1, 4-0) for the Region 4-4A title in Week 11.
Reach Craig Harris at 615-259-8238 and on Twitter @CHTennessean.