CLARKSVILLE — Points were not necessarily at a premium Friday night as Columbia Academy outlasted Clarksville Academy 62-60 at the CA Sports Complex and Simpson Field.
But, ironically, a defensive stand on a two-point conversion with just over a minute left in the contest proved the difference for the visitors in the wild, seesaw affair.
The win marked the second victory in three weeks for the Bulldogs (2-6, 2-2 DII-A Middle Region), who nearly tripled their previous highest scoring output of the season in the process.
The shootout began early, with teams combining for 33 points in the game’s first quarter.
Columbia Academy spotted the hometown Cougars (5-4, 0-4) an early touchdown on a 77-yard pass from Derrick Merriweather to Paris Pridgen.
Columbia Academy quickly followed suit, opening its scoring on a 9-yard pass from Connor Rosson to Bryant Beranek.
The Cougars would tack on two more scores in the first quarter, building their lead to 20-6 with just 26 seconds left in the period.
Bulldog running back Montae Baldwin broke loose on a 77-yard rush on the final play from scrimmage in the frame, pulling the Bulldogs within striking distance at 20-13 at the end of one.
The Cougars built their lead back up to as many as eight, before the Bulldogs tied the contest at 27-27 on a four-yard score from Baldwin — his second of four on the night.
Columbia Academy took its first lead of the night late in the second quarter when Canon Landsell intercepted a Cougar pass and returned it 31 yards for a score, giving the visitors a narrow 34-33 lead at halftime.
The second half saw Columbia Academy quickly push its lead to 41-33 when Baldwin rumbled in for a 44-yard score less than a minute into the third.
The teams traded scores throughout the third, with the Bulldogs holding a 48-46 advantage after three quarters of play.
The Cougars retook the lead, 52-48, early in the fourth on a 36-yard rush just over a minute into the final stanza.
Columbia Academy swung back in front for good on a 57-yard scamper from Collins Malone with 10:15 left in the ballgame.
Leading by one, the Bulldogs pushed their lead with an insurance score from Harrison Diles with just 1:18 to play.
Leading 62-54, the Bulldogs saw the Cougars push for one last score, but came up with the defensive stop needed on the ensuing two-point conversion with 1:07 remaining.
The ensuing onside kick attempt was recovered by the Bulldogs, giving the win to Columbia Academy, following a 27-21 victory at Mt. Juliet Christian on Oct. 1.
The Bulldogs struck for 389 yards of offense in the win, while the Cougars went for 452.
Merriweather threw for four touchdowns and ran for three more in the losing effort for the Wildcats, who eclipsed 60-plus points for the third time this season, but suffered their first loss when doing so.
Rosson completed 14 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, while Baldwin rushed 20 times for 197 yards and the aforementioned four scores.
Columbia Academy closes its regular season next Friday with another region ballgame, hosting Grace Christian - Franklin.
Columbia Acad. 62, Clarksville Acad. 60
Co 13 21 14 14 -- 62
Cl 20 13 13 14 -- 60
Cl -- Paris Pridgen 77 pass from Derrick Merriweather (11:13), Beckham Sonnabend kick
Co -- Bryant Beranek 9 pass from Connor Rosson (9:34), run failed
Cl -- Corbin Yarbrough 18 rush (4:15), kick blocked
Cl -- Keith Richburg 40 pass from Merriweather (0:25), Sonnabend kick
Co -- Montae Baldwin 77 rush (0:00), Austin Hubbell kick
Cl -- Yarbrough 5 rush (9:58), Sonnabend kick
Co -- Baldwin 1 rush (6:19), Hubbell kick
Co -- Baldwin 4 rush (4:21), Hubbell kick
Cl -- Merriweather 2 rush (1:22), run failed
Co -- Canon Lansdell 31 interception return (0:16), Hubbell kick
Co -- Baldwin 44 rush (11:26), Hubbell kick
Cl -- Pridgen 50 pass from Merriweather (5:13), pass failed
Co -- Collins Malone 78 kickoff return (4:54), Hubbell kick
Cl -- Merriweather 6 rush (0:17), Sonnabend kick
Cl -- Merriweather 36 rush (10:35), Jacques Wyatt pass from Merriweather
Co -- Malone 57 pass from Rosson (10:27), Hubbell kick
Co -- Harrison Diles 4 rush (1:18), Hubbell kick
First downs 18 25
Rushes-yards 34-239 31-125
Passing yards 150 327
Comps-Atts-Ints 14-22-1 13-25-1
Penalties-yards 11-103 7-71
Fumbles-lost 2-2 6-2
Columbia Acad. -- Montae Baldwin 20-197, Connor Rosson 6-28, Harrison Diles 5-15, Jacob Hill 1-5
Clarksville Acad. -- Derrick Merriweather 12-149, Corbin Yarbrough 12-82, Tyson Hagewood 1-5, Chris Jones 1-(-1)
Columbia Acad. -- Connor Rosson 14-22-1, 150
Clarksville Acad. -- Derrick Merriweather 13-25-1, 327
Columbia Acad. -- Collins Malone 5-99, Samuel Nowotny 5-21, Bryant Beranek 2-18, Aiden Hatley 2-12
Clarksville Acad. -- Paris Pridgen 3-148, Keith Richburg 4-134, Tyson Hagewood 3-21, Jacques Wyatt 1-16, Corbin Yarbrough 1-7, Cooper Wallace 1-1