SMYRNA -- Down 6-2 after the opening game, Friendship Christian's bowlers poured on the coal and rallied for a 19-8 victory over Pope John Paul II Saturday afternoon in the finals of the TSSAA Division II State Bowling Tournament at the Smyrna Bowling Center.
"That's sort of been our pattern," said FCS coach Mark Strickland. "They get smacked in the mouth, then come back and answer the call. These guys like the competition and like stepping up to a challenge."
Trailing 6-2 after Game One, the Commanders blanked PJPII in the second game 8-0, then won Game Three 6-2. Total pin falls 2,906 for FCS; 2,796 for JPII.
Friendship sophomore Donny Turner had a 190 for high game and a 564 for high series.
Cole Buttrey rolled games of 137, 153 and 167; Luke Shoulders 154, 168 and 148; Nick Norton 174, 174 and 188; Drew Porth 133, 171 and 135; Jacob Haskins 121, 171 and 148.
The Commanders ended the season 21-1 overall while Pope John Paul II finished 20-7.
The championship marked the first for the school in the sport of bowling and the eighth state title since the start of the 2007 academic year.
ON FRIDAY, Friendship Christian defeated St. Benedict 17-10 in the quarterfinals and McCallie 19-8 in the semifinals.