Saints suffer 5th straight loss -

DONELSON – Mt. Juliet Christian Academy put itself into an offensive hole quickly Friday, helping Donelson Christian Academy take a two-touchdown lead five minutes into the game of an eventual 53-0 Wildcats win at Ken Redmond Stadium.

DCA (7-1, 3-0 Division II-A Middle) used an interception on a tipped pass on the Saints first possession and an 18-yard punt on their second possession to score twice in a total of six plays to lead 13-0 at the 6:47 mark of the first quarter. Both errors gave the Wildcats the ball at the MJCA 42.

“Facing the short field twice did not bother us,” MJCA Coach Dan Davis said. “We made mistakes with so many little things. We would start to move the ball, then shoot ourselves in the foot. Penalties. Not catching the ball on wide-open passes.”

“Anytime you get the short field that early in the game, it takes a lot of pressure off your offense,” DCA Coach Paul Wade said.

MJCA (2-6, 0-3) did not reach the DCA side of the field until the 9:31 mark of the second quarter, reaching the Wildcats’ 43 on Noah Kleinmann’s 22-yard pass to Tyler Barnes. Three consecutive incomplete passes and a reverse did not move the ball from there.

The Kleinmann-Barnes connection was the most successful part of the offense for the Saints, who have lost five consecutive games. Barnes had seven catches for 83 yards. Three of his catches gained at least 21 yards. Kleinmann completed 14-of-34 passes for 137 yards with two interceptions. MJCA had six first downs, with two coming from DCA penalties. The Wildcats were penalized 10 times for 115 yards, all in the first half.

The Saints rushed for just 29 yards on 17 carries. JaMarion Thomas had the two longest gains, a 17-yarder and an 11-yarder in the first half. DCA recorded six tackles for loss.

MJCA’s offense had been in overdrive the previous week, losing 74-67 at Sale Creek. The Saints had been shut out in one other game this year, a 44-0 loss to Friendship Christian. MJCA is averaging 29 points per game.

“Either we put up a lot of points or we don’t,” Davis said. “It is not a scheme issue for us. We just have to do a better job of giving ourselves a chance by doing the little things better.”

“That team (MJCA) can score a lot of points,” Wade said. “We never talked about or were looking for a shutout so our defense just played outstanding. It is good to be playing good defense late in the season.”

DCA sophomore Ashton Jones rushed for 177 yards and four touchdowns on 10 carries.

MJCA plays its third road game in a row next Friday, at region co-leader (with DCA) Nashville Christian School. The Saints play their final game of the season at home on Oct. 29 against Clarksville Academy.

DCA plays at Grace Christian Academy in Franklin next Friday, then plays Nashville Christian on Oct. 29 in the final game of the regular season.

MJCA donation: In a pregame ceremony on the field, senior members of the MJCA Student Council presented a check for $2,500 to the DCA Student Council to be used for student activities. More than $2,000 of that total was raised through MJCA student donations.

According to MJCA administrator Jon Willis the donation was a gesture of athletics appreciation.

When a tornado destroyed MJCA’s athletics facilities in March of 2020, DCA (whose campus also received tornado damage) offered MJCA basketball and volleyball teams the use of its gym for “home games.”