This wasn't a clash of service academies, but of Christian academies Friday night.
Christ Presbyterian, from Nashville, came in and edged defending Class A state champ Lexington Christian 20-12.
LCA, in its season opener, fell in Ray Graham's debut as head coach. An assistant to Paul Rains the past two years, Graham also notched 196 victories over 25 seasons as head coach of Harrison County.
Christ Presbyterian opened its season last week, edging Kentucky Class 2A three-time defending champion Fort Campbell.
"We're thankful," Coach Jay Mathews said of his team's Bluegrass sweep. "As much respect as we have (in Kentucky), nobody in Tennessee's going to give us any respect coming back now. We're going to have to earn everything we get."
Trailing 13-0 at halftime, LCA made a game of it in the second half. An interception and two lost fumbles were too much to overcome, though.
"You're not going to get away with turnovers," Graham said. "And they had a really good quarterback that could run and get first downs. And they've got big, tall receivers, and they run as good routes as anybody you're ever going to play."
When CPA's Max Curtis was wide left on a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 1:44 left, LCA had a last chance.
On the next play, however, a blind-side hit by blitzing Clayton Nichols knocked the ball loose from quarterback Scout McCamy. Robert Brown came up with his second fumble recovery of the half and CPA ran out the clock.
"I'm really tickled that we were able to execute on some things that I thought we could take advantage of," Graham said of the near-successful rally. "We told them at halftime what we thought would be there if they would be physical and do what we asked them to do. And they did. ... I love our kids. We're going to be fine."
Chad Hall got LCA's second half going when he recovered a fumble by Lions quarterback Nolan Genovese on the CPA 17-yard line. Five plays later, Christian Fielden scored on a 1-yard run to make it a 13-6 game.
Brown's first fumble recovery, late in the third quarter, led to a CPA TD — a 1-yard toss from Genovese to Britton Woodall with 10:07 left.
The Eagles struck back on their next play from scrimmage, a 78-yard pass play from McCamy to Chad Snyder. Snyder made the grab over the middle at about his own 45-yard line.
LCA's only possessions after that, though, ended with an interception and Brown's second fumble recovery.
Scoreless through the first 1½ quarters, William Trapnell set up the first score by plucking an LCA fumble and returning the ball about 5 yards to the 1. Genovese ran it in on the next play, with 4:45 left in the half.
LCA's deepest penetration of the first half, to the Lions' 39-yard line, stalled on downs with 2:39 left.
The Nashville team, overcoming a pair of false-start penalties, drove 61 yards in seven plays and scored with 31.8 seconds left on a pass over the middle from Genovese to Sam Cranford.
The Lions avenged a 28-27 loss to LCA in 2009.
Christ Presbyterian 0 13 0 7—20
Lexington Christian 0 0 6 6—12
CPA—Nolan Genovese 1 run (Max Curtis kick); CPA—Sam Cranford 5 pass from Genovese (kick failed); LCA—Christian Fielden 1 run (run failed); CPA—Britton Woodall 1 pass from Genovese (Curtis kick); LCA—Chad Snyder 78 pass from Scout McCamy (kick blocked).
Records—CPA 2-0; LCA 0-1