Football Roundup: Bruins clinch playoff spot, Indy eliminated (with slideshow!)
Jaron Norfleet heads upfield after one of his two catches for Brentwood Friday in the Bruins’ 17-14 victory against Independence. CATHERINE RAGSDALE
A win was paramount for both Brentwood and Independence to keep their playoff hopes alive Friday night. It turned out the Bruins wanted it just a little bit more.
Brentwood (6-3, 4-2 Region 6-5A) held off a late charge by the Eagles to take a 17-14 victory at home and clinch a spot in the playoffs for the 10th straight year.
“I’m pretty pleased with the way we played,” Bruins coach Ron Crawford said. “We gave them a lot of opportunities, but we fought back pretty hard.”
Independence (6-3, 3-3) started the season 6-0 and was in the driver’s seat for a postseason berth but now will miss the playoffs after its third straight loss.
Brentwood was able to intercept Eagles’ quarterback Zac Cordell three times in the game, two by Bobby Jewell and one by Kyle Woods. The Bruins also were able to match up well when Indy got into its power running set, something that has been successful many times for the Eagles this season.
“They tried to spread us out, both running and throwing,” Crawford said. “The few times they did get into their power stuff, we did a pretty decent job with it. We didn’t have a lot of sacks, but I felt like we got good pressure and did a good job of mixing our coverages.”
The Bruins got up 10-0 in a hurry to start the game, after Alex Holling ripped off a 69-yard run on their first play from scrimmage and Kevin Loudermilk converted a 26-yard field goal.
Indy was able to rally back, however, thanks to some miscues by the Brentwood offense and special teams. “Their team fought all night, even after they were down 10-0,” Crawford said. “We gave them a short field twice, and we were able to get the ball back so that helped us.”
Emory Martin got Indy on the board in the first quarter, plunging in from a yard out to make it 10-7 after Jeff Veres’ point after. Matt Hayes scored in the third quarter for Brentwood on a 24-yard run, and Scott Pettigrew added the Eagles’ second touchdown on a 2-yard run.
Independence faces Columbia in its season finale this week, while the Bruins travel to play Clarksville Northeast. Centennial 20, Columbia 13. A season of waiting for that taste of victory ended for the Centennial Cougars Friday night, as Greg Gregory’s team put its first notch in the win column going into this week’s rivalry game against Franklin. The Cougars (1-8, 1-5 Region 6-5A) have fought through some youth and several injuries this season but take some momentum into the final game of the season.
Spring Hill 28, Page 20. The Patriots lost a heartbreaker Friday night to the visiting Raiders, all but eliminating them from playoff contention with a game left. Taylor Lankford rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns for Page (3-6, 2-4 Region 5-3A), but it wasn’t enough to overcome the two-headed monster of quarterback Magwan Smith and tailback Ned McCaster for Spring Hill (4-5, 3-3).
Smith and McCaster combined to rush for 228 yards and three of the Raiders’ four touchdowns. Lankford was the majority of Page’s offense, with quarterback Blake Neel an ineffective 2-of-12 passing for just 64 yards and one touchdown pass to Jordan Rion.
The Pats close out the season this week against Cheatham County.
Brentwood Acad. 30, Father Ryan 7. Ryan White rushed for two touchdowns, and quarterback Trent Caffee had one rushing and one passing TD as BA rolled against the Fighting Irish Friday night.
Caffee was white-hot in the passing game, hitting 12-of-14 passes with just one incompletion and one interception for 177 yards and a 43-yard TD pass to Bill Kottas.
White had touchdown runs of 24 and 3 yards, while Caffee’s TD run came from 4 yards out. All told the Eagles had more than 400 yards of total offense compared to just 151 for Father Ryan.
The Irish running game was held to 55 yards, with quarterback Ryan Blair getting 32 of that on 14 carries. BA (8-1, 3-1 Division II-AAA) closes out its season this week against Christian Brothers at home.
Christ Pres. Acad. 44, East Robertson 3. The Lions cruised for the sixth straight week, blowing out East Robertson thanks to 198 yards and four passing touchdowns from quarterback Connor Lowery. Lowery hit on just 7-of-12 passes in the game but was extremely effective in doing so.
Tripp Weir had three catches for 112 yards and two TDs, while Richard Sullivan and Wes Nelson each had one catch but both were for touchdowns. Lowery also did well running the ball, rushing for 87 yards on eight carries.
CPA (8-1, 6-0 Region 5-2A) also had a blocked punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown by Trevor Starnes. Sullivan added a 33-yard field goal as well.
The Lions will shoot for the region title this week when they take on Goodpasture.
Fairview 56, Franklin Road Acad. 14. The Yellow Jackets (7-2, 4-2 Region 5-2A) came back with a vengeance after last week’s disappointment against CPA, putting 50 points of their own on the board against a weak FRA team. Sam Gulizia had two touchdowns, one on a punt return and the other on an interception return, while Cole Cassidy had two touchdown runs for the Yellow Jackets, who led 35-7 at halftime.
Fairview closes out the regular season with 1-9 Harpeth at home and should receive the No. 3 seed for the 2A playoffs in two weeks.
Ravenwood 42, Clarksville NE 6. Ravenwood built a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and never allowed Northeast to build any kind of momentum as the Raptors (6-3, 4-2 Region 6-5A) rolled to their fifth straight victory.
Corey Laidlaw had two touchdowns and 132 yards rushing, while backup quarterback Matt Johnson also went over the 100-yard mark for Ravenwood with 104 yards and two TDs on seven carries.
Starting QB Michael Becker also had two TD runs and 59 yards on the ground to go with 53 yards through the air. The Raptors will try to close out their season with a sixth straight victory this week when they go on the road to face Dickson County.
Tyner 16, Battle Ground Acad. 14. For the third time this season BGA (0-9) came close but could not pull out a victory, this time against the visiting Rams from Chattanooga. The Wildcats will try one more time to claim a win this season when they entertain Harding Academy, a Division II-AA foe, Friday.