Brentwood Academy defeated Baylor 21-0 in the Division II semifinals. The Eagles face off against McCallie on Saturday.
BRENTWOOD — Turnovers have been the difference in the two games between Baylor and Brentwood Academy this season.
The Eagles took advantage of three Red Raiders turnovers and senior running back Tyree Ford had 139 yards on just 18 carries and a touchdown as BA blanked Baylor 21-0 in the Division II semifinals.
Brentwood Academy (10-1) will now face McCallie (10-1) in the Division II Blue Cross Bowl Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.
McCallie easily dispatched of Christian Brothers 45-16 in the other Division II semifinal.
The Blue Tornado ranked No. 2 in the state defeated the Eagles — ranked No. 1 — in Chattanooga 28-21 earlier in the season.
Brentwood Academy’s defensive line harassed Baylor quarterback Tyler Massey into two second-half interceptions and the Eagles capitalized for 14 second-half points to put the game out of reach.
“Our defense did a great job of shutting down (Kevin) Cooper and getting great pressure on the quarterback,” BA coach Carlton Flatt said.
Cooper, committed to the University of Tennessee, came into the game with over 1,600 yards rushing including 182 in last week’s win over Memphis University School.
But Cooper was held to only 67 yards on 16 carries including just 14 in the second half.
“The key was shutting him down and being able to rush the passer,” Flatt said.
Ford, who now has 1,029 yards rushing on the season, scored from 11 yards out on the Eagles first drive of the fourth quarter to give BA a 14-0 lead.
The touchdown was set up by linebacker Michael Coltharp, who stepped in front of wide receiver Brandon Joynes inside Baylor territory.
Then on the next possession, Massey was intercepted by Bill Kottas again inside Baylor territory.
Two plays later, quarterback Trent Caffee hit Kottas on a fade pattern in the corner of the end zone to give BA a commanding lead.
“We came out really focused in the second half,” Ford said. “Coach Flatt came in at the halftime and told us to stay aggressive and good things would happen.”
Then the Eagle defense took over in the second half as Massey was intercepted on back-to-back possessions. The first half produced opportunities for both teams as Baylor took the opening kickoff and drove the ball to the Eagle 32-yard line before junior Tyler Massey fumbled a snap and BA defensive tackle Barry Dabney recovered to stop the scoring threat.
BA then turned that turnover into points as Caffee scored from two yards out and third down to give BA a 7-0 lead, which was the score at the half.
The drive was set up by a Ford 45-yard run down the left sideline and he was knocked out of bounds at the five-yard line. BA out gained the Red Raiders (9-3) 157-133 in the first half and had another scoring opportunity wiped out as senior fullback Ryan White returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown but it was negated by a block in the back penalty.
The Eagles had another scoring opportunity wasted as sophomore tight end Thad McHaney dropped a pass in the end zone on 4th down and 2 with less then two minutes left in the first half.
Ford had 94 yards rushing in the first half on just eight carries, while Caffee completed three of four passes for 33 yards.