Brentwood and Franklin met for the 39th time Friday night and the contest lived up to the tradition of games past as the Bruins slipped out of town with a 14-10 victory.
As usual, it did not come without its own wild finish.
The host Rebels cut the lead to 14-10 on Christopher Miller-Hill’s 33-yard field goal with 8:15 remaining. With the momentum appearing to swing to the home side, Carson Shacklett and the offensive line took over for six-and-a-half minutes, moving Brentwood from their own 30-yard line to the Franklin 28 before missing a field goal and calling on their defense to finish off the nail-biter.
“Our goal was to score, but we ran a lot of time off the clock,” said the senior quarterback. “Give all the credit to the defense. They played an amazing game. We don’t win this game without them.”
To put an exclamation point on that statement, the Bruin defense snuffed the Rebels final hopes in final minute.
Franklin moved almost to midfield in a matter of seconds, but QB Carter Hendry was forced to unload the ball, bringing an intentional grounding flag. Brentwood brought the house on second down, as five defenders swallowed the Rebel signal caller with just 37 seconds left. Rolling to his left on third down, Franklin’s chances trickled off the clock after Bruin seniors Alex Martin and Matthew Hailey sacked Hendry at the Franklin 25 with the Rebs devoid of time outs.
“Hasn’t this been just a tremendous rivalry,” said a pleased but unhappy Ron Crawford after the contest. “We didn’t hold up our end last year, but I believe this is the 19th time in the 13 years I’ve been a part of the Brentwood program we’ve played each other and it’s always less than a touchdown that decides the winner.
“I thought both teams were a little sloppy. I thought we’d execute a little better offensively; defensively, they hit a seem and man that kid can run.”
Crawford was admiring the speed of David Whitehurst, who blew up the middle and raced untouched for an 87-yard touchdown in the second quarter that pulled Franklin to within 14-7 at the half.
“That was one heck of a high school football game,” said Donnie Webb, Franklin’s head coach, “but you say that’s just another Franklin and Brentwood game.
“It looked like it was going to get away from us, but we battled back. We felt like we were moving the ball well, we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot. But part of that was the Brentwood defense, too. Hats off to Brentwood. They did a great job.”
Shacklett led Brentwood with 135 yards in the air, including a 34-yard strike to Parker Bullion for the first score of the game.
Bullion snagged five balls for 95 yards on the night. Carter McKechnie picked up 97 yards and a touchdown on the ground on 16 carries, but missed most of the fourth quarter with leg cramps.
Hendry collected 120 of Franklin’s 270 yards of offense, with 50 coming on the ground and 70 through the air. Whitehurst finished with 96 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Brentwood (1-0, 1-0 Region 6-6A) remains on the road next week, traveling to Cane Ridge, a 27-20 winner at Marshall County Friday night. Franklin (0-1, 0-1 Region 6-6A) is at home to face Riverdale. The Class 6A Warriors defeated 3A East Nashville 49-14 Friday night.