Even though the Brentwood Academy football team was missing two key players, the Eagles made all the key plays in the second half of Friday night’s game in Brentwood.
Hosting a Class 6A Whitehaven team that has numerous Division I prospects, BA rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit to post a 17-14 victory that was capped by Manny Scott’s dramatic 71-yard touchdown run with 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles (3-1) earned the victory despite injuries to quarterback Wade Williams and star running back Jordan James — both of whom left the game in the first half and did not return. Head coach Cody White said the two players will be evaluated on Saturday to determine the extent of their injuries.
Brentwood Academy, which suffered a 28-23 heartbreaker to McCallie last week, showed its depth in Friday’s win against previously unbeaten Whitehaven, with several players stepping into prominent roles to fuel the comeback.
Scott, who was playing at the JV level last fall, provided the night’s most pivotal play with his long touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game. The BA defense then forced a turnover on downs on Whitehaven’s ensuing possession to seal the victory.
Scott’s decisive score was his second TD of the game. He also scored on a 42-yard pass from Williams in the second quarter.
BA running back Logan Spell, who rushed for 42 hard-earned yards on 12 carries, said the victory was all about perseverance for the Eagles.
“We were able to buckle down after losing Wade and ‘Mo-mo’ (James) — two critical players on our team — and fight back in the second half,” said Spell. “We’re all here and we’re all a team. Yes, we have some star players, but we work as a team.”
BA’s offense compiled 301 total yards against a Whitehaven defense that features two SEC commits — Martavius French (Arkansas) and Tamarion McDonald (Mississippi State).
Whitehaven star Cameron Sneed rushed for 133 yards on 26 carries, including a five-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Keyshawn Harris completed 16-of-26 passes for 120 yards.
The game had a playoff-type feel, and White said the win will almost certainly pay dividends for his team down the road. Both teams played for a state championship in their respective classes last season.
“This tells me a lot about our team,” said White. “And that’s what these types of games are for — we like playing good teams, and I appreciate Whitehaven taken us.”
The Eagles quarterback Taylor Montiel completed 9-of-21 passes for 66 yards stepping in for the injured Williams. He calmly orchestrated a 10-play, 52-yard drive late in the third quarter that resulted in Paxton Perry’s 21-yard field goal that cut Whitehaven’s lead 14-10.
When the Brentwood Academy football team suffered a regular-season loss to McCallie last yea…
“Taylor did a really good job tonight,” said White. “We have a lot of confidence in him. … He came in last year in the semifinals and led us to a pretty strong victory against MBA. And tonight, we didn’t miss a beat (after Williams’ injury). We change a little bit in terms of what we are when (Montiel) is in there, but he did a nice job.”
Williams was 7-of-8 for 103 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game.
White said the Eagles, the four-time defending Division II-AAA champs, will know much more about the status of Williams and James in the next few days.
“We’ll get these guys in here tomorrow, and the doctors and trainers will look at them,” he said. “We have a good staff here, and hopefully we will get them healed up in time to go next Friday. If we don’t, we’ll just have to go to the next-man-up mentality. That’s what we did tonight.”
Whitehaven jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead when the Tigers took the opening kickoff and moved 80 yards, capped by Sneed’s five-yard run. BA then answered back with a long drive of its own, but a potential touchdown by James was ruled a fumble at the goal line. Whitehaven converted the turnover into points by moving back down the field and scoring on Harris’ 11-yard pass to Terrell Holt to build a 14-0 lead with 10:29 left in the second half.
From there, the BA defense bore down. Whitehaven’s final eight possessions of the night resulted in five punts, two turnover-on-downs and one drive that ended when the first half concluded. Aaron Lovins, Devyn Curtis, Elijah Oatsvall, Phillip Husband and Kaleb Lyons were among the catalysts for the Eagles’ stingy defense.
“Our defensive staff did a great job of changing some things up (at halftime), and our kids really bowed their necks,” said White. “They weren’t happy with how they performed, and they did a great job in the second half. I’m really proud of them. … We showed lots of resilience tonight.”
Spell said the victory was “an emotional bounce back” for the Eagles.
“It was just what we needed to get our energy back going again,” he said.
Brentwood Academy 17, Whitehaven 14
Whitehaven – 7 7 0 0 — 14
BA – 0 7 0 10 — 17
1Q, 06:20 — Whitehaven: Cameron Sneed 5 run (Abdoul Ba kick)
2Q 10:29 — Whitehaven: Terrell Holt 11 pass from Keyshawn Harris (Ba kick)
2Q 08:51 — BA: Manny Scott 42 pass from Wade Williams (Paxton Perry kick)
4Q 11:48 — BA: Perry 21 yd field goal
4Q 03:40 — BA: Scott 71 run (Perry kick).
Whitehaven — Cameron Sneed 26-133; Keyshawn Harris 7-11; Gregory
Taurus 2-5; Tyran Gregory 1-1. Brentwood Academy — Manny Scott 4-78; Logan Spell 12-42; Wade Williams 8-18; Jordan James 3-17.
Whitehaven — Keyshawn HArris 16-26-0-120.
Brentwood Academy — Taylor Montiel 9-21-0-66; Wade Williams 7-8-0-103.
Whitehaven — Terrell Holt 6-61; Jaylon Monger 6-40; Cameron Sneed 2-8; TAmarion McDona 1-9; Tyran Gregory 1-2.
Brentwood Academy — Elijah Ealey 9-92; Manny Scott 3-47; Elijah Oatsvall 2-2; Malik Archie 1-15; Jordan James 1-13.