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Week 2 High School Football

Football: Brentwood hosts neighborhood showdown against Brentwood Academy

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Editor's Note: Friday's game at Fairview against Ripley has been canceled due to inclement weather. 

With Hurricane Laura fallout causing a bunch of schedule changes throughout Middle Tennessee, a pair of Williamson County games will stay under the Friday Night Lights this week. 

Brentwood High School will host the first neighborhood meeting with Brentwood Academy since 2002 and Fairview will get a long-distance visit from Ripley for senior night on Friday. 

Brentwood Academy (1-0) at Brentwood (1-0)

There was one blemish on Brentwood’s record back in 2002 when the Bruins claimed the Class 5A state championship. That came in the season opener, a 17-7 loss to Brentwood Academy. 

It was also the debut for Ron Crawford as head coach at Brentwood. 

“Long time ago,” the veteran coach said simply, adding that BA used its physicality to take over late and post the victory. “The game of football looked a lot different back then.”

Brentwood strung together 14 straight wins after that early setback and went on to beat Riverdale – the team Crawford spent the previous nine seasons with – for the state championship. That same year, Brentwood Academy advanced to the Division II-AAA state championship before falling to Montgomery Bell Academy. 

Fast forward 18 seasons and the two local teams will tangle again. Brentwood sits as the defending Region 6-6A champions and the Eagles are coming off a season where they missed the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.

“It’s one of those things where we just rarely cross paths with that league and it’s probably the best league in the state,” Crawford said of BA's DII-AAA Middle Region. “You add Oakland’s and Maryville’s there and then it’s probably us as one of the toughest around. 

“We think we can compete with the best in the state, so we’re excited and just hope that Mother Nature doesn’t play too much of a role come Friday.” 

The Bruins defeated Nolensville 47-12 in their adjusted season opener last week behind a 23-point surge in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Cade Granzow threw for three touchdowns and ran in another in the win, while Tennessee commit Walker Merrill snagged eight receptions for 108 yards and a TD to lead the Bruins offense. 

Defensively, Brentwood’s Carter Patton scored on a fumble recovery late in the first quarter, Nick Hailey forced a safety and John Howse came away with an interception. 

Crawford said the Bruins had plenty of room for improvement, though, as their play wasn’t “clean” throughout. 

“I think it was probably better than a typical first scrimmage,” Crawford said. “That was the first time this season we tackled live, first time we’ve been tackled, had a live rush against a punt, live rush against a field goal – you name it. 

“I know Friday, (Brentwood Academy’s) offensive line will cast a shadow over our defensive line, but we’re just grateful to be playing. Last week felt like real life for about 2 1/2 hours. To see the joy from both teams and watch the kids compete, we felt like humans again so we’ll just continue to be grateful for the opportunity.” 

The Eagles found a groove in the second half to defeat Lipscomb Academy 29-19 last week. Brentwood Academy led 29-3 with under five minutes to play. Senior quarterback Tayler Montiel guided the offense completing 14-of-26 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns.  

BA will endure another week without head coach Cody White on the sideline. White, who is under quarantine, missed last week’s win but did make some plays remotely for the offense. 

Defensive coordinator David Norris filled in as interim coach and will do so again Friday. 

Ripley (1-0) at Fairview (1-0)

The Yellow Jackets senior night was almost a complete wash when East Hickman pulled out of Friday’s matchup early this week before the Ripley Tigers answered the call for the first meeting between the two programs. 

The Class 4A Tigers of West Tennessee will trek just over 150 miles for Friday’s contest and are coming off a season-opening 30-7 win at Millington in their visit to Williamson County. 

Fairview tipped Page 18-3 in the Battle of 840 last week. Senior Logan Nardozzi picked up 148 yards rushing with two touchdowns to lead the Yellow Jackets, while senior quarterback Riley Bennett made his debut under center with 6-of-11 passing for 69 yards and 16-yard touchdown to Morgan Jean.

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