NASHVILLE – The Brentwood Academy football team is back.
And as the old saying goes — this time, it’s personal.
After missing the playoffs last year for the first time since 1998, the Eagles seem to be playing with a sizable chip on their shoulder this season. They’ve reached the midway mark of their schedule with a perfect 5-0 record after posting a 34-21 victory over a talented and gutsy Father Ryan team on Friday night. The road victory pushed the Eagles to 2-0 in the Division II-AAA East Region.
Brentwood Academy quarterback Taylor Montiel threw for 209 yards and a touchdown, Caleb Brooks scored a pair of TDs — on an 86-yard reception and a 27-yard interception return — and Casen Calmus added two rushing touchdowns to help the Eagles earn the victory on a cool, “feels-like-fall” night in the mid-state area.
Brentwood Academy head coach Cody White said the Eagles, who won four consecutive state titles from 2016-2019, learned some lessons during last year’s rare playoff absence.
“We’re relatively young, in terms of guys who have played (significant minutes at the varsity level), but still, they were part of the team when that happened last year,” said White. “So, it was frustrating, and we’re not used to anything like last year.”
The Eagles finished 6-4 in 2019 and were eliminated from playoff contention in the final week of the regular season when several unexpected dominoes fell in the wrong direction. Thus far this season, the Brentwood Academy players appear to be intent on wiping away those memories.
“We’re playing for each other,” said BA senior Phil Husband, who made a series of clutch plays in Friday’s win. “Our coaches love to use that phrase — and that’s what we’ve really been working on this year.”
The Eagles posted the victory despite several huge offensive performances from Father Ryan. Quarterback DC Tabscott completed 14-of-31 passes for 214 yards, including a 13-yard TD pass to Parker Erdman in the first quarter, and also rushed for a team-high 88 yards on 23 carries. Highly-touted wide receiver Christian Smith was impressive, catching five passes for 104 yards, and Erdman finished with five catches for 64 yards. Bryshon Jackson rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
For the night, the Irish out-gained BA, 373-286.
White said his team was fortunate to hold off Father Ryan in a contest that was still in doubt midway through the fourth quarter.
“I think this will be good a lesson for us,” White said. “Quite honestly, we weren’t ready to play — and Father Ryan was. They deserved to have a chance to win the football game, which they did. We’ve got to do a much better job preparing ourselves than we did tonight. But we’re happy to come out of here with a win.”
BA senior kicker Teagen Lenderink had a huge night, making field goals of 20 and 48 yards and converting all four of his extra-point attempts. Lenderink’s 48-yard kick, which gave the Eagles a 20-7 lead early in the third quarter, was a rocket-shot, and would have been good from at least 10 yards deeper.
BA’s Elijah Ealey finished with four catches for 97 yards.
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Husband, the senior defensive end, made two of the biggest plays of the night, on consecutive snaps, late in the third quarter.
After Father Ryan cut Brentwood Academy’s lead to 27-14, the Irish recovered an onside kick and moved deep into BA territory with a chance to turn the game into a one-score contest. But Husband made a tackle on second down that prevented a big gain, and then broke into the backfield to record a 10-yard sack on third down. The Father Ryan drive came up empty one play later when the Irish missed a field goal.
“We have some great senior leadership on this football team,” said Husband, “and I am proud that me and some of my friends have stepped and led so far.”
White praised Husband for the clutch plays, and said he has been doing that a lot of this season.
“Phil has really, really improved and he’s having a great senior year for us,” White said. “I’m excited for him. He’s grown up watching BA games — his dad went here — and it’s been really fun watching him really mature as a senior.”
After snuffing out another Father Ryan drive early in the fourth quarter, Brentwood Academy built some breathing room when Brooks caught a short pass from Montiel and raced 86 yards for a touchdown to extend the Eagles lead to 34-14 at the 6:20 mark of the fourth quarter.
Father Ryan scored the game’s final points when Tabscott ran in a 24-yard TD with just 44 seconds remaining.
Brentwood Academy hosts Florence, Ala., next Friday and former area head coach Will Hester. Father Ryan visits Germantown.
BRENTWOOD – Cade Granzow rushed for three touchdowns and threw another, Brentwood’s defense …
Brentwood Academy 7 10 10 7 — 34
Father Ryan 7 0 7 7 — 21
1Q 7:36 BA – Casen Calmus 4 run (Teagan Lenderink kick);
1Q 3:07 FR – Parker Erdman 13 pass from DC Tabscott (Zach Wesnofske kick);
2Q 8:55 BA – Calmus 8 run (Lenderink kick);
2Q 0:00 BA – Lenderink 20 FG;
3Q 11:21 BA – Lenderink 48 FG;
3Q 10:30 BA – Caleb Brooks 27 INT return (Lenderink kick);
3Q 4:35 FR – Bryshon Jackson 4 run (Wesnofske kick);
4Q 6:20 BA – Brooks 86 pass from Taylor Montiel (Lenderink kick);
4Q 6:20 FR – Tabscott 24 run (Wesnofske kick).
First Downs: BA 11, FR 19
Total offense: BA 286, FR 373
Rushing Att/Yards: BA 19-47, FR 46-159
Passing Yards: BA 239, FR 214
Comp-Att-Ints: BA 10-20-1, FR 14-31-1
Penalties-Yards: BA 4-32, FR 8-47
Punts-Ave: BA 3-24.3, FR 3-30.3
Fumbles-Lost: BA 0-0, FR 0-0.
Brentwood Academy — Taylor Montiel 9-19-1-1 — 209; Landon Wells 1-1-0-0 — 30. Father Ryan — DC Tabscott 14-31-1-1 — 214.
Brentwood Academy — Casen Calmus 7-27, Landon Wells 2-17, Logan Spell 4-6, Deuce Scott 1-2, Jalen Jones 2-2, Taylor Montiel 2-(-3). Father Ryan — DC Tabscott 23-88, Bryshon Jackson 13-52, Stefan Ponder 8-13, Ze’ion Simpson 2-6.
Brentwood Academy — Elijah Ealey 4-97, Caleb Brooks 2-91, Casen Calmus 2-24, Amir Anoor 1-14, Ian Scott 1-13. Father Ryan — Christian Smith 5-104, Parker Erdman 5-64, Josh Pfeifer 3-25, Will Deason 1-21.