The Brentwood Bruins (11-1) advance to the state quarterfinals with a 34-14 win over the Overton Bobcats (7-5) and face the Mt. Juliet Bears (11-1) at home next Friday.
The Bruins got the scoring going early as they took their opening drive down the field as quarterback Aaron Maher punched in the score from the 1-yard line. Overton quickly answered with a 3-yard touchdown run by Willis Word with 1:29 left in the first quarter to tie the game 7-7.
Brentwood then scored 21 unanswered points beginning with Austin Winfree’s 46-yard pass to Andy Schumpert with seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The theme of the night for the Bruins was big plays setting up short touchdowns. A 40-yard run by Isaac Martinez set up Maher’s second 1-yard score. The next drive, Anthony Caldwell’s 54-yard run was followed by a Ben Green 8-yard run for a touchdown to make the score 28-7 Brentwood at halftime.
“They were playing us with eight, nine, 10 in the box and we’re going to try to throw the ball down the field,” head coach Mark Pemberton said. “Running the football, you design every play to score so you hope that you’d bust a few during the game. And we did.”
After a scoreless third quarter, the Bobcats closed the Brentwood lead to 14 with six minutes remaining with Ugo Amandi’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Derek Watkins. Brentwood then put together a game-sealing drive when Winfree hit Schumpert for 31 yards down to the Overton 1-yard line. Maher then scored his third touchdown the next play.
With less than two minutes remaining, Amandi was intercepted by Brentwood safety Jake Driver to officially ice the game.
“I thought we executed well in the first half,” Pemberton said. “You know, we stopped ourselves on drives with some penalties and turnovers but that goes back to me and the preparations during the week. Our kids are trying to make plays so I don’t fault them for those mistakes. I put that on my shoulders.”
“Overton did a good job. I thought their game plan coming in was to run the football and limit our possessions and they did a good job of that. They had some kids that were dangerous if they got in the open field.”
Brentwood dominated the stat column with 486 total yards of offense compared to Overton’s 162 yards. Brentwood rushed for 357 yards, led by seniors Green with 119 yards and Martinez with 81. Overton was led by Willis Word with 48 yards rushing. Through the air, Winfree completed 4-of-6 passes for 129 yards for Brentwood. Amandi, for Overton was 8-of-11 for 75 yards and two interceptions.
Mt. Juliet defeated top seeded Dickson County 39-10 in the second round. The Bears rushed for over 400 yards in the game as three players eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark.
Pemberton, who’s in his first year as Brentwood’s coach, knows what kind of history these two programs have as Mt. Juliet defeated Brentwood in the quarterfinals last year.
“That’s a quality football program. Coach Perry and his staff do a great job over there. They’ve been deep in the playoffs many times as Brentwood’s,” Pemberton said. “You know, it doesn’t get any better than next Friday night over here. Two good programs going at it in the quarterfinals, that’s what it’s all about.
Brentwood hosts the fourth-seeded Mt. Juliet Bears Friday, November 16. Kickoff is at 7pm.