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Round 3 preview: Eagles eying spot in Division II-AA championship

Williamson County’s two teams still in the running for a football state championship both have Brentwood in their name.


Separated by less than two miles, Brentwood Academy and Brentwood High School are the county’s hope to bring home a golden trophy.


BA is actually one step closer to Cookeville and the Division II-AA title game as their trip to Memphis University School is for a semifinal contest. First-year Eagles head coach Cody White feels his teams is excited and understands what is at stake in Memphis Friday night.


“We’ve got a good plan we feel like,” he said. “Now we’ve just got to go down there and execute it. That’s, a lot of times, easier said than done.”


The Eagles (9-2) and Owls (9-2) are similar. Both are high-scoring squads – BA averaging 38.8 points per game and MUS 37.1 – while each school's only losses came to highly-ranked opponents. Ensworth, the No. 1 ranked team in Tennessee and tenth-ranked nationally on, is a common loss for both schools. BA also lost to Louisville Trinity – No. 5 nationally on – while MUS lost to Olive Branch – the No. 6 team in Mississippi.


BA’s focus on defense will be stopping quarterback Jordan Rodgers and a pass-heavy offense. Rodgers has thrown for 31 touchdowns this season, completing 64 percent of his attempts while only being intercepted four times.


White sees Rodgers as a scary player because of his ability to throw from the pocket while also being able to extend plays with his feet. The coach wants to get pressure with is down four lineman while being able to pick and choose moments to bring extra blitzers – relying on the skill of his secondary to hold coverage long enough to sack the quarterback.


MUS favors the air, throwing for 2,374 yards while rushing for 1,229 this season.


On offense, BA has to deal with a MUS unit that is stout against the run. The Owls defense averages opponents 2.8 yards per rush and 87.5 per game.


“Hopefully we’ll be able to handle some things up front with what they do,” said White. “They bring a variety of looks at you. We hope we can hold up front and get the ball in some kids’ hands that can make plays.”


BA has spread carries between D’Montre Wade and Shawn Brashers in 2012. The duo has combined for 1,079 yards and 20 touchdowns.


The Eagles are balanced offensively, rushing for a total of 1,859 yards while throwing for 1,943. If they are not able to run against MUS’ defense, White has no problem throwing the ball instead.


“We’re not a one-dimensional deal,” he said. “We’ll try and take what they give us and hopefully be consistent enough to put some points on the board.”


Brentwood High School still needs two wins to reach the Class 6A championship game. They look to get the first Friday against Mt. Juliet – the team that eliminated them in last year’s quarterfinals.


Mt. Juliet (11-1) defeated No. 1 seed Dickson County 39-10 last week while Brentwood (11-1) topped No. 6 Overton 34-14.


The Golden Bears ran for over 400 yards at Dickson County as Austin Chaplin, Contrez McCathern, and Caleb Hopkins each topped the 100-yard plateau.


Bruin running back Ben Green has the opportunity to make history Friday night as he enters the game within striking distance of Brentwood’s single-season rushing record. Green’s 1,364 yards is currently third-best in school history behind Jeremy Coffee’s 1,596-yard season in 2009 and Chudi Echetebu’s 1,558 last year.


Brentwood’s defense has continued to be strong though the postseason, forcing six turnovers through two games.



Posted on: 11/14/2012


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