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Bruins out of 6A playoffs

Brentwood High School’s football season ended Friday night as the Bruins lost to Mt. Juliet 31-20 in the Class 6A quarterfinals. It is the second year in a row Brentwood has been eliminated by the Golden Bears in the quarterfinal round.

“I hate it for the seniors, but there’s not but one team that ends up on top at the end of the year,” first year Bruin coach Mark Pemberton said after the game. “We’d like to have been the team, but it didn’t happen that way.”

The Bruins (11-2) struggled to stop Mt. Juliet’s rushing attack as Contrez McCathern carried for 238 yards on 35 carries.

Pemberton credited the Bears (12-1) with being more physical – both in the offensive line and the runners themselves.

“(McCathern) had a great night running the football,” the coach said. “I don’t know how many tackles they ran through, but they ran through a bunch of them. We had guys in position, and they got off of us. It’s not because our kids weren’t trying to make a play, they just made some really tough runs.”

The senior set up more touchdowns than he actually scored as his only trip to the end zone came with 3:50 remaining in the contest – putting the visitors up 31-7.

Caleb Hopkins scored two first-half touchdowns as Mt. Juliet led 17-0 at the half.

Brentwood’s defense made several key stops in the opening quarter, forcing a turnover on downs on fourth-and-2 on the Bears’ opening possession and holding them to a 47-yard field goal on their second.

Sam Mullaney put the Bruins in position to answer, returning the ensuing kickoff 75 yards to the 18-yard line. Facing first-and-goal from the 2 two plays later, Brentwood could not find the end zone as Ben Green was stopped for a 4-yard loss on a fourth-down pitch.

Pemberton said he did not second guess his decision to go for the touchdown rather than a game-tying field goal, saying they needed to take advantage of their limited possessions.

“Field goals weren’t going to be good enough,” he said. “We were going to have to get into the end zone against them and hope that we could get them stopped maybe five or six times defensively to give us an opportunity to win. If I had to do it again I’d still go for it.”

Green cut Mt. Juliet’s advantage to 17-7 on a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:46 remaining in the third quarter before the Bears countered with a 16-play drive that culminated in an 11-yard touchdown run by Ben Cheatham.

Trailing for only the third time in 2012, Brentwood continued to fight until the final play.

Quarterback Austin Winfree connected with Green for a 54-yard touchdown pass with 2:16 in the fourth quarter before David Meehan scored the team’s final touchdown on a 2-yard fumble recovery as time expired.

 “It’s been a great year,” Pemberton said. “These seniors have been tremendous and I surely appreciate them. It was an honor to coach them.”

Posted on: 11/16/2012


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