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Ensworth takes revenge beating BA 21-12

Big plays and long first down conversions were the difference for Ensworth Friday night, as the Tigers rallied for 14 unanswered points in the second half to beat Brentwood Academy 21-12 in a Division II-AA semifinal.
Ensworth (10-1) moves on to the DII-AA BlueCross Bowl on Dec. 5, while BA (9-4) ends its season.
“We gave them too many chances on offense,” BA senior receiver Brandon Taylor said. “They capitalized on our mistakes.”
The Tigers got 109 yards from banged-up running back D’Andre Ferby but also some timely plays from backup quarterback Coleman Goodwin, who has been starting in place of the injured P.J. Settles. Goodman’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Jake Estes with 5:22 left put the game out of reach.
The Eagles never were able to establish consistency on the offensive side of the football, coach Cody White said, and the defense was not able to get off the field on third down. The Tigers finished the night 6-of-13 on third down conversions, despite committing 13 penalties for 204 yards.
“Those big plays were the difference in the game,” he said. “They made plays and we didn’t. We didn’t get off the field on defense, and we couldn’t consistently move the chains on offense.”
Tyler Swafford was efficient at quarterback for the Eagles, throwing for 223 yards and a touchdown on 22-of-31 passing but had one costly interception in the fourth quarter that killed a comeback attempt.
Ensworth wasted no time getting on the board on its opening drive of the game, as it leaned on Ferby to move the chains. The tailback carried eight times on the drive, including the 7-yard touchdown run. The Tigers had chewed up nearly seven minutes of the first quarter clock when BA took over, and the Eagles ran three plays, failing to convert.
It was not until the Eagles’ second possession that they found the scoreboard, overcoming a bad snap on a first down at the Tiger 14 that lost 17 yards. BA’s Daniel Rowe was able to strike true on a 44-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 10:25 left in the first half.
Rowe later added a 35-yarder to make it 7-6, and BA mounted a second-quarter charge that culminated in Swafford’s 17-yard TD pass to Tanner Priest. The PAT was missed, so the halftime score stood at 12-7.
The Eagles had a chance to widen their lead in the third after getting the second half kickoff, but they were not able to cash in, moving the ball just 15 yards before having to punt.
The Tigers seized the opportunity and scored on another Ferby 1-yard run to make it 14-12 at the 7:48 mark of the third. The two teams traded punts until Estes’ TD catch with 5:22 left in the fourth would cap off the scoring.
Ending the season is disappointing, Taylor said, but rallying for six straight wins and a semifinal berth after suffering through a 3-game losing streak has been a special experience, Taylor said. 
“We struggled a little bit early in the season but came back really strong,” he said. “I’m so proud to be part of this team. I don’t think I would trade it for anything.”
BA lost to Father Ryan, St. Xavier (Ohio) and MBA before rattling off six in a row to reach the semifinals, including a 36-10 regular season finale win over Ensworth.
“We played a tough schedule. I think (the win streak) showed we’ve gotten better by playing some good people,” White said. “Our guys aged and matured as it went. The kids did a good job of continuing to improve.” 

Posted on: 11/22/2013


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