It was the cliché only a year like 2020 could write.
Of course the first week of the Williamson County pandemic football season began with a torrential downpour and multiple lightning delays. How else could it have gone?
"Very fitting," Brentwood Academy quarterback Tayler Montiel quipped after his team got a first win in a season that was no guarantee just over a month ago.
His Eagles bested Lipscomb Academy (in the second year of its Trent Dilfer revival) 29-19 Friday night at home to start the year, though two of the Mustangs scores came as BA had firm control of the lead.
A nasty storm cell blew in atop Brentwood just around kickoff, with both teams only able to get about 6 minutes into the first quarter before Mother Nature had other plans. A handful of lightning strikes kept pushing back the new start time, and the game didn't really get going until just before 9 o'clock.
It's the sloppy start to a season that, at certain times this summer, didn't even seem like a reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many sports either confined to a bubble, crossing fingers for no outbreaks or not playing at all, with the state trying to get prep football going as safely as possible with mask mandates and low capacity seating.
To Montiel, like so many of his peers, there was just genuine desire to see football happen altogether.
"It had been a hope and a prayer, but we really had, we really have no idea, and we have no idea what the rest of the season holds for us," the senior and Mississippi State baseball commit said. "But we play every game like it's our last."
It's no doubt tough to go through such a long summer of uncertainty, finally get back on the football field and have to turn right back around to the locker room after inclement weather approaches.
"It was tough, just sitting in the locker room, trying to relax, trying to calm down," the QB said of the lightning delays. "Coaches are talking to us after starting the game, just kind of changing up our game plan. We just did what we could to stay calm."
It did take the Eagles some time to find their rhythm, but Montiel finally found one of his reliable receivers, Amir Anoor, on a 23-yard dart in the first quarter's last minute to get BA on the board with a 7-0 advantage.
A very slow second quarter crept by, with the Mustangs getting the stanza's only score, a 21-yard field goal from Ryan Young. At the abbreviated half, BA led 7-3.
But in the second half, the Eagles started to get some of its classic momentum. A sustained offensive drive led to a Kaleb Lyons scamper into the end zone, putting BA up 14-3 over Lipscomb with 8:03 to go in the third. Then, the Mustangs let up a safety on a fumble that got the Eagles two more points.
And then, Montiel reared back a pass for Ian Scott for 59 yards (a team best) and Scott hauled it in for the touchdown, making it 22-3 with 3:12 to go in the third.
"The line blocked well, got that shot down the hash to Ian, and from then on, we were rolling," Montiel said of the game-defining play. "Ian made a great catch, the line blocked and I had the easy part."
Montiel went 14/26 and 175 yards to go along with his two touchdown strikes. Lyons had 63 yards and the score on the ground, and Jalen Jones had a late score to get BA up 29-3 with 4:47 to go in the game.
Lipscomb tried to make a game of it late, with big-armed quarterback Luther Richesson making plays to Coleman Baker (43-yard TD) and Daniel Green (40-yard pass) to keep things respectable at the final horn.
The Mustangs (0-1) will head to region rival Pope John Paul II next week.
"Our boys know to get to the mountain top, it means playing great programs like BA," Dilfer said in a post-game statement on Twitter. "Our boys fought hard and I know we will continue to get better each week. We're close and other programs can hear us coming."
As for Brentwood Academy, they'll get a game that many on Granny White Pike have been longing to see happen. They'll, for the first time since 2002, get a chance to play Brentwood High School at the Bruins' place.
A schedule shift saw the two Brentwood-based teams decide to meet again after a nearly-two decade gap.
"This whole week, the whole motto was, 'focus on Lipscomb,' but you know, this is one that the guys, I was actually talking to [former BA quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall], who played here five years ago, and he was like, all of us wanted this game," Montiel said of the big Brentwood booking.
"We've been asking for this game for all this time, so it means a lot to everyone."
The SEC ties for Montiel, set to play America's past time in Starkville, and guys like wideout Walker Merrill (set to play football at Tennessee) and quarterback Cade Granzow (committed to Auburn to play baseball, just got a football offer from Vandy), run deep.
"I've played Cade in baseball, and I've played Walker in 7-on-7...and John Howse (Brentwood's SEC-recruited safety) played with me when I was little in baseball, too" Montiel said. "So I know a lot of the guys down there, and all of us do, but no friendships next week."
Morris fills in for White while Eagles HC in quarantine
While BA head coach Cody White wasn't in-person for Friday night's game due to quarantining, he was still a present figure on the field.
Defensive coordinator David Norris filled in as the interim coach, but he says it was White who was still calling the shots on offense remotely.
"He was on the phone, and we had him set up," Norris explained. "He was actually calling the plays from his home, so he was involved...we were able to get the game live where he could see the game live from home and so he was able to coach from there.
"Technology, ain't that something?"