A third straight regular season district title is well within reach for Brentwood.
Luke Walters ran for 123 yards and made three touchdowns to propel the Bruins to a dominant 42-20 win over the Franklin Admirals on Friday evening at Brentwood’s James C. Parker Stadium. Dual threat quarterback Cade Granzow added a rushing score while accounting for 273 yards of total offense to aid the Bruins to victory.
“This is the way high school football should be played,” Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford told Williamson Home Page. “Talk about game plan and execution, they kept possessions down to a handful, kept knocking out first downs. Our defense held (their offense) to one score and we made them earn it on their opening drive.”
Senior wideout Walker Merrill hauled in 12 receptions for 136 yards to lead all Brentwood receivers.
Connor Beavon had 204 yards of total offense, including 184 passing yards and one touchdown for the senior quarterback to anchor the Admirals’ offense. Senior two way starter Taylor Spierto scored on both sides of the ball, running back an interception for a touchdown early in the second half and then hauling in a 43-yard reception late in the game.
The opening drive suggested smooth sailing for the Admirals, converting on 4th-and-1 to ignite the offense. Senior running back DJ Durham (6 carries, 33 yards, 1 TD, 6.5 tackles) did most of the heavy lifting, powering for nine yards on the 4th down play and running for 25 yards during the drive including a one-yard dash to the end zone to give Franklin an early 7-0 lead.
Brentwood threatened to respond, only to come up with nothing to show for a lengthy and time-consuming drive as Thomas Day missed a 27-yard field goal. It would prove to be the lone hiccup of the first half for the Bruins offense, scoring on their next three possessions.
Walters put the Bruins on the board courtesy of a nine-yard run more than three minutes into the 2nd quarter. Franklin’s Carson Repass hauled in a pass from Beavon, only to cough up the ball. Baker Brummett recovered the fumble, giving Brentwood possession at its own 13-yard line.
Brentwood drove the length of the field in barely three minutes, a nine-play, 87-yard drive anchored by Walters’ 30-yard run to the house. Brentwood added seven more points on its final possession of the half, with Granzow (21-of-29, 229 yards passing; 54 yards rushing, 2 TD) reaching the end zone on a one-yard QB keeper at the buzzer to give the Bruins a 21-7 lead.
Spierto breathed new life into the Admirals’ night, picking off a Granzow pass at midfield. The senior defensive back broke five tackles on a 48-yard dash, diving into the end zone to give Franklin its first points since the opening drive. A missed PAT kept the Admirals within eight, though never getting closer than that for the rest of the evening.
Brentwood would neutralize the damage two drives later, scoring on its three final possessions of the game. Stud senior defensive back and Vanderbilt commit John Howse IV picked off Beavon to give the Bruins the ball and short field. They made it count, scoring five plays later as Walters ran it in from 23 yards for his third touchdown of the night as Brentwood went up 28-13 with just more than 13 minutes to go.
Aaron Walton (5 rec., 36 yards, 1 TD) had a 42-yard touchdown reception called back for holding but was granted a shot at redemption. The junior wideout hauled in a 6-yard pass from Granzow to break the game wide open at 35-13 with 7:42 to go. Granzow completed the scoring for Brentwood, punching it in on a 3-yard run to give the Bruins a 42-13 lead with 2:07 to go.
The Admirals refused to go down without a fight, even with the game well out of reach. Beavon connected with Spierto (75 rec. yards, 5 tackles, 1 interception, 2 TDs) on a 43-yard strike with barely 90 seconds to go for the game’s final score.
“Our boys play every whistle, that’s just Franklin football,” Franklin head coach Donnie Webb told the Home Page.
Franklin falls to 1-3 in district play and 3-5 overall.
Meanwhile, Brentwood remains perfect at 3-0 (6-2 overall) and atop the 6A district. The Bruins head east for a non-conference game at Knoxville Catholic next Friday, before returning home to host Centennial in the final game of the regular season.
A win over Centennial could potentially give Brentwood its third straight regular season district title, as they remain tied at the top with Independence whom faces defending regional champion Ravenwood. Their previously canceled game from earlier in the season will be rescheduled, which could wind up determining top seed.
Brentwood amassed 440 yards of total offense and 26 1st downs in the win, compared to 281 yards and just 15 1st downs for Franklin.