Brentwood held off an Independence rally, setting the stage for another Battle of the Woods.
The Bruins beat the visiting Eagles 20-13 in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs as Independence’s second-half comeback fell short Friday night.
Brentwood (10-2) hosts Ravenwood (11-1) in next week’s quarterfinals.
“I mean, they made a great run at us, no doubt,” Bruins coach Ron Crawford said. “Our hands were a little tied behind our back. We had two safeties, an outside linebacker and a defensive end out, so we couldn’t get into some of our nickel looks and had to play regular.”
All four injured players are expected to return next week.
Brentwood dominated the first half, jumping out to a commanding 17-0 halftime lead.
But Independence (7-5) stormed back in the last two quarters, pulling to within seven with just over a minute left.
“We dug ourselves a hole in the first half and the kids battled and battled,” Eagles coach Scott Blade said. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time, but I’m proud of my kids for their effort and I congratulate Brentwood on another great game.”
Brentwood beat Independence in double overtime in the second round last year.
The Eagles narrowed the deficit to 17-7 on Ethan Cash’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Brigham Morrical with 1:42 left in the third quarter.
Thomas Day’s 32-yard field goal increased the Bruins’ lead to 20-10 with 4:17 left, but Independence wasn’t finished.
Cash’s 1-yard TD run capped a 60-yard scoring drive as the Eagles narrowed the deficit to 20-13 with 1:14 left on a cold night with temperatures in the 30s.
But the Bruins recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to seal the win.
“It was a struggle the second half for some reason and we need to come up with a better plan for next week,” Brentwood quarterback Cade Granzow said. “Ravenwood week, I’ll get working tomorrow. I’m ready to go, I love it.”
Granzow threw a 42-yard TD pass to Garner Jones after he got behind the Eagles’ secondary on the Bruins’ first possession to give Brentwood a 7-0 lead.
Day’s 45-yard field goal in the second quarter boosted the Bruins’ lead to 10-0 before Granzow’s 4-yard TD pass to Walker Merrill made it 17-0 with 1:46 remaining in the first half.
Merrill broke three tackles after making the catch and he broke five more on a 25-yard reception from Granzow two plays earlier. The 6-foot-1 junior wideout has three Southeastern Conference offers, according to 24/7 Sports.
Cash completed 25 of 42 passes for 211 yards and one TD.
“We didn’t really make many adjustments,” Cash said. “We just started executing. The first half was (really) poor in every category and then in the second half we finally woke up and got some life in us and started moving the ball.”
Now comes Ravenwood, which won its first two playoff games by identical 35-0 margins, including Friday’s win at Cane Ridge.
“It’ll be super cool, man,” Crawford said. “It’s a great environment, what an environment last year. Certainly, we understand the challenge we face against an extremely talented team.”
Brentwood handed Ravenwood its only loss back in September.
The Bruins beat the Raptors by three points in the 2018 regular season before Ravenwood avenged the loss with a 47-24 win in in the quarterfinals that November.
Parker’s streak continues
Former Brentwood principal James Parker attended his 438th consecutive Bruins football game. He’s been to every game in school history and the stadium is named after him.