The cold and the rain weren’t the only things that put a damper on Senior Night for the Brentwood Bruins.
D-II powerhouse Knoxville Catholic (6-3) traveled to middle Tennessee and pounced early and often on their way to a 31-13 victory over host Brentwood on Friday night, snapping the Bruins’ four-game winning streak with the playoffs just around the corner.
Brentwood (7-2) struggled to contain the Knoxville Catholic’s ground game, allowing 245 rushing yards and three rushing scores to the Fighting Irish.
The Bruins especially struggled to pin down running back Keondre’ Jarmon, who finished the game with a game-high 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries.
“We didn’t respond very well, and we made too many mistakes. The bottom line is we didn’t execute like we should have on either side of the wall,” Brentwood Head Coach Ron Crawford said.
It was a particularly rough night for Bruins quarterback Cade Granzow, who threw four interceptions and completed just nine of his 25 passes for 66 yards.
Granzow’s second pass of the night was intercepted by Jack Jancek, and on the very first play of the ensuing drive Knoxville Catholic ran a reverse to running back Nicklaus Iverson, who dashed 61 yards to the end zone to give the Fighting Irish a 7-0 lead with 9:01 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Granzow was picked off again—this time by senior linebacker Cody Duncan, who returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to make it a 17-0 lead for the Fighting Irish with 5:26 left in the half.
In desperate need of a spark, Brentwood’s Walker Merrill delivered with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, splitting through the defenders and racing to the end zone nearly untouched to cut the Fight Irish lead down to 10 points.
“That kickoff return was our one bright spot of the night,” Crawford said.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, it wasn’t enough. Knoxville quickly responded and slammed the door on any comeback attempt by Brentwood.
This time, it was Jarmon who willed the Fighting Irish down the field, breaking off a 34-yard run to put Knoxville Catholic inside the Brentwood 5-yard line. Then he punched it in himself from one yard out to help the Fighting Irish head into the half with a 24-7 lead.
Brentwood opened up the second half with the ball and a chance to cut the Knoxville Catholic lead back down to 10 points, but instead Granzow’s fourth interception of the night led to Jarmon’s second rushing score—giving the Fighting Irish their largest lead of the night, 31-7, early in the third quarter.
Granzow did use his legs to score a 19-yard rushing touchdown with 6:52 left in the third quarter, but it was too little too late for the Bruins.
Brentwood, who has already clinched the Region 6-6A title and a top seed in the playoffs, will close out their regular season on the road against Centennial on Nov. 1.