For Battle Ground Academy Friday night, the MVP might've been pickle juice.
One of the gold standards for treating leg cramps, the Wildcats had to shake off their fair share of them en route to a 42-32 victory at Nolensville to open the season.
BGA overcame some tightness to get a win on the road in Williamson County, no small feat this early in the season.
"We had a lot of cramping going on," BGA head coach Jonas Rodriguez said about the game's strange pace, one that stretched to about 10 o'clock.
"We were out last week and missed our scrimmage, and I think that showed up this week in the amount of cramping that we had, and how humid it was. I think that really contributed to the pacing of the game. It was one of the more odd-paced games that I've ever been a part of."
One of those Wildcats who was experiencing some cramping was running back Sean Williams, who still blasted the Knights defense with 180 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
The rushing attack for BGA was superb, with Miller Barnett pacing Williams with 116 yards of his own. Quarterback Brett Brown had 36 yards with his leg to go with his 87 in the air and touchdown strike to Andre Stevens. He also rushed one in himself for 32 yards.
The Wildcats got up 21-7 with 2:32 to go to half, but Nolensville saw stud running back Samson Johnson (48 yards, two touchdowns) score his first of the night and a field goal get them within four points at the horn.
After some back-and-forth to start the second half, Nolensville forced a safety in BGA's end zone and saw Johnson speed in from 11 yards out to pull ahead 25-21 with 4:20 to go in the third quarter.
Though, the Wildcats would snatch back momentum with three straight touchdowns, including Brown's touchdown to Stevens and two long runs from Williams.
"I was really proud of our guys, how they responded to their response," Rodriguez said of BGA's rally in the second. "I think that's what ultimately made the difference. We battled through some cramping issues there in the middle of the game and guys kind of got a second wind, and we were kind of able to put it back together there at the end. I was proud of how resilient our guys were tonight."
"We knew we could win this game," Brown said. "We just came together and did it."
Knights junior QB Coby Walton (21/35, 291 yards, 1TD), new behind center, got Nolensville back some points late in the fourth with a touchdown pass to Ben Coggin, but it'd be too little, too late for the home team, who falls to 0-1 on the young season.
Receiver Daniel Morra led BGA's passing attack with five catches for 75 yards, while Barnett and Austin Ford split the defensive tackle lead with six a piece.
The Knights had three receivers with high yardage: Coggin (6 catches, 93 yards, 1 TD), Dylan Northcutt (5 catches, 77 yards) and Johnson (4 catches, 76 yards).
Nolensville will regroup before heading on the road to Giles County (1-0).
BGA will head home to face another WillCo opponent, Ravenwood (0-1), in their home opener.
"We have a lot to learn from tonight," Rodriguez said. "There was some good, there was some bad, there was some ugly, and we have a lot to learn and to grow from. So it was great to get this game under our belt and come with a win, and hopefully, we'll use this to hopefully get better. This is a process, a long season."
For Brown, who praised his offensive line's performance, the team will be focused on tightening up the details with communication on offense, and, of course, loosening those legs.
"We definitely need to fix our cramping issues," Brown said with a smile. "Hydrate, stretch, and all that better."