A stellar defensive effort helped the Brentwood Academy Eagles secure a 35-7 victory on over Memphis University School, a regular-season West region title, and the No.1 seed in the Division II-AAA playoffs on senior night.
Brentwood Academy (8-2, 5-0) asserted itself on defense Friday night, snagging two interceptions and returning them for touchdowns and snagging a bye in the playoffs with the victory over MUS (7-3, 3-2).
The Eagles honored 20 seniors on Senior Night and many of them came up with big plays. Casen Calmus and Kolby Jones returned the two interceptions for touchdowns in the first half. The pair of INTs bookended a touchdown by fellow senior Ian Scott from sophomore quarterback George MacIntyre, which gave the Eagles a 21-0 lead at halftime.
“Pick-6s are always nice, and to get two of them in a game is pretty huge,” Brentwood Academy head coach Cody White said. “We have got good players on the backend that have played a lot of football. The coaches did a good job to put them in good positions, and they made great plays.”
The only real blemishes for BA came when MacIntyre threw an interception midway through the first quarter, which led to a three-and-out, and when senior kicker George Laster missed a 39-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
Laster finished 4-4 on extra points.
The Brentwood Academy offense really started to move the ball in the second half, but a high snap stopped a promising drive in the third quarter.
“We are own worst enemy,” White said. “We moved the ball all night, and we just shot ourselves in the foot.”
That ensuing drive stalled thanks to a sack by senior Luke Smith. Smith and Junior AJ Barbat spent a lot of time in the Owls offensive backfield all night.
Later, the Eagles seniors stepped up again. Richard Griffin and Isaiah Cane added touchdowns on the ground to give the Eagles a 35-0 lead. Cane’s touchdown started a running clock with 7:55 left to play in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a good class and a big class for us and you want to send them out on their night [senior night],” White said. The good thing is, they earn some other nights to play on our field. But you recognize them and appreciate them. They were kind of the ones that made the big plays tonight so, it was good. It was fun.”
MUS would score on its next possession with just 1:59 left to play in the contest and denied the Eagles a season-ending shut out.
Brentwood Academy will face the winner of Pope John Paul II and Briarcrest Christian. Brentwood Academy defeated Briarcrest 38-7 earlier this season.
White said he and the Eagles will not look at this week as a bye, but as another opportunity for self-improvement and healing.
“The big thing is, it gives us a chance to work on ourselves,” White said. “There are some things we will clean up and improve upon next week, it’s certainly not a week off. It’s kind of a self-evaluation week for improvement without worrying about an opponent.”