On a chilly 30° night, the Brentwood Academy Eagles played host to the Baylor Red Raiders out of Chattanooga in a thrilling TSSAA state semifinal matchup.
In a contest that started with these two teams going punch for punch, you could tell early this would be a game for the history books.
After Baylor (10-2) scored quickly to open up the game, a three-and-out after turning the ball over is where the Eagles saw their first opportunity after a 60-yard drive downfield would turn into a Deuce Scott touchdown to tie things up.
Scott would score again after a field goal from Baylor giving Brentwood Academy a short-lived lead.
Baylor quarterback Whit Muschamp and wide receiver Amari Jefferson were quite the combo on the field as they were able to link up for two touchdowns of 50 yards through the air in one-on-one coverage.
Brentwood Academy was able to overcome all the big plays though and head into half-time with a field goal to take the lead at 25-23.
As the second half saw score after score from these two top-tier opponents, these teams were knotted at 32-32 going into the fourth quarter.
To begin the 4th, quickly on a quarterback keeper Muschamp, Baylor took a commanding 38-32 lead that would be stunted by a tipped PAT attempt holding the lead to just six.
After a flag would take Baylor from a close fourth down attempt to a fourth-and-long, they would be forced to bring out the punting unit giving the Eagles life with eight minutes to go.
The Eagles took full advantage and put on a 70-yard drive behind sophomore quarterback George MacIntyre, Richard Griffin, and Scott. BA would score to give them a 39-38 lead with exactly 1:48 remaining in the game.
The Red Raiders would take full advantage of that time taking two plays to cut the distance to the goal line in half. After good stops by the Eagles defense, a pass interference call put Baylor in superb position, leading to a touchdown catch by the Raider offense with 25 seconds left to play.
But the game was not quite over. Senior Kolby Jones ran the kickoff to the Baylor 25 for a 50-yard return with only 15 seconds left in the game.
After a throw underneath for a first down bringing the Eagles to the 15-yard line, MacIntyre rolled out of the pocket with two seconds left in the game and hit Meyer Pereira, who’s dive came in an inch short by the call.
It was heart-wrenching 44-39 defeat for the Eagles, who finished their season at 9-3, with football continuing to prove why it is a game of inches.
Baylor will play Montgomery Bell Academy on Dec. 1 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga for the DII-AAA championship.