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Landon Wells (11)

Brentwood Academy suffered a heartbreaker to end its season in the second round of the D-II AAA playoffs. 

A last-second field goal booted through the uprights by senior kicker Andrew Southard gave the Pope John Paul II Knights football team (8-4) the victory over the Eagles (7-4) on the road Friday night, 24-21. 

“In this same game last year, they beat us by three points,” said JPII junior quarterback Kenny Minchey. “I feel like it was destiny to come on their field and beat them.”

“I just love this team,” said Brentwood Academy senior quarterback Landon Wells. “I am so sad it had to end this way, but I would not trade this season for anything.”

In the first quarter, JPII started the scoring with a field goal by Andrew Southard from 29 yards out to give the Knights an early 3-0 lead.

Later in the first quarter, the Eagles capped off a balanced drive with a 28-yard rushing touchdown by senior quarterback Landon Wells to give them the advantage, 7-3.

The Eagles executed a strong drive in the second quarter in which Wells connected on a 26-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Gram Smithson, stretching the lead to 14-3.

The Knights continued to rely on the leg of Southard later in the second quarter with a field goal from 37 yards out to cut into the Eagles lead 14-6 at halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Minchey threw a rocket from 75 yards out to junior wide receiver Colin Cook for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion tied the game at 14.

Set up on an interception by Eagles sophomore linebacker AJ Barbat late in the third quarter, Brentwood Academy capitalized with a steady drive, ending on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Wells to Smithson, giving the Eagles the lead 21-14.

“He is a great receiver,” said Wells. “We have been working together every summer of high school. I trust him a ton. He has the ability to do that every game.”

With one minute gone in the fourth quarter, JPII sophomore running back Elijah Robb tied the game at 21 on an 18-yard rushing touchdown.

“Everyone came together,” said Minchey. “We have a good running back who can tote the rock and give us a couple of scores.”

It was a defensive struggle until JPII forced an interception with 18 seconds remaining in the game. The Knights ran the football to set up a favorable position for the field goal.

In the final four seconds of play, Southard nailed a 24-yard field goal. The Knights walked away with the road victory 24-21.

JPII will move on in the Division II AAA playoffs and travel to Chattanooga to take on McCallie.

“Monday, we have got to come out and correct some things that we messed up in this game,” said Minchey.

With this loss, Brentwood Academy will end their season at 7-4.

“I am going to remember the comradery in the locker room and the relationships with the guys,” said Wells. “This is the stuff that sticks with you forever.”