Brentwood quarterback/defensive back Adam Fontechia saved his performance of the year for the biggest moment of the season for the Bruins.
Hosting regional rival Centennial in a game that would determine who got to host a first-round Class 6A playoff game next week and who had to hit the road, Fontechia and the Bruins overcame all the hype and some struggles to defeat Centennial 15-9 Friday at James C. Parker Stadium.
With the win and the Ravenwood win over Independence, Ravenwood wins the district and Brentwood finishes second to nab the two first-round playoff home games, which puts Centennial and Independence on the road next Friday.
Brentwood will host Collierville, while Centennial will travel to Bartlett.
For his first act, Fontechia scored on a short run and two-point conversion with 4:00 minutes left in the third quarter to give the Bruins a 15-9 lead. Three field goals by Centennial kicker Sam Cochran had put the Cougars (8-2) in a position to take a 6-0 lead early and were leading 9-7 before the big set of runs by Fontechia.
“Last week, our defense kind of got smacked around a little by Beech,” Brentwood head coach Clint Finch said. “They took it upon their self to say that wasn’t going to happen. That is a great Centennial team. Three field goals and two fourth down stops in the red zone is huge. It’s a compete 180.”
On the ensuing drive, Cougar quarterback Brendan Jones got the Cougars deep in Brentwood territory. Fontechia read the next play beautifully and made the interception with 1:44 left in the third quarter to end the scoring threat.
“He did a great job inside the 10,” Finch said. “He found the way to get in there and we did a great job up front. Then he just fought to get in the end zone. (on the two-point play). Just a competitor and great athlete. It was the difference in the ball game.”
Jones had a good night overall, completing 21-of-34 for 248 yards, but the Centennial offense had to settle for three field goals when they seemed primed to pounce into the end zone for a touchdown.
“We knew this would be a hard, physical game, and we limited the penalties and got the job done,” Fontechia said. “They trust me to do a job on offense and defense, and I am glad they give me the opportunity.”
For his closing act, Fontechia made the stop for no gain on a critical third down and the Brentwood defense forced an incomplete pass on the fourth down play to give them the chance to kneel out the clock and preserve possibly the biggest win of 2022 for the Bruins.
The teams were locked in a defensive battle seemingly from the start.
Centennial got on the board first when kicker Sam Cochran made a 33-yard field goal.
It would be over 10 minutes later when Cochran made another field goal, this one from 31-yards out to give Centennial a 6-0 lead with 2:23 remaining in the second quarter.
It took Brentwood (7-3) less than a minute to answer as running back Homzi Nassar broke away from defenders and rumbled 69-yards to the end zone for a 7-6 halftime advantage for the Bruins.
Nassar finished with 104 yards on 15 carries for Brentwood.