The Brentwood Bruins got their first region win of the season with a grind-it-out victory over the Independence Eagles, 20-17, Friday night.
Brentwood, now 3-4 overall and 1-2 in Region 7-6A, got stellar performances from their defense and some big plays senior quarterback Davis White, tight end Aaron Walton and running back Scott Collins.
Collins carried the ball 36 times in the game for 155 yards and one touchdown.
“Super proud of Davis tonight we, we put a lot on his shoulders,” Brentwood head coach Clint Finch said. “Super proud of Aaron Walton. He had another two big touchdown catches, that obviously played a pivotal role in the game, and Scotty was just a machine for us all night.”
The senior running back proved pivotal as the Bruins were able to control the clock and keep the Eagles offense off the field.
Collins’ 1-yard touchdown put the Bruins up 7-0, early in the first quarter, after they stopped Independence on its opening drive.
“We gave him the ball a lot tonight and the job he did allowed us to control the clock, get us down there in scoring position and keep the ball out of Independence’s hands,” Finch said.
Brentwood held the ball for over half of the game, 29:42 to Independence’s 18:18.
The teams would go back-and-forth coming up with defensive stops until 5:32 in second quarter, Independence scored on a 34-yard field goal by Sam Henke.
Brentwood would answer right back with a 52-yard strike up the sideline to Walton from White, their longest connection of the game, to make it 14-3 Bruins.
With just over three minutes left to go in the first half, Independence senior quarterback Joe Cummings found wide receiver River Katina for 7-yard touchdown to make the score 14-10, which would be the score at halftime.
White found Walton for the second time early in the third quarter on a 43-yard touchdown reception to give the Bruins a 20–10 lead.
Walton finished the game with eight catches for 156 yards and the two scores.
Independence would keep it close, when senior quarterback Joseph Cummings found wide receiver Jack Rummel for a touchdown. Rummel made a spectacular diving catch in the end zone to bring the Eagles within three points, 20-17 with 7:56 left in the third.
He finished with seven catches for 123 yards and the score. Cummings ended the game 22-35 for 209 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.
Independence had some chances in the fourth quarter, but thanks to the Bruins defense, which got another clutch interception from first-year starter Adam Fontechia in the frame, and the Eagles’ inability to convert turnovers into points, the Bruins prevailed.
Fontechia also had 4.5 tackles to go along with another five from Henry Handley to lead the defense, which Finch praised for their work in this game and in the games after the Bruins’ loss to Summit on Sept. 3.
“That defense, ever since the Summit game, has been a really good defense," he said. “We haven’t always held up our end of the bargain on offense, but ever since week three, I've had a lot of confidence in our defense of players and defensive staff.”
The Bruins fell 27-14 to the Spartans in that Week 3 contest.
Independence will face the undefeated Spartans next week for the annual "Border Battle" on the road while the Bruins will travel to face the 1-6 Franklin High School Admirals in their rivalry bout.