Brentwood coach Ron Crawford was still in a state of disbelief 45 minutes after the game ended.
“If you told me 34 players out, we lose a three-year starter at quarterback on the third play of the game, I would say we’re probably done,” Crawford said. “But our kids believed and the turning point was probably the kicking game and number one, (Davis White’s) play.”
White threw five touchdown passes in relief of the injured Cade Granzow, leading the Bruins to a 45-13 win over visiting Cane Ridge in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs Friday night.
Brentwood (8-3) hosts Independence (7-2) next week on Friday the 13th in the second round.
The Bruins scored 21 points after recovering two straight onside kicks and they got the ball deep in Ravens’ territory after a Cane Ridge snap sailed over the punter’s head in the second quarter.
Brentwood was shorthanded due to contact tracing for the coronavirus pandemic and injuries, including nine starters.
White, a junior quarterback who has played wide receiver this season, looked like a seasoned veteran, not an emergency backup as he completed 17 of 19 passes for 247 yards.
“It was bad that (Cade) got hurt, but I knew that I had to step in and get the job done,” White said. “I wasn’t nervous, it was more excited to start it off and get our team rolling.”
Cane Ridge (3-5) took a 6-0 lead on the last play of the first quarter before White rallied Brentwood to four consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter.
“I hope (Cade) gets better,” White said. “I’m praying for him.”
White threw two TD passes to Tennessee commit Walker Merrill, two to senior Mac Hirshman and one to freshman Matthew Manning.
“(Davis) has been repping receiver all week, so it’s been strange, but we’ve got some ballers,” Merrill said. “(Cade) is a great quarterback, but we’ve got a great next in line at quarterback, Davis, and I think he proved himself tonight.”
Merrill made his job easier with 10 receptions for 114 yards.
“(Davis) had the game of a lifetime,” Merrill said. “We’ve got great playmakers around him, but I think a lot of it was on Davis stepping up.”
Granzow suffered a playoff injury for the third straight year, including quarterfinal concussions the previous two seasons.
The senior’s status for next week is uncertain after twisting his left knee on a routine running play early in the first quarter.
Granzow entered the game with 1,824 passing yards, 19 TDs, a 65% completion percentage and three interceptions this season.
Cane Ridge quarterback Xayvion Clemmons threw a 4-yard TD pass to Quenton Barnes, narrowing the deficit to 28-13 with 56 seconds left in the first half. But the Bruins outscored the Ravens 17-0 in the second half to pull away.
Brentwood senior Luke Walters rushed for 91 yards on 24 carries.
The Bruins’ defense held the Ravens to 55 rushing yards.
“It’s a heck of a story,” Crawford said. “There’s no doubt, man. All of the adversity we’ve faced all year.”
Brentwood went to remote learning this week after a COVID-19 outbreak at the school. Principal Kevin Keidel urged everyone to wear a mask this week to prevent the virus from spreading more during a halftime livestream interview.
The typically rowdy student section at BHS, which had typically been gathering this season, was asked not to meet for this playoff game, too.
“Amen, brother,” Crawford told a sports writer who said it was the craziest football season he’d ever seen.
Cane Ridge couldn’t contain Brentwood’s passing game.
“We had a few coverage busts and a few kids that just couldn’t get it done,” Ravens coach Eddie Woods said. “We’ve got a young team and they come from a middle school program, and they don’t understand how important special teams are. Special teams will get you beat.”
Cane Ridge often had seven sophomores on the field.
“COVID hit everyone,” Woods said. “We’re not going to use that as an excuse. Coach Crawford did a great job coaching tonight and they deserve to be moved to the second round.”
Independence beat Brentwood 26-21 two weeks ago, but the Bruins still won the Region 6 title. The Eagles fell to third, but routed LaVergne 49-14 on Friday.