Brentwood Academy (7-0) and Montgomery Bell Academy (3-1) will face off this Friday in their annual region rivalry game, always one of the headline prep football contests in the fall.
BA is atop the region right now, and Friday's game will do much to determine the standings for the upcoming playoffs. The Eagles could secure home field advantage all the way to Cookeville if they keep their play up.
The first thing that jumps out about this matchup is the fact that MBA has only played four games so far due to COVID-19. One of the big questions that has to be asked is how do you prepare for a team with such little film?
“You cannot possibly look at every game that every team plays,” said Brentwood Academy Coach Cody White. “By the end of the season I’ve got 10 games in a normal year. We’re familiar with the people that they’ve played. They’ve played good teams that are in our league. Plus we play each other a whole bunch so it’s not like there’s a lot of secrets.”
Another thing that matchup brings to the table is one more chapter in the rivalry dating back to the early 90s.
“It’s a big rivalry game,” said White. “Both of the coaching staffs know each other. There’s a long history between our schools, and usually both are quality teams, so it should be a lot of fun.”
One thing to expect from this game is going to be a lot of offense. BA has scored less than 30 points in only two games this year, scoring 29 against Lipscomb Academy in week one and 27 against Knoxville Catholic last week.
On the other side, MBA has not gone a single game without scoring under 30 points, even counting the loss against JPII last week.
Both schools also have collegiate talent on either sideline as well.
Brentwood Academy has Navy commit Elijah Oatsvall, North Carolina commit Eli Sutton, Virginia commit Noah Josey and Memphis commit James Stewart all on one sideline, just to name a few.
MBA has wide receiver Lucien Brunetti, tight end Zak Herbstreit, cornerback Nasir Cook, who will be playing football at Princeton next fall, and dual-threat quarterback Marcel Reed at the helm.
There are so many weapons on each side of the ball as the game should be close until the final whistle.
“I still don’t think we have an edge,” said White. “I think that with these games it doesn’t come down to an edge, it comes down to two or three plays that somebody is gonna make. Usually our games are pretty close, there have been two or three over the last few years that haven’t been close. I think it’s just a matter of the three plays that present themselves and do you make them or do they?”