BHS

Once again this season, the Brentwood Bruins have had a marquee event fall in their laps after a COVID-related schedule change. 

In Week Two, the team couldn't play Cane Ridge due to Metro's pause with the pandemic in having sports, so they scheduled Brentwood Academy in a long-awaited game. 

This week, the team's postponed region contest with Independence gave way to scheduling 6A powerhouse Oakland for a home game this week. 

"It really boiled down to, could we make it work," Crawford said of scheduling the team on BHS' Homecoming night. "Could both schools make it work on short notice, and we were able to do that, so we're very, very grateful." 

Could Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford have seen this new challenge coming? 

"If I thought a week ago I'd be playing Oakland on Friday, I would have gotten some film over the weekend and had time to plan," Crawford said about this week's makeshift game. 

Oakland is undefeated for a reason; the team annually challenges for Cookeville and always brings in a boatload of talent. Former Brentwood Academy running back Jordan James is a Patriot. He has offers from Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, among other top programs. 

For most of the week, Brentwood spent time preparing for a foe they know well in Independence. Now, they must prepare for a team with quite an unusual offense. 

"That's what all our time, effort and energy went into," Crawford said of prepping for Indy. "That's who we practiced for Monday and Tuesday. We had to pump the brakes, take a hard left and go back to the 1970s with this Wing-T thing."

Oakland utilizes a Wing-T offense, which can catch teams off-guard due to its strange formations. It's a throwback offense that utilizes a tailback and a fullback and features many unique run-heavy concepts.  

Brentwood's run defense will have to be on lockdown to slow Oakland's prolific rushing attack. They are averaging nearly 45 points per game through five contests, and the Patriots' defense is only letting up 11 points a game. 

"Really good players," Crawford said as to what he's seen at an early glance at his Friday opponent. "Really good players at every position, and an offense that we haven't seen in four years. So it's totally unfamiliar to us, but we're trying to keep our plan as simple as we can keep it, and give our kids a chance to execute." 

Brentwood's had a long season, with four games already being affected by the pandemic with its opponents. It's easy to focus on the starry nature of what Friday night could hold, or the ramifications for each team to measure itself against such a stout competitor. 

The marquee nature of the game is for those watching. For Crawford, it's just another night his Bruins get a chance to play the game they love. 

"Our kids really want to play," Crawford said. "I think that's the biggest thing that we found out during this is, number one, kids want to play. They want to win; they've got goals, all the things that kids always have. But, they want, more than anything, the opportunity to compete and the opportunity to play." 

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