Bruins' seniors can take solace in solid legacy

Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 11:52pm

The Bruins fell two steps below where they had hoped to finish. They left some plays out on the field in a tough 31-27 Class 6A semifinal loss to Memphis White Station and its star QB Anthony Hayes, a Mr. Football finalist.

In three varsity seasons, Brentwood seniors have compiled a 27-11 record. The past two seasons, the record is 22-5 with two straight region championships.

“I’m proud of the way our team fought through the injuries and adversity we had this season,’’ said senior Austin Johnson, one of the few Bruins to go both ways, running the ball and also staking his claim as one of the leading tacklers.

“I’m thankful I was able to play on a team like this which was so close,’’ said Johnson, who was all over the field last Friday. He said he’d like to play college football, but “had no clue yet,’’ as to where he might wind up.’’

One Bruin hoping to continue the legacy is junior QB Clay Webber.

“We will forever remember these seniors, they were the ones who led the way,’’ said Webber, getting hugs from fans after the game.

“It’s been such a fun season, we went through so much together and the players got along great,’’ said the dependable Webber, who directed the Bruin offense and clicked on 11-of-17 passes for 60 yards. “It’s been a blast, and we’re leaving behind some great memories. I hope we continue next year what the seniors have built up.’’

Brentwood was in total command in the first quarter, building a 10-0 lead. But White Station scored with 15 seconds left in the half on a Hayes fourth down TD to tie it 10-10.

And the Spartans scored the game-winner with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a tipped pass from Hayes to Julian Burton for a 16-yard TD.

After taking the lead, the Bruins held White Station on its next possession but then went three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Spartans with 3:28 left. Hayes took them 70 yards in 10 plays.

“In my eight seasons here, we’ve won an awful lot of games like this one,’’ said Coach Ron Crawford, whose teams are 15-7 in playoff games in his eight years at BHS, including a state title in ’02.

“We battled all night, they just made one more play than we did,’’ he said. “We weren’t able to make the big stop when we needed to.’’

Summing the season up, Crawford said, “This team clawed and fought all the way through the season, especially with the injuries we went though. It’s one of the most resilient teams I’ve ever coached.

Star TB Jeremy Coffey, who has battled an ankle injury over the past month, scored two TDs. One came on a 14-yard first quarter run, then his 59-yard, fourth-and-one bolt up the middle brought the Bruins into a 24-24 tie.

Brian Davis’ 41-yard field goal gave Brentwood a 27-24 lead with 6:00 left. Davis was outstanding this season in the kicking game. Four of his five kickoffs were for touchbacks, and he also executed an excellent onsides kick the Bruins recovered in the fourth quarter, setting up his own go-ahead field goal.

White Station (12-2) heads on to play in the Blue Cross Bowl finals Saturday in Cookeville against perennial power Maryville (13-1). The Rebels have again reached the final, even though they moved up one Class from 5A of last year.

No Nashville teams left

With the 21-14 loss by Whites Creek to Greeneville in the Class 4A playoffs, that means that, for the first time since classification that there are no Nashville teams in the finals. The year 1993 marked the last time there were no DI Nashville teams in the finals. Only MBA remains in all Davidson County. The Big Red meets MUS Thursday in the DII-AA final at 7 in Cookeville.

Mr. Football awards luncheon

The TSSAA Mr. Football awards luncheon, sponsored by the Titans, will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro.

Ensworth has two finalists, Orleans Darka, a 2,000-yard rusher (DII back) and tight end/defensive end Sam Cooper (lineman).

Nashville stars Andrew Fletcher of MBA and Nick Pollard of Father Ryan two of the three finalists for the Mr. Football Kicker award.

Big-time recruit James Stone of Maplewood, a stellar offensive tackle, was named as a lineman finalist in Class AA for the Panthers (7-4) who have reached the second round of the playoffs.

Franklin Road Academy back Doug Page is a finalist as a back in DII-A. Page is the first Panthers player in school history to have been named a finalist.

Defensive lineman Derek Vaughn of Davidson Academy was named as a DII-A lineman finalist for the defending state champs who lost this year in the semis.

Hume Award

The annual Hume Award, presented to the Metro Nashville top football scholar athlete will be awarded at a noon luncheon Wednesday at Swett’s Restaurant

Metro hoops

Metro basketball games Monday night include Pearl-Cohn at Antioch and Hunters Lane at Stratford. Tuesday games include: Antioch at Mt. Juliet, Cane Ridge at Oakland, White House at East Lit, Glencliff at Hillsboro, Hillwood at Pope JPII, Hume-Fogg at ML King, Stratford at Maplewood, McGavock at Siegel, Overton at Franklin, Pearl-Cohn at CPA and Whites Creek at Lipscomb.