As exuberant as Brentwood Academy was after its biggest win of the season, Eagles coach Ralph Potter made sure he didn’t get too carried away.
His team snapped back to attention with a surprisingly easy 35-7 win over big rival Montgomery Bell Academy, ended a two-game slide and snapped the Big Red’s three-game winning streak.
“I’m extremely proud of the way our guys bounced back after two tough losses against an excellent team,” Potter said Friday. “We played very well, particularly defensively.
“At the same time, you become known down the road for how well you play in November (the playoffs. For us, that’s the challenge. We want to prepare well for a good McCallie team, then focus on the postseason.”
BA (7-2, 4-2) hosts McCallie, his alma mater and the team he coached for eight years, on Friday in its regular season finale.
Potter remembers only too well just last year when the Eagles trounced MBA 26-7 in Week 9, then lost to the Big Red in double overtime in the playoff semifinals, ending their season.
On Friday, it was the defense that held MBA to its lowest point total of the season and limited leading rusher Tyler Franks to just 14 yards on 19 carries. MBA rushed for 55 as a team.
It all started with senior cornerback Kwazel Bertrand, who had eight tackles, four assists and three pass breakups and junior linebacker Woody Baron, who had six tackles, three assists and two pass breakups.
“We studied films and we made sure each of us was in the right place and executed well every play,” the 6-0, 185-pund Bertrand said. “It was all about executing and depending on each other.
“A win like this should give us a lot of momentum, going into the last art of the season and a good push toward the playoffs.”
The Eagles still trail Baylor (8-1, 5-1) and Ensworth (6-2, 5-1) for top spot. If Ensworth and Baylor win their games Friday at BGA and Ryan, respectively, they will finish 1-2 in DII-East/Middle and nail down the two first-round byes for Middle/East in the playoffs.
The Eagles showed they have the complete package, tallying on their opening drive and scoring on Radir Annoor’s 17-yard run 22 seconds before halftime, which made it 21-0.
“I credit the line for everything I did (98 yards rushing, two TDs),” Annoor, who was named player of the game, said. “Our defense played well, too. If we keep this up, we can accomplish our goals.”
His running buddy, Victor Caro led all rushers with 123 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown bolt on the last play of the first quarter.
MBA coach Daniel McGugin tipped his hat to the Eagles.
“They were just better than we were,” he said. “We’ll go back to work at 8 a.m. (Saturday) morning, regroup and become a better team next week.”
MBA (4-2, 7-2) is a heavy favorite over JPII on Friday in a game which matches up the Knights’ coach, former MBA coach Jeff Rutledge, against his old team. MBA and BA have both clinched opening round home playoff games Nov. 5.
In one of the more bizarre events of the ’10 season, star Ensworth tackle Antonio Richardson has withdrawn from the school. Indications are that he is transferring to another Nashville area school, probably Pearl-Cohn.
For Richardson, who has been injured the past two weeks, it effectively ends his high school playing career. He did not make the trip with the team to Chattanooga, where Ensworth beat Baylor 41-29 Friday.
Improving his grades were said to be the reason in the interest of meeting clearinghouse needs for acceptance to a DI college. The mammoth 6-5, 310-pound star is a high priority prospect, including several SEC teams.
Just Thursday, Richardson was selected to play in the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl where he joins an elite group of high school All-Americans. The game is Jan. 8 (noon CST, NBC-TV) at the Alamodome in San Antonio. He was the only player from Tennessee selected.
There were no indications at the presentation at Ensworth of his intentions to transfer.
• The TSSAA announced last week that the playoff brackets for both DI and DII would be posted by noon Saturday, following Friday night’s Week 10 games.
• Ignited by a 75-yard punt return by Aaron Simms in the third quarter, playoff-bound McGavock (7-2) rallied from a 12-0 deficit to a 21-12 win over Antioch. The Raiders, who have won seven of their last eight games can win the region title outright with a win over Hunters Lane.
• Nashville Christian School (8-1) won its eighth straight game as versatile Thomas Knoblach scored on a punt return, a kickoff return and a pass reception and kicked four extra points in a 42-14 win over McEwen.
On Friday, the Eagles visit top-ranked Jo Byrns (9-0), which has outscored NCS 89-0 the past two seasons.
• Tez Humphreys scored all five touchdowns and rushed for 215 yards as Overton crushed hapless Hunters Lane 35-0.
• Trailing 17-0 at halftime, Donelson Christian Academy rallied to beat FRA 27-24 on the strength of two touchdown passes by junior quarterback Kyle Kennedy and a Rob Morvant field goal with five seconds left.
State Volleyball: Region 6-AAA champ Ravenwood (45-8) meets Karns at 9 a.m. and Independence (29-13) faces Soddy-Daisy at 1:30 p.m. in their respective Class AAA state volleyball tournament openers Wednesday at MTSU.
In Class AA, Region 5-AA champ Goodpasture (39-7) meets East Ridge at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at MTSU.
Ensworth (29-7), the only Nashville school that made state in DII, meets St. Agnes 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Blackman High.
In DII-AA sectionals, host Ensworth turned back Hutchison, Baylor beat Ryan and St. Benedict beat Harpeth Hall. Davidson Academy, DCA and St. Cecilia all lost their DII-A sectional matches Saturday.
Region Soccer: FRA meets USN in the DII-AA East/Middle region finals match 7 p.m. Monday at FRA.
In the semifinals Saturday, FRA edged St. Cecilia 2-1 on penalty kicks, and USN beat DCA. In the consolation match at 5, DCA faces St. Cecilia.
In DI Tuesday night, district champ CPA hosts Sycamore, and Lipscomb travels to White House in the Region 5-AA semis. McGavock visits Franklin and Ravenwood goes to district champ Overton in the Region 6-AAA semis.
All region finals are Thursday.