A case can be made that they are the two best 1-1 teams in the state.
Both Montgomery Bell Academy and Brentwood Academy have lost to the same team — national prep powerhouse Trinity (Ky.), the considered the top high school team in the country this fall.
Friday, they come together in the Division II opener for both. One will gain an early foothold on the path to the region crown and should emerge as a top challenger to top-ranked and unbeaten Ensworth.
MBA hasn't beaten BA since 2008. Last year, BA crushed the Big Red 42-13, but it appears MBA is significantly improved under second-year coach Mary Euverard, particularly if the games against Trinity are an accurate indication. The Big Red’s margin of defeat was much smaller.
"BA has both a lot of size and speed,'' Euverard said. "The have an outstanding passing game. They're a very good football team.''
MBA lost 27-23 to Trinity last week but led most of the way. A week earlier, on the road, BA led Trinity 23-17 late in the second quarter before the Shamrocks scored 35 straight points and sent the Eagles to a 52-23 defeat.
"Our team played with a lot of heart and passion and had a good chance to win the game,'' Euverard said. "I really couldn't ask any more of them as a team.''
"MBA outplayed Trinity most of the game and really deserved to win,'' first-year BA coach Cody White said. "I'm very impressed with them. They have an excellent defense and three backs who really run the ball well. And they have good linebackers who put a lot of pressure on you.''
In his first taste of Tennessee DII football, White is eager to get started.
"I think it's going to be a very physical football game," he said. "I'm excited to be a part of it. Both teams are really going to get after it. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.''
The game features a top matchup at quarterback, with BA's Max Staver (a Florida commitment) going against MBA's Dylan Hall who threw for almost 300 yards last week against the in the Trinity defense.
As for his team’s loss to Trinity, White said. "It's the kind of game that makes you better. We are definitely a better team for having played them.''
After a loss to Trinity last year, BA bounced back with seven straight wins.
Antioch at Hillwood
Battle Ground Academy at Pope John Paul II
Cane Ridge at Hunters Lane
Ensworth at McCallie
Father Ryan at Baylor
Franklin at Centennial
Franklin Road Academy at Davidson Academy
Glencliff at Overton
Lipscomb Academy at East Nashville
Montgomery Bell Academy at Brentwood Academy
Nashville Christian School at Clarksville Academy
Ravenwood at Hillsboro
Stratford at Pearl-Cohn
Whites Creek at Maplewood
Lancaster at Donelson Christian Academy