By SAM McGAW
HUNTINGTON LEARNING CENTER GAME OF THE WEEK
Brentwood Academy (7-0, 4-0) at Montgomery Bell Academy (7-1, 3-1), 7 p.m. Friday*
There always seems to be fireworks whenever Brentwood Academy squares off with Montgomery Bell Academy.
BA captured its last two Division II-AA state titles with shootout victories against the Big Red, and their last five battles have averaged 80.8 total points per game.
The Eagles have won 12 straight contests since MBA defeated them 31-24 on Oct. 7, 2016.
“It’s a good rival and a good team,” BA head coach Cody White said. “We have a long history. It’s fun and I think the kids enjoy this kind of stuff. I think a good, healthy rivalry is what makes football fun in high school.”
BA features a high-powered offense that’s averaging 39.6 points and 359.6 yards per game.
A major key for the unit this week is to get running back Tomario Pleasant (895 rush yds, 12 TDs) rolling early against an MBA defense that’s allowing an average of 15.25 points per game.
“For us, getting him some confidence and a feel for the game is going to be vitally important,” White stated. “Our stuff starts with being able to run the football, and if we can do that then everything else kind of plays off of it. We’re going to have to find a way to be at least somewhat successful at that early.”
BA quarterback Gavin Schoenwald enters Friday with 985 passing yards, 213 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns (3 run) and an interception. He passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns in BA’s 46-24 win against McCallie just before last week’s bye. Six of those passes went to wide receiver Camron Johnson, who racked up 171 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Johnson’s snagged 29 passes for 537 yards and six touchdowns this season.
“We just have to find ways to get him touches and let him have the ball in space,” White said about Johnson. “You don’t necessarily have to throw it downfield for Cam. Even on a short throw, he has a chance to do great things.”
MBA’s offense is spearheaded by quarterback Ty Allen. The senior has recorded 1,102 passing yards, 451 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns (7 run) and five interceptions.
The Big Red average 34.75 points per game.
“Their strength is their offensive line and they have much-improved quarterback play,” White said. “That offensive line has always been very good, and they’re good again. Just dealing with the physicality of it and having the ability to control the line of scrimmage is going to be key for us.”
Sam McGaw is the sports editor for Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page, Nolensville Home Page and Spring Hill Home Page. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcGaw_.