STORY BY LOGAN BUTTS | PHOTOS BY ANDY COLLIGNON
As they say, all good things must come to an end.
Brentwood Academy’s two-year winning streak came to an end on Friday night with as the Eagles fell at home 31-27 to McCallie.
“That was a physical game,” Brentwood Academy head coach Cody White said. “We’re a little beat up, and they did the things they needed do to win the game. Hats off to them. I think [McCallie head coach Ralph Potter’s] got a really good outfit.”
After a scoreless first quarter between the Eagles (7-1) and the Blue Tornados (7-1) which saw four punts between the two teams, McCallie struck pay dirt first.
With both teams employing an effective option-based attack, the scoring opened up in the second quarter starting with a pair of Blue Tornado rushing touchdowns from junior quarterback Deangelo Hardy and B.J. Harris.
BA finally found a spark thanks to a long kick return from junior Preston Sagan, placing the Eagles within the five-yard line with just under three minutes remaining in the first half.
The Eagles’ senior running back Tomario Pleasant then punched in a score with just under three minutes remaining in the first half, putting BA on the scoreboard for the first time and cutting the McCallie lead to 13-7.
BA opened up the third quarter on strong note as Pleasant scored his second touchdown of the night, dragging a Blue Tornado defender into the end zone for the Eagles first lead of the game, 14-13.
Junior Wade Williams got in on the action next, running in an option keeper to push BA’s lead to 21-13 at the five-minute mark of the third quarter.
With less than a minute to go in the third, the Eagles held McCallie to a field goal and BA took a 21-16 into the final frame.
Pleasant galloped in for this third and final touchdown of the night at the 7:45 mark of the fourth quarter, further extending BA’s lead to 27-16 and seemingly out of McCallie’s reach.
Pleasant finished the game with 106 and three touchdowns.
“Tomario’s a warrior,” White said. “And obviously, the guy’s up front did some good things.
“He’s a little bitty guys who runs so physically strong. It’s pretty incredible. We’re happy he’s on our team, and he’s been great for us for years now.”
But the Blue Tornados responded with a huge 4th-and-23 touchdown pass from Hardy to senior Brandon Benn. Following the converted two-point try, McCallie cut the BA lead down to 27-24 with under five minutes left in the game.
Hardy compiled 314 total yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought we rallied well,” White said. “The second half was really nice, but the big fourth-down play we gave up was huge. You just can’t give that up.”
On the ensuing drive, Williams threw a pick six to McCallie senior Dane Beard, giving the Blue Tornados the lead for good.
“We’re not going to be done,”White said. “We’re still learning. We’re pretty young in some spots.
“Sometimes good teams learn from losses like they do from wins, and that’s our plan. We still have dreams; we’ve won a couple of state championships and lost games.”