STORY BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD & STEVE WHEELER
Well, the folks off of Murray Lane will be talking about this one for a while.
In a play that might doubly be the moment of the regular season and one that’s going to chatter the ears of fans on Brentwood High School games for years to come, wide receiver Avery Williams’ running, one-handed grab of a quarterback Cade Granzow pass with seconds to spare helped give Brentwood a region title.
“It’s the greatest catch ever,” Williams proudly replied when asked about the play. “All I saw was the ball the whole way through. I didn’t see anybody else….I just saw the ball. I looked at it the whole time, it popped up in my hands. I tried to score, but I did what I could.”
“It was great,” Granzow said with a big smile. “I was so happy for him.”
It was one of those plays you either just missed with a blink or will recall vividly every time the Bruins take the field. Williams’ haul helped set up Granzow for his fourth end zone run of the night, one that put down the final 28-21 score and, seconds later, home win for Brentwood over region foe Centennial Friday night.
The win put the Bruins at 8-2 on the year and handed them a Region 6-6A title and favorable home positioning in the Class 6A playoffs. They now will face McGavock next week at home to open the Class 6A playoffs.
“All glory to God,” Granzow said. “We couldn’t have done it without him with all we’ve been through…I can’t thank Him enough for what He’s done for me, man.”
Since the elements made it quite difficult to air it out, Granzow used his legs as his biggest weapon and rushed for 125 yards and four touchdowns in the victory. He also threw for 108 yards.
He says that the injury to starting running back Jordan Nicholas put the onus on him to help out there.
“I knew that I had to step up and take the bricks on me and carry the load for the team, and just get some rushes in and just do my job,” the dual-threat QB said.
Senior Matt Burke also stepped up for the Bruins and led the team in rushing yards with 179.
The night got started off with a rush the opposite way, with Centennial’s dangerous RB Jariel Wilson taking the ball 70 yards on the first play of the game for a touchdown and an early 7-0 Cougars lead.
From then on, the defenses plucked at each other until the Bruins forced a huge fumble on the Cougars 8 right at the end of the first quarter that set up Granzow for his first rush of the night, though the XP would be no good.
Later, Brentwood linebacker Mark Morales came up with a huge pick to get the Bruins positioned in the scoring zone, though it was for offensive naught as the second quarter got underway soon after. The 7-6 score held to half.
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Photos by Steve Wheeler
At the top of the second half, a 56-yard run for Burke got the Bruins in position for Granzow’s second keeper of the night to get the 13-7 lead early. Though, Centennial QB Grayson Marcel hit Desmond Smith for 62 yards and a score as that team regained the lead 14-13 midway though the third, which would hold until the fourth rolled around.
A tense final quarter saw another big Burke run put the Bruins in position to score, though on the goal line, Centennial safety Calvin Siegienski came up with a potentially game-altering pick, which was followed just about by a 96-yard touchdown run by Wilson to give the Cougars a 21-13 lead with 8 minutes left to go.
Though, the Bruins would rally with a long drive and a third Granzow TD run, met by a jump pass two-point conversion from Granzow to Walker Merrill, tying the game at 21 and setting up a photo finish.
Well, you know how this one ends. Click, snap, say cheese.
The Bruins get the region, home-field through most of the playoffs and quite a bit of momentum going into November.
For Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford, the win signifies the season.
The team’s had to come from behind multiple times, but has relied on resilience and big plays to earn its eight wins.
“Nothing’s ever easy for us, if you’ve followed us this year,” Crawford said. “Obviously, [this win] was spectacular in the way that it happened.”
The coach commended Granzow and Williams for the throw-and-catch (Crawford readily said he feels Williams should be getting many more college looks than he is now, and said Granzow competed his guts out in the win).
“I’m really happy for these kids, and all we’ve been through, I’m just glad it worked out for our kids tonight,” he said.
Crawford mentions the difficult month Brentwood’s had; primarily marked by the tragic passing of beloved left tackle Lucas Davis.
The junior’s memory was still alive with Brentwood Friday, with many spectators on both sides wearing “74” shirts that benefited a charity that was near to Davis, Brentwood Young Life, and the Brentwood Bruins team releasing 74 balloons to the heavens before kickoff to honor their fallen teammate.
Brentwood remembers Lucas Davis before its game with a moment of silence and a releasing of 74 balloons. pic.twitter.com/TZbHYODv7y
— WillCo Sports (@WillCoSports) October 26, 2018
For Williams, it’s not lost on the Bruins how special the night is and who helped will it to be.
“That’s amazing, especially on senior night, last-second,”Williams said. “It’s really great for our seniors, because we fought. We’ve had a hard, tough season, and it’s really great to do this, especially for Lucas.
“All he did was make us stronger. We miss him a lot, but he made us all stronger, and we won this game because of him.”
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Photos by Whitney Jarreld
Barring a miracle at Indy, Brentwood will win 6-6A with a 28-21 victory over Centennial.
The regular season begins and ends with a little rain and a Bruins storm of the field. pic.twitter.com/S69KKg6N7G
— WillCo Sports (@WillCoSports) October 27, 2018