BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTO BY DEB SCALLY
By the time the final horn blared at Ravenwood last Friday night, the 6A Region 6 shifted.
Before the latest Battle of the Woods, Ravenwood led the division in 2018. Now, the Brentwood Bruins have the keys.
At a sterling 3-0 in district play, the Bruins will drive their season (and their playoff standings) where they want them to go.
Ron Crawford’s young, promising Brentwood team started off the year in style. A last-minute win against rival Franklin showed a few things: that sophomore quarterback Cade Granzow had the goods, that this Bruins defense was going to be a tough customer for any offense they faced and that the offensive arsenal was as potent as expected.
A close loss to Cane Ridge might’ve tempered expectations they can be a November problem, but then again, it was also early. Big wins over Dickson County and Stewarts Creek gave them some momentum heading into that all-too-crucial matchup against Ravenwood, at Ravenwood’s place. If they drop this one, no hard feelings.
They didn’t, though. They won, and that’s going to mean a lot once playoff seeding comes into play.
The win should cement Brentwood as the favorite for the county’s most prominent district unless they falter in unexpected places. A trip to Nolensville looks tough on Friday, as does that home stand against Father Ryan. Closing the season against what’s sure to be a Centennial team trying to tie up a playoff spot won’t be a cake walk either. But the hardest part is out of the way, and it’s a test they passed. Beating Ravenwood with such a young team is a testament to how talented this roster and coaching staff is, and it’ll serve them well in the next few years ahead.
Granzow will only get better from here, as will that defense. The Brentwood pass rush stood out in Week 1, and it impressed once more against Ravenwood.
What is the ceiling for Brentwood? Well, November introduces new challenges (and a potential rematch with what will be a more refined Ravenwood), and this is still a young team. The youth and playoff inexperience could come back to bother them in crunch time. But to be fair, it didn’t against Ravenwood in a definite playoff environment. Xiere Howard’s pick six set them off to that crucial win, and one wonders how many more moments Brentwood has waiting for them in 2018.
This team is opportunistic, talented well-coached and has plenty of room to grow.
As long as the lack of November experience doesn’t hinder playoff success, Brentwood can win state this year.