PLAYOFF PREVIEWS: BA battles MUS; BGA, CPA endure home bouts; FRA visits Lausanne


PLAYOFF PREVIEWS: BA battles MUS; BGA, CPA endure home bouts; FRA visits Lausanne

By SAM McGAW

The Brentwood Academy Eagles open their 2017 Division II-AAA playoff run Friday, while Battle Ground Academy, Christ Presbyterian Academy and Franklin Road Academy look to endure DII-AA quarterfinal matchups.

Memphis University School (6-5) at Brentwood Academy (9-0), 7 pm.

Brentwood Academy begins the final phase of its quest for a state championship three-peat Friday when it battles the Memphis University School Owls in a Division II-AAA quarterfinal.

BA has outscored its last five opponents 188-45. It closed the regular season with a 29-0 win against Montgomery Bell Academy and a 37-7 win against Ensworth.

Quarterback Gavin Schoenwald leads the Eagles’ high-powered offense. He’s recorded 1,184 passing yards, 281 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns (5 run) and three interceptions.

Wide receiver Camron Johnson is his top weapon. He has 34 catches for 594 yards and eight scores.

BA Eagles
BA running back Tomario Pleasant (Photo by Andy Collignon)

Running back Tomario Pleasant spearheads the backfield. He’s racked up 1,183 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on 148 carries.

MUS is giving up an average of 15.5 points per game.

The Eagles’ defense has operated at a high level throughout the season, allowing 10.3 points and 197 total yards per game.

Linebacker Jackson Sirmon leads the unit with 81 total tackles (10.5 for loss), 1.5 sacks and one interception.

Defensive end Michael Hunt and outside linebacker Luke Knox are other top performers in the front-seven.

Hunt has 47 total tackles (14 for loss), 10.5 sacks and a forced fumble, while Knox has 50 tackles (13 for loss), 7.5 sacks, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

Cornerback Daniel Taylor leads the secondary with three interceptions and seven passes defensed.

MUS posts an average of 30.5 PPG.

University School of Jackson (7-4) at Battle Ground Academy (10-1), 7 p.m.

The BGA Wildcats receive a stiff test against the University School of Jackson Bruins in the Division II-AA quarterfinals Friday.

USJ has won seven of its last eight games, while BGA has captured six straight victories. USJ beat BGA twice last season, including a 31-19 win in the DII-A quarterfinals.

The Wildcats have been on fire on offense in 2017, registering 35.9 points per game.

BGA quarterback Drew Martin

Quarterback Drew Martin, a DII-AA Mr. Football semifinalist, leads the unit with 2,472 passing yards, 218 rushing yards, 37 touchdowns (6 run) and five interceptions.

In last week’s 54-14 win against Harding Academy, he completed 8 of 11 passes for 366 yards and six touchdowns.

He has several weapons surrounding him. Ollie Reese spearheads the receiving corps with 40 catches for 769 yards and 11 touchdowns, while Jack Jewell has 44 receptions for 572 yards and seven scores.

Tiy Reed has caught 50 passes for 547 yards and has nine touchdowns (3 run), and Kel Hawkins has hauled in 31 grabs for 504 yards and six scores.

USJ has held three of its last four opponents to 17 points or less.

Defensive back Conner Mitchell and linebacker Matthew Ligon lead a BGA defense that’s held nine different opponents to 14 points or less.

Mitchell has 109 tackles and an interception, while Ligon has 80 tackles.

They’ll aim to stifle USJ’s pass-heavy attack that’s averaging around 240 yards through the air per game.

Knoxville Webb (7-3) at Christ Presbyterian Academy (9-2), 7 p.m.

The CPA Lions look to add their sixth straight victory Friday when they host Knoxville Webb in a Division II-AA quarterfinal.

CPA has scored 38 points or more in seven of its last eight games, and it averages 40.3 points per game.

CPA wide receiver Noah Henderson

Throughout the season, the Lions have leaned on quarterback Ryan Eledge, running back Kane Patterson and wide receiver Noah Henderson.

Eledge has recorded 1,782 passing yards, 196 rushing yards, 26 touchdowns (3 run) and three interceptions.

Henderson has been his top weapon, catching 67 passes for 979 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Patterson has racked up 986 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns on 104 carries. His counterpart in the backfield, Sam West, has rushed for 687 yards and six scores.

The group will look to light up a Knoxville Webb defense that’s giving up 23.1 points per game.

Patterson also leads the Lions’ defense at inside linebacker. He’s racked up 69 tackles (11 for loss), 3.5 sacks and an interception.

Fellow inside linebacker Bryce McCormick has 64 tackles, while Henderson leads the secondary with three interceptions.

Knoxville Webb has scored 40 points or more in five straight games.

Franklin Road Academy (5-6) at Lausanne (10-0), 7 p.m.

Following a 17-6 win against St. George’s in the Division II-AA opening round, the FRA Panthers are tasked with handing Lausanne its first loss of the season Friday.

The Panthers roll into the contest with two wins in their last three games. Led by quarterback Eric Stoxstill-Diggs and wide receiver Lance Wilhoite, FRA averages 24.4 points per game.

Stoxstill-Diggs has registered 1,934 passing yards, 581 rushing yards, 26 touchdowns (8 run) and six interceptions this season.

He recorded 285 passing yards, 56 rushing yards and two touchdowns in last week’s victory.

Wilhoite hauled in 10 of those passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He enters Friday with 63 catches for 1,024 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Lausanne is allowing 12.2 points per game.

The Panthers’ defense will have its hands full attempting to stifle a Lausanne offense that’s scoring an average of 41 points per game.

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