Story and Photos by RUSSELL VANNOZZI
The Brentwood Academy football team lost several stars to graduation in May, including Vanderbilt signees Cam Johnson and Gavin Schoenwald.
But thanks to the presence of senior running back Tomario Pleasant, Brentwood Academy was in good shape for its season opener.
His 189-yard, two-touchdown performance led the Eagles to a 31-16 victory over Hillsboro at Carlton Flatt Field on Friday night.
“I was just doing whatever the team needed me to do,” Pleasant said. “As a senior, I’ve got to lead by example. I get out there and do my job, and everyone else follows.”
Brentwood Academy coach Cody White wasn’t surprised by Pleasant’s big night. He thinks the tailback could see increased production as Eagles’ offensive line gels.
“Tomario has been one of the best running backs in the state the last two years,” White said. “We expect that [production] out of him. And I think our offensive line could end up being a dominating group, which will be beneficial to him.”
Eagle junior Wade Williams had mixed results debut as a starting quarterback. He completed just two passes for 26 yards but also ran for an additional 30 and managed to pull out the win.
“He’s young; he missed most of last year with an injury,” White said. “He’s going to learn and gain experience as we go.”
BA took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a 40-yard field goal by Paxton Perry and a fumbled punt from Hillsboro.
Eagle senior Jack Victory recovered the ball at the one-yard line, setting up an easy touchdown run for Thomas Gore.
In the second quarter, Hillsboro got on the board when Darian Williams found paydirt from 21 yards out. The Burros then tacked on a two-point conversation to cut Brentwood Academy’s lead to 10-8.
Pleasant answered with touchdown runs on back-to-back drives, the later a 40-yard scamper that gave the Eagles a 24-8 lead before halftime.
Macon tried to orchestrate a comeback by tossing a 34-yard touchdown to Gyasi Mattison in the third quarter, but Brentwood Academy freshman Jordan James answered with a 42-yard scoring run in his high school debut.
Hillsboro tailback Harold Jemison rushed for 131 yards and Macon threw for 104 as the Burros piled up 247 yards of total offense. But the Eagle defense stood strong, and Devyn Curtis’ sack of Macon in the fourth quarter essentially sealed the result.
“We rose up in spots on defense,” White said. “We have more guys playing both ways than we’ve ever had and it showed tonight. Other than their long scoring drive, I thought we played pretty well.”
Brentwood Academy will make the short trip to Father Ryan next week for its first region game of the season.
“It’s a league game, and league games are big,” White said. “We want to play at home in the playoffs, and to do that, you’ve got to win the first [region] game.”
Below is a slideshow of photos from Russell Vannozzi