Our Game of the Week story is brought to you by Vanderbilt Orthopaedics.
STORY BY CORY WOODROOF | PHOTOS BY DEB SCALLY (BHS) & MATT MASTERS (CPA)
The Brentwood Bruins and Christ Presbyterian Academy Lions can’t complain about their previous games.
In Week Five, the Bruins came into the 2019 regular season Battle of the Woods as underdogs to a Ravenwood team some consider the most talented in the state.
Coming off a road loss to 5A powerhouse Henry Co., Brentwood defended home turf and rode a second-half surge to get the 25-14 win. It’s huge for a team that could now be in the driver’s seat for a second-straight Region 6-6A title.
Also last week, a then-winless CPA stunned everyone by shutting out an undefeated Battle Ground Academy, getting their first 2019 victory against one of the definitive state contenders in D-II AA.
In Week Six, these two teams will see who keeps the good times going, and who will see that all good things must come to an end.
This game feels deceptively easy to consider, with Brentwood the clear favorite over a young CPA team with uneven results for the season.
Brentwood wins the seniority battle, has a red-hot quarterback in Cade Granzow, a defense holding opponents to an average of 10.8 points a game and a home field advantage that rivals anyone in the county.
CPA, on the other hand, seemed to be in an unshakable state of growth until it blanked a sincerely great football team. Are they figuring things out at the right time? Are guys like Cade Law, another Cade QB who is finding success on the ground in the rush game, and wideout Maverick Rodriguez going to find pay dirt more often from here on out?
The game will come down to Brentwood watching the CPA/BGA tape closely and seeing what exactly caused the Lions to wake from their slumber and post up a 28-0 victory.
For CPA, they’ll have to fight to find whatever worked against the Wildcats and duplicate it against a seasoned Brentwood outfit.
The Lions have been taking a lot of hard lessons this season.
“This early in the season, it’s an opportunity for us to learn and grow,” CPA head coach Ingle Martin said back in Week Two after the team’s loss to Independence, another Region 6-6A team. “That’s what we plan on doing.”
It seems like they’re certainly learning on the fly, and a win against Brentwood would be a major building block to build on for a surprise late-season run and potential playoff appearance.
Have those hard lessons started to pay off?
For Brentwood, they’re not underestimating anyone going ahead.
Head coach Ron Crawford tempered any overconfidence after the team’s Ravenwood win.
“We earned the right to celebrate this win, but can’t make too much more of it beyond what took place (Friday),” Crawford said. “We’re the same team that just lost [to Henry Co.] a week ago, so nobody was really giving us a chance [in the Battle of the Woods]. So, I’m not sure what to make of it.”
If Brentwood soundly defeats CPA, they’ll know they are building something that could stand tall in the playoffs.
If CPA gets a second-straight win over a great football team, it’ll be an unexpected wrinkle for a team some might’ve counted out after a slow start.
That’s why it’s our Game of the Week.
PREDICTION: Brentwood 31, CPA 14
The Bruins should get the win this week, with Crawford always fielding a disciplined outfit that avoids trap games. CPA will give them a good push offensively, but the young Lions defense won’t be able to contain Granzow and company.
We wouldn’t be surprised if this one gets close, but we think Brentwood will ride high to 5-1.