Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood Academy Play for State Titles

Photo: @bgastudentlife

Williamson County has two teams—Battle Ground Academy and Brentwood Academy—playing for state titles on Friday in each team’s respective Blue Cross Bowl. Here’s a look at both matchups.

BGA earns a rematch against Christ Presbyterian Academy

Battle Ground Academy (11-2, 480 points scored/133 allowed) gets a re-match with CPA (13-0, 551/212), which beat the Wildcats by a 31-20 score on Sept. 14.

Both teams are loaded with prospects on the defensive side. The Wildcats have defensive backs Briston Bennett, Antonio Stevens and Garnett Hollis, and linebacker Chico Bennett. 

CPA features Clemson linebacker commit Kane Patterson, plus another outstanding linebacker next to him in Bryce McCormick. Defensive back Sam West has also had an outstanding career for the Lions.

But both teams also have explosive offensive ability. 

First-year starting quarterback Nick Semptimphelter (202 of 294 passing for 2,870 yards, 33 TDs/nine interceptions) has generated a bunch of big plays. Stevens (33 catches, 621 yards, nine TDs) and Bennett (23-439-3) are big-play threats on offense. BGA has two capable running backs in Tiy Reed, its pass-catcher (47-604-9) and Kaleb Seay (122 carries, 688 yards, seven TDs), its primary ball-carrier.

CPA quarterback Ryan Eledge (166 of 271, 2,142 yards, 27/3, 344 rushing yards and six scores) has also has a special year. Wide receiver Noah Henderson (an uncommitted three-star prospect according to Rivals, and a Mr. Football finalist) caught 71 of those for 1,159 yards and 11 scores. Running back Andrew Madden (169-1,025-8) has assumed Patterson’s former role as primary ball-carrier, though it’s possible that Patterson (79-537-14) could see a bigger workload given what’s at stake. 

This could come down to whether BGA can stop the run. As a team, CPA rushed for 3,223 yards and 42 scores, averaging 7.1 per carry. 

Brentwood Academy takes on Memphis University School

BA (10-2, 406/119 knocked off MUS (11-0, 406/90) in the first round of last year’s playoffs by a 43-7 score. It won’t be nearly as easy for the Eagles this time around. 

The Owls got here by beating 11-1 McCallie by a 10-7 count last year, while BA avenged an earlier loss to MBA with a 28-6 whipping of the Big Red.

Linebacker Devyn Curtis and defensive back Tahir Annoor headline the defense. Curtis was the MVP in the title game a year ago. The Eagles have a deep and talented defensive line corps led by Nate Clifton, too. 

On offense, Clifton anchors a line behind which quarterback Wade Williams and Tomario Pleasant have run successfully all year. Annoor and Jack Victory have also made some big receptions for the Eagles. 

MUS is one of the best programs at any level in the state. The Owls are led by senior cornerback/receiver Maurice Hampton, the Division II-AAA Mr. Football winner this year. Hampton is committed to LSU. Also watch out for watch out for tackle Marcus Henderson, the No. 11 prospect in Tennessee for 2020, according to Rivals. 

On defense, linebacker Dorian Hopkins, a Tulsa commitment and a three-star prospect according to Rivals is a player to watch for MUS.