Rivalry Rematch In The Blue Cross Bowl For Brentwood Academy
For the first time since 2008, Brentwood Academy is playing for the Division II-AA state championship in the Blue Cross Bowl. The Eagles will face a familiar foe, with the rival Montgomery Bell Academy Big Red lining up across from BA. The Eagles faced MBA on October 9th, topping the Big Red in dominant fashion, 48-14.
High-Flying Offense Hitting Stride For Eagles
As the season has progressed for BA, quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall has gotten more and more comfortable in the Eagles’ offense. In the playoffs, Oatsvall has put up over 600 total yards and 8 touchdowns in two games. Brentwood Academy has been able run the ball with success all season with Oatsvall, Prince Momodu, and Breion True have all had big games and helped push their team to success on the ground. The Eagles have benefited from arguably the state’s best offensive line, with Mr. Football runner-up Bryce Mathews and Ryan Johnson anchoring the edges.
When Oatsvall has taken to the air, Camron Johnson has been the favorite target of Oatsvall. Johnson’s big play potential has been seen both receiving, with multiple 50+ yard catches, and special teams, having a 97-yard kickoff return against Father Ryan. Other top receivers include Evan Beddoe and Gavin Schoenwald for the Eagles. BA’s offense is facing an MBA defense that has given up an average of 18 points per game, but struggled earlier this season against the Eagles.
Chandler Leads Big Red Against Ball-Hawking Defense
Brentwood Academy’s defense has been a dominant force this year. The Eagles have surrendered a mere 12.5 points per game throughout the season. Most of BA’s success has come in forcing turnovers, forcing six against Briarcrest in the opening round of the playoffs. Camron Johnson has been a force in the secondary, but the Eagles will need to have success in their front seven this Thursday against Montgomery Bell.
MBA’s offense can be summarized in two words, Ty Chandler. The Big Red junior and Mr. Football winner for backs in Division II-AA has accounted for more than half of MBA’s total offense this season on the ground alone. Chandler has run for 2300 yards and 28 touchdowns in 12 games this season, surpassing 100 yards in 11 of 12 games this season. Chandler single-handedly brought the Big Red through the Blue Cross Bowl with a 305 yard, 4 touchdown semi-finals performance at Christian Brothers. Beyond Chandler, no other Big Red rusher has surpassed 250 yards on the season and MBA has averaged 102 yards per game passing. The Big Red’s leading receiver is Chapman Malone with 16 receptions for 341 yards and 5 touchdowns on the year.
The teams in this year’s Division II-AA Blue Cross Bowl have combined for 24 state championships in their histories. MBA is the defending state champions, but Brentwood Academy has been the most dominant team at their level this season. In their early season matchup, Ty Chandler was able to run for 189 yards and 1 touchdown, but the rest of the Big Red offense was able to muster a mere 125 more yards. BA was able to run for more yards (377) than MBA could total (314). Jeremiah Oatsvall went for 400 total yards and 5 total touchdowns, but Camron Johnson would make the big play. Johnson would pick off Glenn Coleman before the half and BA would get another touchdown to help run away from the Big Red at the half. Prince Momodu would have a 98-yard touchdown run to ice the Eagle victory in the second half.
For the Eagles to bring home their 11th state championship in school history, BA needs to get out to an early lead and force MBA into a game they are uncomfortable playing. Ty Chandler will get his carries and get his yards, but if the Eagles can minimize his big play ability and force the Big Red to take to sky and give their secondary a chance to make plays for BA. The Eagles have the combination of skill position and offensive line talent that is clicking at the right time to put points on anyone put on the field in front of them.