Brentwood Academy began the season ranked atop the Tennessean Midstate Top 10, and, with the exception of a brief regular-season stretch following a Week 2 loss to Kentucky state semifinalist Trinity, that’s been the Eagles’ home all season.
BA, which featured Division I-caliber athletes all over the field, did just enough to make sure that’s where the powerful private school program ended up.
“It was a hard-fought tough win,” Brentwood Academy coach Cody White said following his team’s 56-55 victory over Montgomery Bell Academy. “We definitely earned it.”
The game wasn’t settled in regulation — much closer than the two teams’ Oct. 9 regular-season meeting, a 48-14 BA victory — as the Eagles relied on a gutsy two-point conversion in double-overtime to secure a victory and the program’s first state championship since 2006.
“We knew that we had the talent to do it and the coaching to do it,” added quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall, who was named BlueCross Bowl Offensive MVP on Thursday after throwing for 280 yards, running for 159 more whiles accounting for four total touchdowns in the narrow win. “It was a matter of will and a matter of heart, and we pulled it out.”
MBA, unbeaten except for a pair of losses to Brentwood Academy, finishes the year ranked second in the Midstate Top 10, while fellow TSSAA state football champions Independence (5A) and Ravenwood (6A), along with Class 6A semifinalist Oakland, round out the top 5.
Here’s look at the final Midstate Top 10 of the 2015 high school football regular season, as ranked by The Tennessean:
10. Nashville Christian (13-1) — The Eagles captured their first state championship in program history on Friday as five different NCS seniors scored touchdowns in the lopsided 42-14 win over Greenback in the Class 1A final. Last week: No. 10.
9. Pearl-Cohn (10-5) — The Firebirds fell in lopsided fashion to Knoxville Catholic on Saturday, suffering a 48-8 BlueCross Bowl loss — the result of a dominating defensive performance by the Class 4A champion Irish. Last week: No. 9.
8. CPA (13-2) — Alcoa flipped the script on the CPA in Friday’s Class 3A title game, holding the defending champion Lions to less than 100 yards while handing them their first shutout loss in coach Ingle Martin’s six seasons. Last week: No. 8.
7. Blackman (10-3) — Senior running back Taeler Dowdy eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark on the year, helping lead Blackman to a largely successful 10-win season ending with a Class 6A quarterfinal finish. Last week: No. 6.
6. Centennial (12-2) — While Centennial didn’t end its season in Cookeville, the Region 7-5A Cougars still had an impressive campaign, topping eventual Class 6A champion Ravenwood while suffering both of their losses to eventual Class 5A champion Independence. Last week: No. 7.
5. Oakland (13-1) — First-year coach Kevin Creasy and the Patriots came up one win shy of making their first title game appearance since winning it all in 2008, but with talent like junior JaCoby Stevens returning in 2016, there’s no reason to believe Oakland can’t get over the hump a year from now. Last week: No. 4.
4. Ravenwood (14-1) — Despite being heavy underdogs, the reigning Class 6A runner-up Raptors avenged last season’s BlueCross Bowl loss by beating 15-time state champion Maryville, 26-17, behind a lights-out defensive effort. Last week: No. 5.
3. Independence (15-0) — The Eagles polished off a perfect season with Friday’s convincing 49-14 championship rout of Sevier County thanks to quarterback Andrew Bunch’s 372-yard, six touchdown performance. Last week: No. 3.
2. MBA (11-2) — The Big Red came up a two-point conversion stop shy of claiming the top spot as running back Ty Chandler’s 398 all-purpose yards and five total touchdowns proved to not be enough for MBA to capture its second straight DII-AA title. Last week: No. 2.
1. Brentwood Academy (12-1) — The Eagles had a tougher time with MBA on Thursday than in the Oct. 9 regular-season meeting, actually requiring overtime to take down the Big Red, but Jeremiah Oatsvall’s successful two-point conversion pass to Camron Johnson sealed a thrilling 56-55 win. Last week: No. 1.