5 More TDs for ‘Pitbull’ Sets School Record

Brentwood and Principia meet for the coin toss before the game. Eagles are (from left) Reid Nelson, Austin Koster, Wesley Sappington and Tyler Pryor-Hall. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Eagles play two good halves this time, rout Principia 51-3

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit

Jacob Clay scores his third touchdown of the night to make the score 37-0. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Nobody ever asks running back Jacob Clay why his coaches and teammates call him “Pitbull.” Watch him play for the Brentwood High School football team and the reason for the nickname becomes obvious.

Pitbulls are short, powerful and tough. At just under 5 feet 8 inches tall, Clay is shorter than most guys on the field. He’s a weight-room rat, which has made him powerful, slamming into walls of defenders and churning his legs until he breaks through. And he’s tough – defenders often hit him at full speed and get up slower than he does.

“It’s just real tough to tackle him,” said senior linebacker Kyle Pudlowski. “He just gets real low to the ground. He’s already like 5-foot-6. So you just have to dive for him and if you dive for him you’re gonna miss.”

Pitbulls also have a reputation for inflicting damage. Clay certainly did that last Thursday, rushing for 257 yards and five touchdowns in Brentwood’s 51-3 victory over Principia at BHS. The fifth one gave him the school record for most touchdowns in a season. He now has 24 TDs and there are still at least three games left.

Clay knew he was close to the record, “but it wasn’t at the top of the line like, ‘I want to break the record,’ he said. “It was like, ‘If it happens it happens.’”

The victory made Brentwood 6-0. The team is ranked 10th in the state among Class 2 schools. Principia, with only two seniors, fell to 1-5. Including last season, BHS has won 16 of its last 17 games.

Asked what it’s like to be 6-0, senior Alex Patton said, “It’s great. It’s like déjà vu from last year. Earlier this season we actually got yelled at when we had ‘4-0’ on our wristbands. Coaches were like, ‘No, 1-0 is all you need to think about — one for the week.’ So it’s like a thing that’s stuck in our heads.”

Two good halves

Having played well only in the second half at Orchard Farm on Sept. 12 and in the first half against Cuba on Sept. 19, coach Keith Herring worried after Cuba that, “We haven’t played a full game yet.” But he thought the effort was more consistent against Principia, where the Eagles led 44-0 at halftime, kept moving the ball in the second half and never totally collapsed on defense.

“I think we’re on the right road now,” he said. “We had two physical games in a row and I think we just got a little sloppy. When it gets physical in there sometimes the technique breaks down. It was definitely a step in the right direction.”

Said senior Austin Koster, “We’re getting ready for the playoffs so we took this as a week to get better and I think as a team we got better.”

Austin Koster carries for a short gain in the first quarter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Kaylon breaks loose

Herring was pleased but hardly surprised by Clay’s performance — “Jacob did his normal thing tonight.” More excited was he about sophomore running back Kaylon Jenkins, who scored two touchdowns in the first quarter on runs of 42 and 40 yards.

“I think Kaylon set the tone for the game right off the bat by breaking a tackle and running through a guy,” said Herring. “We’ve been telling him that one guy cannot bring a back down. Kaylon was like ‘Okay,’ and boom.”

Said Clay, “Kaylon had two touchdowns tonight. That was big. He’s gonna be really good in the near future.”

Kaylon Jenkins behind Tyler Pryor-Hall in the first half. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Penn honored at halftime

Brentwood High School honored its former football coach Bob Penn during halftime. Principal Ed Johnson and assistant principal Stephen Ayotte gave Penn a plaque for being inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in January. They also announced that the school is purchasing $1,000 of equipment for the weight room, where a plaque will recognize Penn’s legacy.

Penn was a coach and either a teacher or an administrator in the Brentwood School District for 37 years. He was an assistant football coach for six years, the head coach for 27 years from 1974 to 2001, the head wrestling coach from 1967 to 1987 and the assistant principal at BHS for 12 years, until his retirement in 2004, when the football stadium was named after him.

As a head football coach, Penn amassed a record of 168-81-2. Add to it his six years as a football assistant and 20 years heading the wrestling program and his record is 227-97-2. He led the football team to the Class 2A state title game in 1987.

A halftime ceremony honoring Bob Penn included (from left) assistant principal Stephen Ayotte, former BHS coaches John Titus and Sam Davis, Penn, former BHS coach Jim Taylor, and principal Ed Johnson. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Keith Herring (left), the BHS football coach since 2011, stands with former BHS football coaches Bob Penn (center, 1974 to 2007) and John Titus (1958-73). The three have won 288 football games at Brentwood.

Player notes

The Eagles kept the Panthers out of the end zone despite missing their leading tackler, linebacker Kyle Pudlowski, who suffered a concussion last week against Cuba. Coaches shifted Luke Tilton into Pudlowski’s position and added freshman Alex Cobb to the linebacking corps.

Wesley Sappington was moved from running back to tight end to replace Pudlowski. Jenkins started at running back. Brian Hutton started at offensive tackle. Justin Shipley did not dress out for the game.

Brian Hutton chases a Principia fumble, which he recovered. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Scoring Summary
Principia (1-5): 0-0-0-3 — 3
Brentwood (6-0): 21-23-7-0 — 51
First quarter
B: Kaylon Jenkins 42-yard run; Rob Bax kick; 11:21
B: Jacob Clay 7-yard run; Bax kick; 7:20
B: Jenkins 40-yard run; Bax kick; 0:24
Second quarter
B: Clay 27-yard run; Koster run; 7:09
B: Safety, 5:16
B: Clay 40-yard run; Bax kick; 5:02
B: Clay 2-yard run; kick failed; 0:20
Third quarter
C: Clay 18-yard run; Bax kick; 5:00
Fourth quarter
P: Parker Romo 33-yard field goal; 8:10

Wesley Sappington returns the game’s opening kickoff. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Brentwood Statistical Leaders vs. Principia
Rushing: Jacob Clay, 18 for 257 yards; Kaylon Jenkins, 4-84
Passing: Skylar Sappington, 1-for-3, 5 yards.
Receiving: Clay, 1 for 5 yards.
Kickoff returns: Daniel Neal, 1 for 20 yards; Wesley Sappington, 1-13.
Punts: Rob Bax, 1 for 30 yards.
Punt returns: Jenkins, 2 for 30 yards.
Fumble recoveries: Brian Hutton 2, Alex Cobb 1.
Sacks: Hutton, Reid Nelson, Tyler Pryor-Hall.
Tackles/assists: Pryor-Hall 18, W. Sappington 11, Joe Clay 10, Justice Harris 7, Hutton 7, Nelson 7.

Daniel Neal returns a kickoff 20 yards. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Brentwood’s starting offense vs. Principia
Quarterback: sophomore Skylar Sappington
Running backs: senior Austin Koster, junior Jacob Clay, sophomore Kaylon Jenkins
Center: senior Tyler Pryor-Hall
Guards: sophomores Luke Tilton and Stephen Suntrup Jr.
Tackles: senior Alex Patton, junior Brian Hutton
Tight ends: senior Wesley Sappington, junior Sam Tilton

Jacob Clay tries to shed a pursuer. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Brentwood’s starting defense vs. Principia
Linemen: seniors Austin Koster, Reid Nelson, Alex Patton, Jordan Roddy and Ryan Short; junior Brian Hutton; freshman Ricky McQuay
Linebackers: seniors Tyler Pryor-Hall and Wesley Sappington, sophomore Luke Tilton, freshman Alex Cobb
Safeties: sophomore Justice Harris, freshman Joe Clay
Cornerbacks: sophomore Kaylon Jenkins, freshman Rob Bax

Justice Harris makes a tackle. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Brentwood’s 2014 Schedule
Beat Crystal City 61-26
Beat John F. Kennedy 44-14
Beat Sumner Academy 67-20
Beat Orchard Farm 14-7
Beat Cuba 42-14
Beat Principia 51-3
Oct. 3, Lift for Life, home, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10, Liberty –Wentzville, away, 7 p.m. (played freshman schedule)
Oct. 18, Cleveland NJROTC, away, 7 p.m. (0-10)

Rob Bax kicks an extra point from Skylar Sappington’s hold to make the score 7-0. Among the blockers was Joe Clay (left). (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Lift for Life’s 2014 Results (1-4)
8/23, lost to Normandy 21-8
8/29, lost to Cardinal Ritter 56-19
9/6, lost to Affton 62-0
9/12, lost to Carnahan 26-23
9/19, beat St. Vincent 6-0
9/26, played Madison Prep

Stephen Suntrup Jr. dives to make a tackle. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

St. Louis Area Stat Leaders
From http://www.stlhighschoolsports.com
Jacob Clay: 1st in scoring, 1st in rushing yards, 1st in total yards.
Tyler Pryor-Hall: 2nd in total tackles, 5th in solo tackles, 8th in assists.
Brian Hutton: 3rd in fumble recoveries.
Wesley Sappington: 8th in total tackles,
Kyle Pudlowski: 8th in interceptions.
Rob Bax: 8th in punting average, 42.83 yards.

All photos by Steve Bowman

Jacob Clay busts loose again.
Kaylon Jenkins tries to stop a Principia receiver.
Rob Bax runs down a Principia receiver before he scores after a long gain.
Stopping a Principia runner are (from left) Ryan Short, Reid Nelson and Jordan Roddy.
Jacob Clay is pursued . . .
. . . and caught by two Principia defenders . . .
. . . but he sheds both and runs to the end zone to make the score 43-0.
Attending the Principia game were brothers and former BHS athletes Karvon (left) and Rekardo Owens. Both are attending William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where Karvon is playing basketball.
Bob Penn shakes hands with Jacob Clay and wishes Brentwood players good luck before the second half starts.
Keith Herring (left) and Bob Penn chat during halftime. Herring’s record, in the middle of his fourth season, is 33-7. Penn’s record in 28 seasons was 171-103-1.

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