Eagles play two good halves this time, rout Principia 51-3
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
Principia (1-5): 0-0-0-3 — 3
Brentwood (6-0): 21-23-7-0 — 51
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
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
C: Clay 18-yard run; Bax kick; 5:00
P: Parker Romo 33-yard field goal; 8:10
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.
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
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
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)
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
St. Louis Area Stat Leaders
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