BHS repeats undefeated campaign for 1st time in 47 years
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
There was nothing special about the Brentwood High School football team’s victory over Cleveland NJROTC on Thursday at BHS. Not on the surface, anyway.
As usual, the Eagles not only won (they’re 9-0) but won big (66-20). As usual, their running game was unstoppable (496 yards). As usual, Jacob Clay ran for a ton of yards (244) and touchdowns (five).
But the game was hardly routine — “historic” is more like it. It marked the first time in 47 years that the BHS football program has posted back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. It was last done in 1966 and 1967 when Coach John Titus’s teams went a combined 17-0.
“I just can’t believe that it hasn’t happened in such a long time and we’re bringing it back,” said senior Alex Patton. “I feel like we’re putting Brentwood back on the board, and I think that’s awesome.”
Said Coach Keith Herring, “It’s a pretty good accomplishment going 9-0 two seasons in a row. But I think our best football is still ahead of us.”
District playoffs start Friday
Third-seeded Brentwood will host sixth-seeded Lutheran St. Charles in the first round of the Class 2 District 5 playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24. Other round 1 matchups are No. 1 Lutheran North vs. No. 8 Principia, No. 2 Hermann vs. No. 7 Transportation and Law and No. 4 MRH vs. No. 5 Trinity Catholic.
If the Eagles beat Lutheran St. Charles they’ll play in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 against the winner of Hermann vs. Transportation and Law.
Herring expects that the first round will be the Eagles’ only home game, as the higher-seeded Hermann and Lutheran North would most likely be faced in the semifinals and finals, respectively.
Brentwood scored on its first five possessions for a 35-0 lead in the second quarter. But when Cleveland scored late in the first half and then twice in the third quarter, BHS coaches looked distressed. It wasn’t fear of a comeback, as the Eagles answered each TD with a TD.
Perhaps it was how the Commanders scored. First it was a 52-yard bomb and a pass to an uncovered receiver for the two-point conversion. Then it was a long drive capped by a 20-yard TD pass to start the second half. And finally, it was an explosive 82-yard run. After the game, BHS coaches reminded players that they wouldn’t get away with such defensive lapses in the district tournament.
“It was kind of a flat week and we were flat warming up,” said Herring. “I wonder how much can I get on these guys. If something is gonna happen it’s gonna happen. It showed with our play. But we’re going to get some things straightened out this week.”
The game had its share of highlights. Clay was unstoppable despite playing both offense and defense most of the night. He normally plays only offense but injuries to the secondary have him in at free safety as well. He still leads the entire St. Louis area in points scored, rushing yards and total yards.
Austin Koster, Kaylon Jenkins and Rob Bax combined for 221 yards rushing and four touchdowns. The freshman Bax had the longest TD run of his young career, 68 yards.
“I saw a big hole and went through it,” said Bax. “I cut left and saw TPC [Pryor-Hall] block for me. It felt great because this was my third touchdown but both of the other runs were for like 10 yards.”
Skylar Sappington completed all four of his passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. His efficiency raised his passing ratio to 10th in the St. Louis area for the season.
Kyle Pudlowski ignited his teammates with a devastating block on Jenkins’s 27-yard touchdown reception.
“Before the game coach Herring was talking about how we need to be more physical,” said Pudlowski. “He was showing us highlights of the Cuba game two years ago when we had four big hits on a punt, and last year when we had a bunch of hits against Crystal City. He said we need to bring phys. I saw my opportunity and I took it.”
It was senior night for eight Brentwood players. At halftime they and their parents were introduced to the crowd. Fireworks were set off after the game to mark the occasion.
“I’m just elated to be here with my brothers, especially being a senior,” said Tyler Pryor-Hall. “I’ve been thinking lately, coming to the realization that this is my last year.”
Said senior Pudlowski, “It sucks, it really does. Looking back on it, it just went by so fast. So fast.”
“We played a rough game but, hey, we won 62-20,” said senior Patton. “Even with all the mistakes, I think the seniors had a good win tonight.”
Skylar Sappington played at safety in place of Justice Harris, who is out for the rest of the season with an elbow injury. Safety Joe Clay missed the game with an injury. Rob Bax played as a pass-coverage linebacker. Lineman Brian Hutton didn’t play. Herring said “six or seven” players are rotating in and out at defensive line.
Final Class 2, District 5 Standings as of Oct. 20
1. Lutheran North, 8-1, 58.52 points
2. Hermann, 7-2, 53.97 points
3. Brentwood, 9-0, 53.68 points
4. Maplewood-Richmond Hts, 3-6, 39.02 points
5. Trinity Catholic, 3-6, 35.38 points
6. Lutheran St. Charles, 3-6, 35.27 points
7. Transportation and Law, 1-8, 28.15 points
8. Principia, 2-7, 21.47 points
Brentwood (9-0): 14-27-14-7 — 62
Cleveland (2-7): 0-8-12-0 — 20
B: Jacob Clay 1-yard run; Rob Bax kick; 11:24
B: Clay 12-yard run; Bax kick; 6:31
B: Clay 4-yard run; Bax kick; 11:47
B: Clay 3-yard run; Bax kick; 7:14
B: Kaylon Jenkins 4-yard run; Bax kick; 4:08
C: Darrius Jones 52-yard pass from Juwaun Mister-Smith; Byron Earts pass from Mister-Smith; 2:48
B. Jenkins 27-yard pass from Skylar Sappington; kick failed; 1:09
C: Jones 20-yard pass from Mister-Smith; run failed; 8:32
B: Clay 62-yard run; Bax kick; 8:18
B: Bax 68-yard run; Bax kick; 5:14
C: Mister-Smith 82-yard run; run failed; 2:48
B: Koster 1-yard run; Bax kick; 7:33
Brentwood Statistical Leaders vs. Cleveland NJROTC
Rushing: Jacob Clay, 18 carries, 244 yards; Austin Koster, 17-88; Rob Bax, 1-68; Kaylon Jenkins, 1-65; Tayveon Brown, 2-22.
Passing: Skylar Sappington 4-for-4, 92 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions.
Receiving: Jenkins, 3 catches, 66 yards; Kyle Pudlowski, 1-26.
Kickoff returns: Jenkins, 1 for 39 yards.
Punt returns: Jenkins, 3 for 49 yards.
Fumble recoveries: Tyler Pryor-Hall.
Sacks: Wesley Sappington, Ryan Short.
Tackles/assists: Pryor-Hall 11, Pudlowski 11, W. Sappington 10, Jacob Clay 9, Reid Nelson 6, S. Sappington 5, Corey Carroll 4 .
Brentwood’s offensive starters vs. Cleveland NJROTC
Center: senior Tyler Pryor-Hall
Left guard: freshman Alex Cobb
Right guard: sophomore Stephen Suntrup Jr.
Left tackle: senior Alex Patton
Right tackle: sophomore Luke Tilton
Tight ends: seniors Kyle Pudlowski and Wesley Sappington
Quarterback: sophomore Skylar Sappington
Running backs: senior Jacob Clay, sophomore Kaylon Jenkins
Fullback: senior Austin Koster
Kicker: freshman Rob Bax
Brentwood’s defensive starters vs. Cleveland NJROTC
Linemen: seniors Reid Nelson, Jordan Roddy and Ryan Short; sophomore Luke Tilton
Linebackers: seniors Kyle Pudlowski, Tyler Pryor-Hall and Wesley Sappington; freshman Rob Bax
Safeties: junior Jacob Clay, sophomore Skylar Sappington
Cornerbacks: sophomore Kaylon Jenkins, freshman Daniel Neal
Punter: freshman Rob Bax
Brentwood’s 2014 Schedule (9-0)
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
Beat Lift for Life 62-22
Beat Liberty-Wentzville 67-0
Beat Cleveland NJROTC 62-20
Class 2 District 5 Tournament:
Oct. 24: No. 3 BHS hosts No. 6 Lutheran St. Charles, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31: semifinals, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7: championship, 7 p.m.
Lutheran St. Charles’s 2014 Results (3-6)
Aug. 22: beat Principia 42-7
Aug. 29: beat Tolton Catholic 41-20
Sept. 6: lost to DuBourg 41-24
Sept. 12: lost to Trinity 19-18
Sept. 19: lost to Kennedy 38-26
Sept. 26: lost to O’Fallon Christian 39-27
Oct. 3: lost to St. Dominic 34-14
Oct. 10: beat Lutheran South 56-35
Oct. 17: lost to Orchard Farm 49-28
Brentwood’s St. Louis Area Stat Leaders
Jacob Clay: 1st, scoring, 238 points; 1st, rushing, 2,004 yards; 1st, total yards, 2,078 yards.
Tyler Pryor-Hall: 3rd, total tackles; 3rd, solo tackles; 4th, fumble recoveries.
Brian Hutton: 4th, fumble recoveries.
Rob Bax: 9th, punting average, 42.83 yards.
Wesley Sappington: 10th, total tackles.
Skylar Sappington: 10th, passing ratio, 131.316 (19-for-34, 398 yds, 7 TDs, 3 interceptions).
Seniors honored at halftime