Eagles Do It Again: 9-0 in Regular Season

Jacob Clay is chased by half of the Cleveland NJROTC team in the first half Friday night at BHS. He rushed for 244 yards and five touchdowns. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

BHS repeats undefeated campaign for 1st time in 47 years

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

BHS student Brigid Buckley sings the National Anthem before the game with Cleveland NJROTC Thursday in Brentwood. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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.”

Brentwood players and coaches enjoy a fireworks show immediately after the game. The fireworks were supplied by head coach Keith Herring and set off by BHS industrial technology teacher Jeff Heinrich. A fireworks permit was purchased by the Brentwood football booster club. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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.

Head coach Keith Herring and senior captains (from left) Austin Koster, Tyler Pryor-Hall, Alex Patton and Kyle Pudlowski listen to the referee at midfield before the coin toss. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

‘Flat week’

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.”

In the Eagles’ post-game meeting on the field, assistant coach Tom Pitcher tells the team that their play will have to improve in the district playoffs. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Bright spots

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.

Jacob Clay scores on a 12-yard run to make it 13-0 in the first quarter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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.”

On his only carry of the game, freshman Rob Bax sees a hole in the defensive line and runs 68 yards for a touchdown to make the score 54-14 in the third quarter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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.

Skylar Sappington is chased by Dwayne Latimore before throwing a 27-yard touchdown pass to Kaylon Jenkins in the second quarter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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.”

Kaylon Jenkins catches Skylar Sappington’s pass . . .
. . . and runs into the end zone as Kyle Pudlowski blocks Aaron Young out of bounds. The 27-yard touchdown made the score 41-8. (Photos by Steve Bowman)

Senior night

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.”

Alex Patton tackles a Cleveland ball carrier in the first half with Justin Shipley close behind. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Brentwood’s seniors gather for a quick photo before the second half starts. They’re identified from left to right. Front: Kyle Pudlowski, Austin Koster, Wesley Sappington, Tyler Pryor-Hall. Back row: Ryan Short, Alex Patton, Jordan Roddy, Reid Nelson. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Player notes

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.

Kaylon Jenkins (left) and Skylar Sappington closely defend Cleveland receiver Antonio Norman in the fourth quarter. Norman didn’t catch the pass and Brentwood was penalized for interference. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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

Kaylon Jenkins runs behind the blocking of Luke Tilton in the first half. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Scoring Summary
Brentwood (9-0): 14-27-14-7 — 62
Cleveland (2-7): 0-8-12-0 — 20
First quarter
B: Jacob Clay 1-yard run; Rob Bax kick; 11:24
B: Clay 12-yard run; Bax kick; 6:31
Second quarter
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
Third quarter
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
Fourth quarter
C: Mister-Smith 82-yard run; run failed; 2:48
B: Koster 1-yard run; Bax kick; 7:33

Austin Koster scores a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Rob Bax kicks the extra point after Austin Koster’s touchdown to make it 62-20 with 7:33 left in the game. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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 .

Wesley Sappington hits Juwaun Mister-Smith just as the quarterback pitches the ball to a teammate on an option play. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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

Austin Koster carries the ball in the fourth quarter behind blocks from (left to right) Alex Patton, Luke Tilton and Tyler Pryor-Hall. Koster ended up rushing for 88 yards. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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

Tyler Pryor-Hall tackles Byron Earts near the sideline in the first quarter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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

Staying warm on a cool night are (from left) fellow seniors Lydia Dorenbusch, Danni Coates and Lauren Macy. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Brentwood’s St. Louis Area Stat Leaders
From http://www.stlhighschoolsports.com
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).

Tyler Pryor-Hall tackles Byron Earts near the sideline in the first quarter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Jacob Clay accelerates behind blockers (from left) Stephen Suntrup Jr., Luke Tilton, Alex Cobb and Tyler Pryor-Hall. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Corey Carroll (6) and Luke Tilton stop Cleveland’s Lawrence Bourrage. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
After running for a touchdown and kicking the extra point, Rob Bax hears a coach call his name from the sideline. He looks up . . .
. . . and smiles as he hears praise. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Seniors honored at halftime

Senior band and drum line member Remy Cognac (center) with friends Lary Walburn and Becky Carter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Senior band member Ashley Cloud and friends Molly Mills (left) and Kerry Clarke (right). (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Austin Koster with his parents Bill and Shannon Koster. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Reid Nelson with his parents Julie and Gary Nelson. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Alex Patton with his sister Kya Hawthorne and mom Angela Peek. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Tyler Pryor-Hall and his mom Robyn Hall.”She’s the strongest woman I know,” said Tyler. “She’s been there for me through everything. I’ve played since I was in second grade and she’s been there at every single game.”
Kyle Pudlowski and his mom, Kristine Pudlowski. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Jordan Roddy with his mother Tiffanie Porter (right) and grandmother Janet Porter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Ryan Shorter with his parents, Sandy and John Shorter. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Wesley Sappington with his parents, Christine and John Sappington. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

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