Football Team Starts Engine at Jamboree

Buddy Karsten and several other Brentwood players lead teammates in a cheer after the Windsor High School Fotball Jamboree on Friday. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
Buddy Karsten and several other Brentwood players lead teammates in a cheer after the Windsor High School Fotball Jamboree on Friday. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Passing game looks better; new linebackers hold their own

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

It’s tempting to try to draw conclusions about the Brentwood High School football team based on how it did in the Windsor High School Football Jamboree on Friday night. For the record, the Eagles did fine, outscoring Herculaneum three touchdowns to none and Grandview Hillsboro three to none, and tying Northwest Cedar Hill one TD apiece.

But talk to BHS head coach Keith Herring and you’ll realize that the annual jamboree is nothing but a warm-up. His team, and probably the others as well, don’t run their normal game plans and they worry more about injuries than final scores.

“We basically ran maybe four running plays and two pass plays,” Herring said. “Just running our bread and butter stuff and trying to keep everybody healthy. I’m always a little leery going into the jamboree because you hear all the time about somebody getting hurt in a jamboree.”

There didn’t appear to be any serious injuries for Brentwood on Friday.

BHS team trainer Haley O'Neal tapes Daniel Neal's ankles in the BHS locker room before the bus ride to Windsor on Friday.
BHS team trainer Haley O’Neal tapes Daniel Neal’s ankles in the BHS locker room before the bus ride to Windsor on Friday.
Rob Bax and others board the team bus at Brentwood High School.
Rob Bax and others board the team bus at Brentwood High School.
Sam Tilton rests in the sun after arriving at the Windsor High School stadium.
Sam Tilton rests in the sun on the artificial turf after arriving at the Windsor High School stadium.

Clay, Jenkins lead running game

It’s no surprise that their rushing game is still strong with returning starting running backs Jacob Clay and Kaylon Jenkins. The duo scored six of the team’s seven TDs. Clay is coming off one of the best individual performances in the BHS program’s 68-year history, with school records for yards rushed in a game and in a season, and in touchdowns scored in a season. He’s stronger and faster now, he said. He has the team’s No. 1 bench press (295 pounds), squat (405) and clean.

“It’d be great to see him have a crazy successful year and have us play to Thanksgiving,” said Herring.

Jacob Clay pulls on his shoulder pads and game jersey for the first time this season.
Jacob Clay pulls on his game jersey for the first time this season. After the jamboree, asked about his goals for the season, he replied, “Honestly, I would like to see everyone who touches the ball get what they deserve.”
Kaylon Jenkins follows the blocking of Michael Doebber in the match with Grandview.
Kaylon Jenkins follows the blocking of Michael Doebber in the match with Grandview.

Sappington passes to freshman for TD

The passing game seems to have improved from last year. Two of the scores were throws from returning starting quarterback Skylar Sappington to Jacob Clay (35 yards) and freshman Jordan Tate (30 yards). Sappington, a junior, feels more confident now after being second string as a freshman and first string as a sophomore, and attending four quarterback mini-camps this summer.

“That’s one thing from last year to this year I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I know all the pass plays so now when I’m about to pass I can look at the defense and I know who is about to be open. Last year I’d just kind of lock in on one person and not see the whole field.”

Skylar Sappington eyes Jacob Clay as Clay runs a pass route against Grandview.
Skylar Sappington eyes Jacob Clay as Clay runs a pass route against Grandview. Asked later what his favorite play of the jamboree was, he replied, “It’s weird, but I liked the one (against Grandview) where I was chased out of the pocket, had to find my bearings and I threw to Stephen Suntrup. It’s plays like that that I think about afterward.”

Linebacking corps rebounds

Brentwood’s defense looked tight on Friday as it surrendered only 25 yards in a combined 24 plays by Herculaneum and Grandview. This is surprising considering that it’s a completely new group of linebackers. Though Luke Tilton played some last year, Rob Bax and Stephen Suntrup are new to the position, as are the host of players trying out at the pass coverage ‘backer.

“All the linebackers did a good job and most were pretty much untested at that position,” said Herring.

Herculaneum ball carrier Jim Smith is tackled by (from left) Brian Hutton, Stephen Suntrup (13) and Rob Bax.
Herculaneum ball carrier Sawyer Wilfong is swarmed by (from left) Sam Tilton, Brian Hutton, Stephen Suntrup and Rob Bax.
Luke Tilton (42) and Daniel Neal bring down a Northwest ball carrier.
Luke Tilton (42) and Daniel Neal bring down a Northwest ball carrier.

First game Friday at Hillsboro

As well as the Eagles did at the jamboree, the real test starts with their first game at 7 p.m. Friday against Crystal City at Hillsboro High School.

“We should be faster this year,” said assistant coach Jeff Manestar. “The problem is whether we’re big enough inside.”

Said senior Sam Tilton, “The jamboree really told us what we need to work on. We’re actually way above where, at the beginning of the summer, I thought we’d be right now. Early in the summer people weren’t showing up. But now we’ve got it in lock.”

Brentwood assistant coaches include (from left) Anthony Harper, Jeff Manestar and Adam Kobler.
Brentwood assistant coaches include (from left) Anthony Harper, Jeff Manestar and Adam Kobler.

BHS 3 TDs, Herculaneum 0
Summary: Brentwood outscored Herculaneum three touchdowns to none on two long runs by Kaylon Jenkins and a 30-yard pass from Skylar Sappington to Jordan Tate. In their 12 offensive plays the Blackcats were able to advance the ball only about 15 yards. Big plays: Jenkins ran through huge holes in the left side of the offensive line for both of his touchdowns. Herring said key blocks were thrown by linemen Demetrius Graves, Justin Shipley, Alex Cobb and Mike Doebber. “That was really my blockers on those plays,” said Jenkins. “It was just wide open from the start. It was kind of cool burning off and then seeing all green grass and then just jogging into the end zone.” Jacob Clay had a 15-yard run. The 30-yard end zone pass to Tate, a freshman, was the lanky tight end’s first high school TD. “I knew I was open when the corner bit on Danny (Neal),” said Tate. “He ( Sappington) threw it up and I went for it. It felt great.” Did Sappington throw it high knowing Tate could outreach his defender? “Definitely, definitely,” replied the quarterback. “Gotta take advantage of it.”

Rob Bax stops Herculaneum's Jim Smith for a loss.
Rob Bax stops Herculaneum’s Austin Dixon for a loss. Asked later what it’s like changing from cornerback last year to linebacker this year, Bax replied, “I’m more focused on the run now, containing the outside. It’s a lot different but I like it a lot more.”
Stephen Suntrup (left) and Buddy Karsten gang up on Drew Gibson of Herculaneum.
Stephen Suntrup (left) and Buddy Karsten gang up on Drew Gibson of Herculaneum.
Jordan Tate leaps to catch a touchdown pass between teammate Daniel Neal and Herculaneum's Blake Leathers.
Jordan Tate leaps to catch a touchdown pass between teammate Daniel Neal and Herculaneum’s Blake Leathers.

BHS 3 TDs, Grandview Hillsboro 0
Summary: After giving up only about 10 yards in 12 plays, Brentwood scored three times on two Jacob Clay runs and a 35-yard end zone pass from Sappington to Clay. Big plays: Clay scored on runs of nine and 35 yards. His TD reception came after he alerted Sappington to a weakness in Grandview’s pass coverage. “They had a nickel back on me and didn’t have a safety over the top so I just gave a signal to Skylar to throw it,” said Clay. Brentwood’s all-state running back is known for his rushing TDs but he may catch more passes this season. “The kid works hard, never misses a day and for fun goes out and runs pass patterns,” said Herring. “Saturdays and Sundays he and Joe (Clay) will go up to Clayton or somewhere and work on catching the ball and running pass routes too.” Jenkins had a 15-yard run.

Demetrius Graves catches Grandview's Cody Douglas from behind.
Demetrius Graves catches Grandview’s Cody Douglas from behind.
Justice Harris (left) and Stephen Suntrup put the squeeze on Grandview's Cody Douglas.
Justice Harris (left) and Stephen Suntrup put the squeeze on Grandview’s Cody Douglas as Michael Doebber (72) arrives.
Kaylon Jenkins tries to shed Grandview's Bryan Martinez.
Kaylon Jenkins tries to shed Grandview’s Bryan Martinez.

BHS 1 TD, Northwest Cedar Hill 1
Summary: The Class 6 Lions were tougher than last year, when the Eagles won 2-0. Jacob Clay scored on a two-yard run and BHS nearly struck again but ran out of plays on the 4-yard line. Northwest tied it with a 15-yard pass. Big plays: Brentwood’s TD was set up by Jacob Clay’s 15-yard gain and a nine-yard pass from Sappington to Stephen Suntrup. A 30-yard pass to Suntrup put BHS on the 5. The Eagles probably would have scored again with Clay or Jenkins in the backfield but by then coaches were trying out other players. Brian Hutton, normally a lineman, carried for no gain but got loud cheers from his teammates. “I was excited,” Hutton said. “It was my first time running the ball.” On defense, Jenkins recovered a Northwest fumble and Bax blocked a pass. “I was hoping to get a sack but then I saw him getting ready to throw it and I just jumped and put my hands up,” said Bax. A defensive back last year, Bax dominated from his new outside linebacker position.

Jordan Tate nearly gets a hand on a pass from Skylar Sappington against Northwest.
Jordan Tate nearly gets a hand on a pass from Skylar Sappington against Northwest.
Jacob Clay breaks a long gain against Northwest.
Jacob Clay breaks a long gain against Northwest.
Tight end Stephen Suntrup looks for an opening after catching a pass as Northwest's Sam Powers pursues him.
Tight end Stephen Suntrup looks for an opening after catching a pass as Northwest’s Sam Powers pursues him.
Northwest gives Brian Hutton no running room.
Northwest gives Brian Hutton no running room.
Daniel Neal brings down a Northwest ball carrier as Luke Tilton arrives.
Daniel Neal wraps up the legs of Northwest’s Sam Powers . . .
. . . and Luke Tilton brings him down.
. . . before Luke Tilton arrives to complete the takedown.

Leading candidates at each position, alphabetically
Offense
Quarterback: Courtland Hill, Skylar Sappington
Running backs: Rob Bax, Corey Carroll, Tayveon Brown, Jacob Clay, Kaylon Jenkins, Daniel Neal, Luke Tilton
Tight ends: Justice Harris, Stephen Suntrup, Jordan Tate, Sam Tilton
Center: Cal Snare
Guards: Alex Cobb, Demetrius Graves
Tackles: Michael Doebber, Justin Shipley
Placekicker: Rob Bax
Defense
Cornerbacks: Corey Carroll, Courtland Hill, Kaylon Jenkins, Daniel Neal
Safeties: Joe Clay, Justice Harris, Jordan Tate
Linebackers: Rob Bax, Tayveon Brown, Skylar Sappington, Stephen Suntrup, Jordan Tate, Luke Tilton
Linemen: Tayveon Brown, Alex Cobb, Michael Doebber, Demetrius Graves, Brian Hutton, Buddy Karsten, Ricky McQuay, Justin Shipley, Sam Tilton
Punter: Rob Bax, Skylar Sappington

Head coach Keith Herring talks to his team after the jamboree.
Head coach Keith Herring talks to his team after the jamboree. “I emphasized to the kids to not be afraid to make mistakes tonight – aggressive mistakes,” he said later. “I just wanted to see how fast we could play – getting off the ball and getting to the ball carrier.”

2015 Brentwood Varsity Football Schedule
Aug. 21, Friday, vs. Crystal City at Hillsboro, 7 p.m.
Aug. 28, Friday, home vs. JFK, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4, Friday, home vs. Sumner, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11, Friday, home vs. Orchard Farm, 7 p.m.
Sept. 18, Friday, away vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26, Saturday, away vs. Principia, 1 p.m.
Oct. 2, Friday, home vs. Lift for Life, 7 p.m.
Oct. 9, Friday, home vs. Liberty-Wentzville, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17, Saturday, away vs. Cleveland NJROTC, 1 p.m.
Oct. 23, Class 2 District 5 playoffs

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