Tigers lose at Brentwood, still claim region title
Marshall County had an unusual task on Friday night as the Tigers (6-3) traveled to Williamson County to take on one the best squads in the largest classification in Brentwood High School (8-1).
Coming into the game, the Tigers’ two losses came against 6A Cane Ridge (8-1) and 3A powerhouse Pearl-Cohn (7-2) by a combined seven points, so there was little doubt the team from Lewisburg could compete with the Bruins.
But with two of the most productive Tigers already out with injuries, the game got out of hand quickly and with a running clock for most of the second half Marshall County returned home with its biggest lost in the Osteen-era and eight seasons overall, 49-7 to Brentwood.
The last time the Tigers suffered a bigger loss was a 44-0 setback against Giles County in the last regular season game of 2010.
The Tigers also scored its least amount of points since a 38-0 loss to East Hamilton in the opening round of the 2012 4A playoffs and gave up the most points since the 54-35 semifinal loss to Knoxville Catholic in 2015.
"Number one Brentwood is a really good team," Tiger coach Thomas Osteen said. "They have some of the best coaches, they have 37 seniors, and they play great across the board."
"We didn't match their energy," Osteen added. "We've had a brutal schedule this season but we've risen to the challenge all year long until tonight."
Despite the lopsided score, a few bright spots shone through over the course of the contest for the Tigers.
Quarterback Bryce Wallace misfired on just 11 passes on 31 attempts for nearly 200 yards, Dagon Stacey had a huge night with 86 yards on five receptions, Devon Wilson continues to have a standout sophomore season with 56 yards on five catches and Mason Warner made the most of his first touches on the year with 20 yards on four carries.
"I really don't think they were that much better than us, we just came out with really low energy and never recovered," Warner, who had a long run of nine yards, said. "I think we definitely learned not to underestimate any opponent. This showed us what can happen if we don't come prepared."
On the defensive side, the Tigers had their hands full with the Bruins, who scored twice within the first four minutes of the game before holding a 35-7 lead at the half.
Tavi McLean showed why he picked up his seventh DI offer during the week (UT-Martin), finishing the game with 12 tackles against the potent Bruin offense.
Sophomore Andrew Gold added eight stops, Joseph Freeland chipped in seven, while Wilson, Brandon Rowan, Antonio Warren, and Grant Agnew all finished with six each.
Josh Johnson added three tackles to go along with two quarterback hurries.
"We just started off the game too slow and we couldn't shake it off," Johnson stated. "They got after it harder than us. We're going to have to hit the practice field harder this week and prove that we are a better team than this."
After Brentwood jumped to a 14-0 lead right out of the gates, the Tigers defense settled down and made a game of it.
The stalemate finally ended on a crucial Tiger mistake.
Down by just two scores with under six minutes remaining in the opening half, the Tigers forced the Bruins into a punting situation, but on a fourth-and-four play, a Tiger defensive lineman jumped off sides to give Brentwood a fresh set of downs instead of receiving a punt and a chance to cut the deficit to one possession.
Three plays later, Brentwood quarterback Carson Shacklett hit Avery Williams on a wide open slant across the middle to push the lead to 20-0 after a missed extra point.
The Tigers ran for negative one yards before two in completions led to another punt and on the first Bruin play from scrimmage, Grant Yocam took a reverse hand off that fooled the entire Marshall County defense, allowing the Bruin receiver to jog into the end zone 50 yards untouched and put the game out of reach.
The Tigers would not go down without a fight as Wallace hit Wilson for a 34-yard reception on third-and-four before a scrambling Wallace found Stacey on the one yard line for a 44-yard catch and Liggett crossed the plane to finish the drive with the only blue and white score of the night.
The rally was short-lived as Shacklett hit Parker Bullion for an 80-yard bomb on the first play from scrimmage after the ensuing kickoff and the Bruins headed into the locker room with a 35-7 lead.
The second half featured a running clock for the remainder of the game after the Bruins added a 54-yard touchdown pass just four minutes into the third quarter and the rest of the contest offered few highlights.
The Tigers did receive some good news after the game as word spread that Maplewood (6-3, 3-1) beat Nolensville (3-6, 2-2) 26-20, giving Marshall County a third straight region title and home field advantage heading into the playoffs.
However, the Tigers want to right the ship with a home contest on Friday against Nolensville where a win will assure Marshall County an undefeated Region 4/4A record.
Marshall County 0 7 0 0-7
Brentwood 14 21 7 7-49
Marshall County Offense
Total Yards-Rushing 72, Passing 176
Rushing-Kamron Liggett 12-47-TD, Mason Warner 4-20, Brandon Rowan 2-10, Bryce Wallace 8-(-5)
Passing-Bryce Wallace 20-31-176-INT
Receiving-Dagon Stacy 5-86, Devon Wilson 5-56, Brandon Rowan 6-29, Matt Runions 1-5, Kamron Liggett 2-0
Punts-Brandon Rowan 1-0
Kickoffs-Caleb Estes 2-120-2TB
PAT-Caleb Estes 1-1
Punting-Caleb Estes 6-124-30.7
Tackles-Tavi Mclean 12, Andrew Gold 8, Joseph Freeland 7, Devon Wilson 6, Brandon Rowan 6, Antonio Warren 6, Grant Agnew 6, Billy Cheek 4, Xavier Garrett 4, Josh Johnson 3, Marcellus Campbell 2, Jayshon Wilcox 2, Hunter Lancaster 1, Dagon Stacy 1