Bruins roll to opening-round victory despite missing 34 players and nine starters
BRENTWOOD — Davis White spent most of the week in practice at wide receiver.
He spent most of Friday night carving up Cane Ridge’s defense, entering in place of an injured Cade Granzow and promptly leading Brentwood to a 45-13 rout of the Ravens in their Class 6A first round game at James C. Parker Stadium.
White threw five touchdown passes after relieving Granzow and actually had three others wiped out by penalties, including one called back on the first play from scrimmage where he took a pitch on a reverse and hit Walker Merrill for what would have been a 73-yard touchdown.
Two plays later, Granzow limped off the field with a left knee injury and did not return. White moved from receiver to quarterback and took care of the rest.
“I was just excited,” White said. “Just wanted to prove that we got it (when Granzow went down).”
White finished 16-of-19 for 261 yards, tossing two scoring strikes each to Walker Merrill and Mac Hirshman and one to Matthew Manning.
“He’s gotten a lot of reps and he’s taken them seriously,” Brentwood head coach Ron Crawford said. “He’s prepared himself and he’s got a lot of confidence.”
Merrill hauled in eight catches for 113 yards, while Hirshman caught a 76-yard touchdown pass on the first possession of the second half, opening up Brentwood’s lead to 35-13.
“We know he’s a dude that can come in at quarterback,” Merrill said. “We prepare for if Cade goes down and (White) comes in — it happened last year, so we prepared with him and we know when he’s back there, he’s got an arm.”
Brentwood, which had to go to virtual learning this week due to a growing number of COVID-19 cases, came into the came missing a big chunk of its roster, as Crawford said 34 players did not dress, including nine starters.
“Especially when we’ve been looked down upon,” Merrill said. “We were the underdog in this game, I’m pretty sure. We’ve got four starting defensive players and a starting receiver out. It’s just great to come out here and prove people wrong.”
Crawford added, “Thirty-four starters out, and we had nine starters out, and then we lose Cade. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of kids for believing and making it happen.”
Cane Ridge led 6-0 after Xayvion Clemmons scored from a yard out on an untimed down to end the first quarter. But two special teams miscues resulted in Brentwood recovering a pair of short kickoffs in the second quarter to help the Bruins pull away.
“We prepared for it and I knew it was coming,” Woods said. “I knew Coach Crawford would try to steal a few possessions. You always look for any edge. He does a great job getting the best out of his kids. We’re very familiar with each other, so I knew it and when it happened, our guys kind of folded.”
Clemmons hit Quenton Barnes for a 4-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half, cutting Brentwood’s advantage at halftime to 28-13, but that was all the scoring Cane Ridge could muster. The Ravens’ abbreviated season ends at 3-4.
“We’re a fairly young team, we knew that,” Cane Ridge head coach Eddie Woods said. “We could have been better on older guys’ leadership, but it is what it is. We’ll come back and try to hit the reset button a little bit.”
Brentwood hosts Independence next week, seeking to avenge a 26-21 loss to the Eagles on Oct. 24.
Follow Chris Brooks on Twitter and Instagram @CBrooksTN.