COOKEVILLE – Asking for a third consecutive instant-classic finish was too much to ask.
Instead, the Division II-AAA BlueCross Bowl meeting between Brentwood Academy and Montgomery Bell Academy followed the large margin-of-victory trend of the week at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium.
Mr. Football finalist and Vanderbilt commit Camron Johnson scored three first-half touchdowns – two receptions, one rushing – to help Brentwood Academy build a 21-point halftime lead, and the Eagles used that momentum to topple rival MBA, 28-14, and win a third consecutive state championship over the Big Red.
Johnson earned the game’s offensive MVP award, having a 47-yard rushing TD and catching five passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns (16 and 19 yards). Devyn Curtis was the game's defensive MVP with 16 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Brentwood Academy (12-0) won its 13th overall state title, which is good for third all-time in the state behind Maryville (16) and Alcoa (16).
The 2015 title game between BA and MBA resulted in a 56-55 final. The sequel last year was a 42-38 contest. But this weekend in Cookeville, the average margin of victory leading up to the BA/MBA game was 22.88 points in the other eight state championships played.
This one was just destined to be ho-hum. Brentwood Academy was nationally ranked, had already beaten MBA 29-0 in the regular season and MBA no longer had Ty Chandler in the backfield to keep it even like he had the previous two years. He’s now a freshman running back at Tennessee.
Still, MBA made it a 28-14 Brentwood Academy lead after Jackson McFadden scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 5 minutes, 32 seconds left in the third quarter. McFadden also had a 9-yard TD catch in the second quarter.
MBA had the ball in BA territory with 6:42 to play and a chance to cut into the 28-14 lead. But on fourth-and-4 from the Eagles 42, Ty Allen’s pass fell incomplete.
The Big Red regained possession near midfield with 5 minutes to play, and Allen subsequently steered MBA into the red zone. Yet again, on fourth-and-4 from the Eagles 5, Allen’s pass to the corner of the end zone was deflected away.