BEARS REACH 6A FINAL FOUR
By TOMMY BRYAN
Mt. Juliet broke open a 14-all game with a second half scoring flurry en route to a 34-21 win over Brentwood Friday night in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
Junior halfback Caleb Hopkins scored on runs of 31 and six yards, sandwiched around a 17 yard return of a blocked punt by Cameron Fryer as The Golden Bears remained undefeated on the season at 13-0.
"We said before the game that it might come down to the kicking game," said MJ coach Roger Perry. "That was the turning point. The scoop and score was something we work on every week. I'm proud of our punt block team for that."
Senior Cody Carr burst up the middle and blocked the punt, allowing Fryer to pick up the bounding ball and score, giving the Bears a 28-14 lead.
"It was looking tough in the first half," Perry said, "I was glad to see it tied at the half. We dodged a couple of bullets there and was able to get in the locker room and make a couple of adjustments.
"Our adjustments were nothing big, just a couple of things we saw. We thought we could attack the weakside more and continue to run our speed sweep. Our inside game never opened up like I thought it would. Brentwood is a good defensive football team and they did a great job. What they were able to shut down, we we able to capitalize on something else."
Neither defense appeared capable of stopping the other team, as Mt. Juliet piled up 379 yards in offense and 17 first downs. Brentwood finished with 362 yards in offense and 16 first downs.
"I think we set a record for penalties tonight," Coach Perry said. His squad was flagged 11 times for 114 yards. Brentwood had six penalties for 56 yards.
Mt. Juliet (13-0) will be a home Friday, Nov. 25for the semifinals against 13-0 Memphis Whitehaven.
Mt. Juliet 34,, Brentwood 21
Brentwood 7 7 0 7 -- 21
Mt. Juliet 7 7 14 6 -- 34
B - Andy Schumpert 13 pass from Austin Winfree. Matt England kick. 10:13 first quarter. Five plays, 64 yards.
MJ - Jalen graham 6 run. Ryan Jenkins kick. 5:46 first quarter. 10 plays, 80 yards.
B - Chudi Echetebu 1 run. Englanf kick. 11:39 second quarter. 14 plays, 72 yards.
MJ - Contrez McCathern 1 run. Jenkins kick. 6:04 second quarter. 12 plays, 81 yards.
MJ - Caleb Hopkins 31 run. Jenkins kick. 8:48 third quarter. Seven plays, 72 yards.
MJ - Cameron Fryer 17 return of blocked punt. Jenkins kick. 5:56 third quarter.
MJ - Hopkins six run. Kick failed. 11:44 fourth quarter. Nine plays, 80 yards.
B - Jonathoan Regan 1 run. England kick. 00:37 fourth quarter. Seven plays, 85 yards.