Brentwood blows out California
Brentwood and California had a lot at stake in Friday's Black Hills Conference matchup.
Brentwood could clinch a playoff spot with a win, while the Trojans could earn a post-season berth by winning by at least 10 points.
Unfortunately for the Trojans (4-5, 4-4), the game was never close as the Spartans (6-4, 6-3) rolled to a 35-0 lead to enact the mercy rule as the second half started en route to a 42-14 win.
For first-year California coach Bo Teets, it was a disappointing end to a solid resurgence during the second half of the season.
“Brentwood is a playoff-quality team and I look for them to do well despite being a four seed,” Teets said. “They were the best team we have faced since week three. But I couldn't be more proud of our kids as they came around as the season went along.”
The Trojans brought the home fans to their feet on the opening kickoff as they executed a successful onside kick.
“It is something we have worked on all year and we never kick deep,” Teets said. “We would give up the 10 yards for the opportunity at the ball.”
California lost yards four yards on the first drive, and things just got worse from there.
Brentwood held California to 25 total yards, including minus-15 in the first half on 19 plays.
The Spartans had 256 yards on 29 plays and got on the board with 7:30 left in the first quarter on a two-yard run by Ryan Shortley.
Four more Spartan scores in the second quarter — two by ground and a pair through the air from Connor McWilliams — enforced the running clock coming out of the half.
The Trojans received a spark on the first play of the second half as Lester McGriff returned the second half kick 90 yards for a touchdown to make it 35-6.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Austin Hunter hit Gavin Anderson on an 85-yard touchdown pass and then Hunter hit Cory Adams with the two-point pass to make it 42-14.
“This is a great group of seniors and they were kids that didn't know what they had talent wise,” Teets said. “Hopefully the younger guys can see that they can hang with the big boys in the conference.”
GAME NOTES: Brentwood finished with 323 yards on 41 plays while California had 101 yards on 30 plays … Casey Zajicek had a 40-yard reception for the Trojans on a halfback pass from McGriff … Zajicek finished with two receptions for 40 yards and recorded a sack.
Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.