Matthew Hamby has been waiting so long for this.
Finally, in his senior year, the Brentwood Academy quarterback is in charge of the offense – and what an offense. The Eagles are among the state’s elite in scoring, just shy of 50 points a game for DII’s top-ranked team.
Hamby threw one touchdown pass and scored two more as BA (6-0) clipped Battle Ground Academy 49-23 last Friday in a game the Eagles trailed 17-14 at the half.
That wasn’t even their top point total of the month-old season. They topped it in two other so far and haven’t been held to fewer than 45 points.
“I’ve been waiting three years for my turn, to show what I can do,” the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Hamby, who waited behind standout Cody Nelson (now playing at Centre, Ky.), said. “I started one game my sophomore year, but that was it. I’m excited for to get my chance, because I think I’ve earned it.
“I am blessed to have so many skill people surrounding me, guys who can run 4.4 40s – guys like backs Victor Caro and Radir Annoor and receivers like Al Thompson and Weldon Garlington. There’s no bad choice for a play call there.”
“Matthew is great competitor,’’ fourth-year coach Ralph Potter, who appears to have his best team at BA, added. “He has been waiting his turn and he’s taking advantage of it. BGA challenged us, and it was good to see how we handled the challenge.”
Never in the storied, 40-year history of Brentwood Academy football has a team opened up a season scoring at a pace like this – 299 points in six games.
The 49 points against BG actually lowered the Eagles’ per-game average to 49.8.
They have exceeded some quality teams.
• The 1996 team scored 271 points, the 1995 team opened with 241, and the 1980 team had 253 at the same point in the season. All three finished unbeaten and won state championships.
• The 1983 team opened with 242 points and eventually reached the state semis where it had a 35-game winning streak snapped.
“We’re just all one big family, we are very together,” Garlington, BA’s leading receiver (15 catches, 318 yards), said. “Matthew has really come into his own at quarterback, he’s been waiting his turn, and now he’s making the most of it.”
The shower of points comes from a variety of options.
Caro and Annoor have combined for about 1,000 yards rushing but look to be good bets to each get there individually. Caro leads with 555 in 58 carries and nine touchdowns. Annoor has 456 yards in 59 carries and 12 touchdowns, including four (one a 50-yard run) against BGA.
“We don’t have any bets with each other about who is going to rush for more yards,” the tiny 5-8, 175-pound Caro said. “We both know we have a great O-Line and we’re capable of scoring from anywhere. And the team chemistry is great.”
Hamby just smiled when asked if he ever thought he would be quarterback for a team averaging 50 points a game.
“No, I didn’t,” he said. “But we have so many weapons, so many guys who are really competitive, I can see how we could do that.”
The offensive show overshadows the Eagles’ defense, to a degree. But there are stars there, too.
Linebacker Woody Baron had three sacks of BGA’s C.J. Beathard and almost had a fourth.
“We had a good pass rush,” Baron said. “They (BGA) have an excellent offense, and I thought we had a good game plan.”
Next up is a huge matchup Thursday against Ensworth (2-2), a team which knocked off Smyrna last Friday.
“They (Ensworth) are very talented and they beat an outstanding Smyrna team,” Potter said. “It’s going to be a huge challenge. We’ve got short week practice to get ready.”
• Brentwood Academy’s boys golf team, led by defending individual medalist Dylan Healey, shoot for their second straight DII state championship Tuesday and Wednesday at Manchester’s Willowbrook Club.
Ensworth upset the Eagles by six strokes in the region tournament and both have qualified for state.
• The Ensworth girls, who finished second to Baylor in region, BGA and Father Ryan all qualified for the girls state tournament.
• In DII-A girls, Franklin Road Academy comes in with the lowest team score at 159 and appears to be one of the team favorites. University School Nashville also is in the mix.
• Ezell-Harding and FRA also qualified for the boys state tournament.
• The A/AA state will be held Oct. 5-6 and the AAA tourney will be held Oct. 12-13 at Willowbrook Club.
• The Brentwood Academy boys and Ravenwood girls won the team titles at the annual A.F. Bridges cross country meet Saturday at the Iroquois Steeplechase course. Ravenwood’s Conley Chitwood rallied to win the boys race, ahead of Antioch’s Quamel Prince. Sovereign Grace’s Mia Elbon and Allison Cheeseman of Brentwood Academy finished 1-2 in the girls race.
• Cane Ridge (1-4) finally captured its first varsity football victory in the middle of its third season as the Ravens knocked off Davidson Academy 20-13. Darrien Hambrick caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Steven Menifee with eight seconds left for the game-winner for the Ravens, who were 0-10 last year.
• The Region 6-6A champion will likely be decided Friday when McGavock (4-1) visits Overton (4-1). McGavock, which has won four straight since losing its opener, is 2-0 in league play, while Overton, which has lost only to Lipscomb 22-21, is 1-0.
• In the past two weeks, Hillwood coach Bubba Spears’ Toppers have been beaten by the program he helped start (East Lit) and the school he played for (Stratford).