When Brentwood played Whittier Christian for first place in the Delphic League football race Friday, Coach Patrick Brown detected a playoff atmosphere at Whittier College.
“Usually when there’s a feeling like that in the stadium, it’s a playoff game and if you lose you’re out,” he said. “Well, we lost but we still have opportunities.”
Brentwood couldn’t hold its 18-0 first quarter lead, but despite a 35-28 setback, the Eagles will find themselves in another big game Friday at 2:15p.m. at Campbell Hall, which similarly has lost only to Whittier Christian in league play.
The loser of this game probably won’t be finished either, as the league is expected to receive three playoff berths. But the loser will be a third place team likely to have a challenging playoff path.
The game started in splendid fashion for Brentwood. The Eagles took the opening kickoff and drove to a touchdown, with sophomore quarterback Mason Moss connecting with Austen Marrs on a 13-yard scoring pass.
Premier running back Kevin Yamazaki then had a 35-yard touchdown run and Moss’ long completion to Tony Armato to the three-yard-line set up a third touchdown.
But Whittier Christian dominated the second quarter as Brentwood had dominated the first, scoring three touchdowns on passes.
Evan Paley kicked a 35-yard field goal for Brentwood in the third quarter to tie the game at 21, but then the Eagles fell behind to stay.
“We knew this would be a tough game and it was,” said Brown. “I told the players we’re not likely to face anything tougher in the playoffs.”
Whittier Christian has a 9-0 record. Brentwood is 7-2.Brentwood was without center Preston Maddox, who was ill. In addition, Marrs suffered a knee injury. There was no structural damage but his status for the Campbell Hall game is unknown.