The Brentwood Bruins and the Pope John Paul II Knights provided fans some regular season excitement in their final scrimmage of the preseason.

JPII sophomore Andrew Southard connected on a 50-yard field goal with :09 left to put the Knights on top 24-21.

“That’s a momentum builder,” JPII head coach Justin Geisinger said of the winning kick in the scrimmage, which featured two quarters of game action pitting the varsity teams against each other. The rest of the scrimmage featured action from the freshman teams and the junior varsity teams.

“We needed that kind of game because those are the type of games we’ll have in the regular season.

“That’s a very good 6A team. Overall I was very pleased,” Geisinger continued. 

Through the team’s three scrimmages the team has continued to trend upwards and that is a good sign to Geisinger. 

“The goal tonight was to play at the highest level possible at this point of the season,” he said. “I think we are trending upwards and that is a good sign.”

The two teams traded touchdowns through the first half of play. Brentwood opened the scoring with a one yard plunge from Xiere Howard. 

JPII answered with a three-yard scoring run by junior quarterback Sawyer Watts. The score was set up by a catch and run by senior receiver Rory White.

Brentwood used an interception by John Howse IV to set up a one-yard touchdown run by Scott Collins to give the Bruins a 14-7 lead. 

An interception by JPII’s Kilon Williams set up the tying touchdown for the Knights on a 13-yard scoring pass from Watts to senior Jacob Lann.

Brentwood quarterback Cade Granzow put the Bruins back on top with a one-yard touchdown run. 

The Knights tied the game on a 15-yard touchdown run from Antwan Roberts. The score was set up by a 41-yard pass play from Watts to Brendan Keaton.

JPII’s outside linebacker Pius Onaghinor recovered his forced fumble on Garzow, plus an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play by Brentwood gave the Knights the ball on the Brentwood 24-yard-line with :58 left. 

The Knights were pushed back to the Brentwood 33 to set up the field goal by Southard.

“It’s good to know you have a special teams and field goal kicker who can kick a 50-yarder,” Geisinger said. “That was good to see in a stressful situation like that.”

Watts finished the scrimmage with 12 completions on 22 attempts with one interception and one touchdown. He also ran for a score.

“Today was a good day,” Watts said. “I’m thankful for my line giving me time to get the ball to our big time athletes to make big time plays.”

“He’s a high energy guy,” Geisinger said of Watts. “He wants to put a lot on his shoulders.”

But Watts, who played mostly at wide receiver last year, is still learning, Geisinger continued. “He hasn’t had a lot of reps at quarterback.”

Watts made several good plays, including the pass to Keaton, Geisinger said that was a big point in the game.

“With a new quarterback there’s going to be growing pains,” Geisinger added. “But, I’m proud of his progress.”

“The team looked really good tonight,” Watts said. “I thought we competed very well and played a good game as a team.” 

The Knights will open the regular season on Friday hosting Nashville Overton on Friday, August 23.

“We’re looking forward to Overton,” Watts continued. “The whole team is excited about it. We can’t wait to compete. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”

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