The Briarwood Buccaneers were faced with "flawless" football when they fell 19-0 to the defending GISA AA state champions, Trinity Christian Academy, last Friday night in Dublin.
"Trinity did not make one mistake - not one. They were flawless. They will be in the final four," Coach Jimmy Barnett said, adding that the game was "probably one of the better losses I've every had."
Briarwood Coach Jimmy Barnett talks with his players during the game.
The Spartans "nickled and dimed" the Bucs throughout the game, scoring early on a 70-yard drive and then adding the kick for a 7-0 lead.
The Buc defense stiffened and held on their own four-yard line in the second quarter. With a fourth and four, the Crusaders' kicker booted a field goal for a 10-0 lead. A 40-yard field goal attempt in the second was long enough and high enough, but just wide of the mark. The Crusaders held the 10-0 lead at the half.
The Crusaders mounted another drive for a score in the third for a 16-0 lead, but were denied the two-point PAT attempt by the Bucs.
The Bucs stopped another Crusader drive in the fourth, and the Crusader kicker added another field goal to up the final score to 19-0.
"That one's over. You take the loss and learn from it, and that's what we're going to do," Coach Barnett said of the Bucs. "We got a little confused in our new system, and we made some mistakes. They weren't major mistakes, but it makes a big difference when you're playing a championship ball club. We're going to correct those mistakes, and we're going to get it perfect."
The Bucs put forth an outstanding effort in the game, according to Coach Barnett.
Offensively, junior quarterback David Russell "showed a lot of character. He was really rushed, and he sat back there all night, very composed, and made the plays."
Junior Chase Wilson, an offensive guard and defensive tackle, "was all over the field," making a number of key plays for the Bucs.
Junior Jacob Gay, an offensive guard and defensive end, "played very solid all night."
The defensive line played well. Seniors Jason Dunham and Will Quinn played "great" defense as did sophomore John Spivey.
Sophomore Chris Gerlach, who has taken over the punting and kicking duties for the Bucs, also "played some good football."
"I can't fault their effort," Coach Barnett said. "It was good effort by everybody."
The Bucs will host another good team when the Thomas Jefferson Academy Jaguars come to Briarwood to face the Bucs at 7:30 p.m. this Friday. The Jaguars, one of the top teams in Class A and one of the better teams the Bucs will face this season, according to Coach Barnett, defeated AA Edmund Burke Academy, a Region 1AA foe of the Bucs, 23-7 last Friday night. The Jaguars defeated Curtis Baptist School of Augusta, another team in the Bucs' Region 1AA, 42-8, in both team's season opener.
"It's not going to get any easier," Coach Barnett said.
After Friday night's game, the Bucs will travel to Statesboro to face the number one ranked team in GISA AA, Bulloch Academy, and will follow that game up with a trip to Gainesville the following week, to face the number one ranked team in AAA, Riverside Military Academy.