It would have been easy for Briarwood to give up against Thomas Jefferson last week.
But down by 28 after the first quarter, the Bucs kept fighting, eventually dropping the game 57-20 to the perennial state powerhouse.
"This team is not a team that will hang their heads and cry and moan," said Head Coach Blake Duncan. "They are a team that picks up and pours on the hustle."
Coach Duncan admitted he wasn't happy with his team's performance at the start of the game. The Bucs spent an off-week working on the fundamentals of tackling and anticipating TJA's moves.
"Our follow-through on plans and plays is not there. We can't seem to stay focused on following through with the play," Coach Duncan said. "We're moving and anticipating but we are hesitating and then we end up catching the players by the ankles instead of hitting them full on. We can't do this and successfully make tackles, and we can't win football games if we let the opponent make touchdowns."
The Jaguars ran formations all night that they are known to run, but the Bucs never could get the plays covered man to man.
"We can't play like this and win. We have talked about it and worked on ways to fix problems since the season started but until we focus on making tackles, we are not going to win," Duncan said.
Brairwood's offense came to life in the second quarter as junior Matthew McElveen and senior Dave Joesbury both scored touchdowns. TJA commanded the third quarter but the Bucs would not be completely shut down. Two fourth down conversions in the final quarter enabled McElveen to run 35 yards for a final Briarwood touchdown late in the game.
Briarwood is 1-2 overall as they head into a game against Bulloch Academy - a team that is larger in size and number than Briarwood.
"We can beat them," he said. "We have to step up and play, fix some small things and focus on making tackles. We will be focused on the Bulloch quarterback who is shifty and quick on his feet. Tackles will be key this week."
Region play for the Bucs starts in three weeks against Westminster, said Coach Duncan.
Briarwood 20, Thomas Jefferson 57
Stars of the game: Matthew McElveen scored two touchdowns and racked up close to 100 yards rushing.
Play of the game: The two fourth down conversions in the final quarter that led to McElveen's second touchdown of the night.
Up Next: Briarwood travels to Bulloch Academy in Statesboro.