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Bucs drop game to Brentwood, move to playoffs

The trek toward the GISA State Class AA Football Championship is underway, and the Briarwood Buccaneers are a part of the formula once again.

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Briarwood's Tyler Wester grasps at a Brentwood runner during the Bucs' 25-15 loss to the top-ranked War Eagles.

Even though the Buccaneers lost their last regular season game last Friday night 25-15 against the Brentwood Academy War Eagles of Sandersville, they will represent Region 1 as the third seed in the playoffs, a position that the squad earned through playing some very tough opponents over the last ten weeks.

With their 4-6 overall record, the Bucs will travel south to Bellville to play the Pinewood Academy Patriots this Friday night, Nov. 5. The top-seeded team in Region 1, Brentwood, will host Windsor Academy from Macon, while the region's No. 2 team, Edmund Burke, will host Bulloch Academy.

"We have been 10 points short here, and 15 points short there all year," said Briarwood Head Coach Jimmy Barnett. "Just as the case last Friday night, we fell 10 points short of defeating Brentwood, the No. 1 team in the state."

Coach Barnett said he was proud of his team and called them "one of the hardest working group of kids I have ever coached."

"We still have a shot of winning the whole bag of marbles. A win in Bellville means we will host next week's game at home at Briarwood. We are now taking one game at a time," Coach Barnett said.

The high-powered War Eagle offense rolled into Buccaneer territory and dominated the rushing statistics. Brentwood, as a team, rushed for 329 yards on the ground that included two touchdowns of more than 57 yards each.

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Briarwood's Burt Goolsby lunges ahead against Brentwood.

Briarwood Academy rushed for 113 yards on the ground and passed for 71 in the air. Jeffrey Kent was the leading rusher for the Bucs with 70 yards on 12 carries. He was followed by Burt Goolsby with 29 yards on eight carries, and Tyler Wester with 25 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

"Brentwood's running backs were a good combination. They complimented each other on every play," Barnett said.

The Buccaneers set out from the beginning to make a point to everyone in attendance. Briarwood took the opening kickoff from its own 27 yard line and marched all the way down the field in 12 plays to put the first points on the board. Kent took the opening handoff and bulled his way for 23 yards.

On the final play of the drive, Wester powered his way across the goal line from the two yard line to give Briarwood an early 6-0 lead at the 6:24 mark of the first quarter. Jason Holley's extra point attempt was good, thus giving Briarwood a 7-0 lead before Brentwood ever touched the ball.

The Eagles tied the score on their first possession of the second quarter when Jackson blew through the line and raced 57 yards for a touchdown with 7:15 left to play in the first half. Brent Turner's PAT made the score 7-7.

The score remained deadlocked at seven through halftime. But the Eagles struck quickly in the third quarter to take the lead.

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Briarwood Quarterback David Russell throws a pass during the fourth quarter of the Bucs loss to Brentwood.

On the second play from scrimmage in the second half, Eagle Rachels raced 58 yards through the Briarwood defense to score the go-ahead touchdown at the 11:38 mark of the third period. Turner's PAT made the score 14-7.

However, on Briarwood's next possession, the Bucs used a run and pass attack to regain the lead with just over three minutes left to play in the third quarter. On the 14th play of the drive, Wester again found his way into the endzone from the three yard line to put Briarwood only one point behind Brentwood at 14-13 with 3:42 left in the quarter.

The combination of David Russell throwing to Joseph Batrous produced a successful two-point conversion to give Briarwood the lead at 15-14 at the 3:35 mark of the quarter.

The Eagles struck right back on their next drive, as Jackson scooted six yards for a touchdown with only 46 seconds remaining in the third period.

A pass from Harris to Jackson for the two points made the score 22-15 at the end of the period.

Turner added a 19-yard field goal for Brentwood with only 4:14 remaining in the game to give the Eagles a comfortable 25-15 margin. Briarwood did not threaten after this and Brentwood held on for the win and the region championship.

"We should have got more points in the first half on turnovers," Barnett said. "But I am proud of this team, and we are ready for the playoffs."



Web posted on Thursday, November 4, 2004


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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01
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