For the second week in a row, things didn't go as planned on the football field for the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers. As a result, they fell to the Piedmont Academy Cougars 23-12 in Monticello last Friday night.
This Friday night, the Bucs hope to notch their first win of the season when they travel to Augusta to take on the Curtis Baptist School Crusaders. The game will be played at Lucy Laney Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
"The key to the loss against Piedmont was that we have young players playing in key positions that just don't have the experience they need," said Briarwood Academy head coach John Osborne. "When times get tough we start losing our mental concept. We block the wrong way and things like that ..."
Missed blocking assignments hurt the Bucs, along with 95 yards in penalties that the team was accessed during the game.
Add the fact that offensive holding nullified two touchdowns.
"We've got to stop making these kinds of mistakes," said Osborne. "Penalties just killed us. If we're able to do that, then we play better and have a much better chance of winning football games."
Injuries also have taken a toll on the Bucs thus far this season, sidelining Michael Kent, Saul Smith and Russell Burdette.
"All three of them are out and we really don't know when they'll be able to play again," said Osborne. "It hurts us because they can't play. We have depth problems because we don't have a lot of players."
Briarwood got off to a great start against Piedmont Academy, scoring the first touchdown of the game on 32-yard run by senior running back Matthew McElveen. The touchdown came with 2:05 left in first quarter action. Trey Stadler, also a senior, had his extra point attempt blocked. Still, the Bucs led 6-0.
With 9:58 left in the second quarter, the Cougars got on the scoreboard with a 20-yard field goal, to trail Briarwood, 6-3.
The Bucs stretched their lead to 12-3 just 20 seconds later when McElveen took an option pitch-out from junior quarterback Blake Sowell on the second play from scrimmage after the kickoff.
"He went around right end on a beautiful run," said Osborne.
Again, Stadler's extra point was blocked.
The Cougars came right back downfield and mounted another scoring drive. It culminated on a 12-yard touchdown with 5:35 to go in the first half. That made it a 12-9 game at halftime.
In the third quarter, Piedmont scored another touchdown to go up 16-12.
Briarwood's fate was sealed in the fourth quarter when the Cougars scored with 7:27 to play in the game.
"Life is much better when you win," said Osborne. "We're going to start winning; we've just got to stay focused and do what we've been taught in practice."
McElveen led the rushing attack for Briarwood with 122 yards on 10 carries; Stadler rushed 12 times for 50 yards, while Sowell had five carries for 22 yards and completed 1-of-3 passes for 7 yards.