When the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers clash with Bethesda Day School in Savannah this Friday night, they will have their hands full.
That's what Briarwood head coach John Osborne believes. Rightfully true. The Bethesda team is a stronger, faster team than they were a year ago when they traveled to Warren County and were beaten by the Bucs.
"They're going to be gunning for us when we get down there," Coach Osborne said during a recent interview about the upcoming game. "Everybody on our team has got to bring their A game."
Briarwood, now 1-2 overall, faces Bethesda in their first Region 1-A game of the season.
Coach Osborne said his team has prepared for the game for the past two weeks since the team had an open date last Friday night.
"We've been concentrating on playing Bethesda for several days now and we think we're ready for them, although it's going to be a big challenge for us," Coach Osborne said.
He explained that it's going to be vital for the Buccaneers to play their game and not allow Bethesda the opportunity to capitalize on any mistakes his team may make.
"We can't afford to make mistakes against this team, because they will take advantage and we could find ourselves behind real quick," Coach Osborne pointed out. "This game is huge for us, because it's our first region game. A lot rides on this game."
Briarwood must be careful not to get burned on big plays.
"Bethesda is a big play making team," Coach Osborne said. "They can burn you quickly with a big play. And we don't want that from them."
Briarwood has three players who will be looking at a lot of pressure. The trio includes Carson Wiley, Ryan Nelson and Dalton Reese.
"Those boys have to be at the top of their game," Coach Osborne said. "That's just all there is to it. We'll be relying on them to prevent big plays from happening."
Bethesda has a pair of 6-3 receivers who can catch and run well with the football, the Briarwood head mentor said.
"This team was predictable last year when we played them, but this year, it's a different story -- they are unpredictable when it comes to their offensive scheme," Coach Osborne said. "We're going to have to be prepared to play a more balanced team this year. We also have to be ready for the flex-bone attack, which Georgia Southern University used to run when Erk Russell coach down there."
Because of that offense, Bethesda is capable of striking for a big play at any time, he added.
During the last several days of practice, Coach Osborne said he had had his assistant coaches, Bo Fleming and Kevin Cowart, out on the field imitating the Bethesda offense for the Buccaneers' defensive unit.
"I wanted our players to be ready for what they will see in the game against Bethesda," Coach Osborne said.
Briarwood will have to play their best game of the season, if they are to bring back a victory, Coach Osborne said.