The Briarwood Academy Buccaneers won again Friday night.
The latest victory was a 41-14 defeat over Covenant Academy at the Briarwood field. It marked the Bucs' third win in a row after getting off to an 0-2 start this season.
"Getting these first two region wins is really big for us," said a jubilant Briarwood Academy head coach John Osborne. "Anytime you win, it brings with it a certain amount of morale to the players, students at the school, fans and everyone associated with the school in any way. It's uplifting for everyone and creates a nice atmosphere."
The Buccaneers got off to a quick start. They scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter and moved out to a 14-0 lead.
Senior running back Matthew McElveen scored the Bucs' first touchdown on a 9-yard run with 6:20 left to play in the first quarter. Senior placekicker Trey Stadler's extra point was blocked. Even so, Briarwood led 6-0.
McElveen scored the Bucs' second TD of the game on a 66-yard power play run up the middle with 2:34 remaining in the first quarter. The two-point conversion was run successfully into the end zone by Michael Kent, lifting Briarwood to a 14-0 lead.
McElveen later rambled 40 yards for the Bucs' next TD -- his third one of the game. It came with 10:42 to play in the second quarter. The extra point was kicked by Dalton Reese, giving Briarwood a 21-0 lead.
Covenant Academy got on the scoreboard with 4:07 left in the first half on a 50-yard TD run. At halftime, the Bucs led 21-6.
"We hit a lull in the third quarter and didn't score any points," said Osborne. "We just kind of let them hang around. We shouldn't have given them a chance to get momentum like that on us."
The Buccaneers made up for it in the fourth quarter, scoring three times.
With 9:38 remaining in the game, quarterback Blake Sowell burst loose on a 35-yard touchdown run which increased the Bucs' lead to 27-6. Briarwood later blew the game wide open when Kent rambled 37 yards for another score. It came with 6:25 left in the fourth quarter. McElveen's two-point conversion run made it a 35-6 game.
Covenant Academy scored again with just three minutes left on a 5-yard TD run.
Briarwood scored its last touchdown of the game with less than a minute to play, on a 5-yard pass from Sowell to freshman Taylor Coxwell.
McElveen ended the night as the leading rusher for Briarwood Academy. He rushed 21 times for 215 yards. Kent carried 12 times for 119 yards and Stadler eight times for 39 yards.
"I thought all three of them had a very good game," Osborne said.
As for Stadler's performance, said Osborne, "He blocked like a bull. And we ran behind him."
Sowell also had a fine game, overall, the coach said. "He ran the ball well for us and he completed two of six passes for 35 yards."
One of the passes was caught by senior wide receiver Carson Wiley. It covered a distance of 30 yards.
Defensively, the Bucs were led by Ryan Nelson's impressive performance of six solo tackles and two assists. Kent recorded five solo tackles, while McElveen and Reese each made four solo tackles.
Stadler also recorded a sack, and Tyler Edwards and Ashton Wiley each recovered fumbles for the Bucs against Covenant Academy.
This Friday night, Briarwood Academy takes on the John Hancock Academy Rebels. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
"John Hancock is better than their record indicates," Osborne said. "They always play us tough. So we've got to get after it. We've still got a long ways to go in order to stay on top in our region. It's not where we've been that will count in the end, but where we actually finish."