STILLMORE, Ga. -- What a difference a week can make. Just ask the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers varsity football team.
After a disappointing region loss to the Thomas Jefferson Academy Jaguars two weeks ago, the Buccaneers returned to action against David Emanuel Academy last Friday night with hunger for the end zone all night long.
The result was a 41-0 thrashing of David Emanuel, notching another key region victory and boosting their overall record to 5-3.
This Friday night at the Briarwood field, the Buccaneers tangle with Thomas Jefferson Academy for the second time in three weeks. The first time around was for region championship honors -- the Jags prevailing in that encounter by a score of 21-7 in Louisville.
"The game with Thomas Jefferson Academy won't have the same type meaning that it had the first time around," said Briarwood Academy head coach and athletic director John Osborne. "We're going to play the game a little different since it's not a region game."
Coach Osborne explained that he and TJA head coach Chuck Wimberly had talked about playing starters during the first quarter and then letting younger players play out the game.
"We both think it's a good idea since both teams already are in the playoffs," said coach Osborne. "Our starters are going to have to get after it right from the start, because they're not going to have very long to play."
As for the big win over David Emanuel, coach Osborne said he was proud that his team played as well as they did.
"After our first drive stalled out and they stopped us on a fourth-down play, our players really got after it," he said.
Offensively, the Bucs had three players who each recorded nearly 100-plus rushing yards: Matthew McElveen with 11 carries for 180 yards; Michael Kent with five carries for 111 yards; and Trey Stadler with 12 carries for 99 yards.
Briarwood Academy's first touchdown came with 5:17 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Stadler -- his first of three touchdowns. He also kicked the extra point to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead.
With 1:36 to play in the first quarter, Stadler scored his second TD on a 3-yard run. The extra point kick failed, but Briarwood led 13-0.
In the second quarter, the Bucs scored a third TD to reach 20-0. It came on a five-yard run by McElveen with 9:45 left in the first half.
Briarwood's fourth TD was scored by Stadler on a 48-yard run with 6:29 left in the second quarter. He also kicked the extra point to lift Briarwood to a 27-0 lead -- the way it stayed through halftime.
The second half saw the Bucs continue where they left off, offensively.
With 8:34 to go in third-quarter action, McElveen scored his second TD on a 75-yard run. Stadler's extra point boosted Briarwood's lead to 34-0.
The Bucs' last touchdown was scored by Kent on a 20-yard run. Again, Stadler added the extra point.
Defensively, Briarwood was led by Russell Burdett with eight tackles and two assists. He was followed by Saul Smith with seven tackles and two assists; and Steven Gunn with five tackles and two assists. Colt Phelps had four tackles; Carson Wiley, four tackles and two assists; and Matthew McElveen, four tackles and two assists.