When the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers and Thomas Jefferson Academy Jaguars met on the gridiron for the second time this season at the Briarwood field last Friday night, younger players from both teams got an opportunity to showcase their talents. The Bucs rolled on to a 50-14 win.
This Friday night, the Buccaneers get back to more serious business when they play host to Young American's School. The game, slated for 7:30 p.m., is Briarwood's homecoming when a new queen will be crowned during halftime.
Admittedly, last week's game didn't have the same type of ramifications as the one played on Oct. 16 between the same two teams in Louisville. The Jaguars clinched the Region 1-A championship with a 21-7 victory over Briarwood Academy, who like TJA had come into that game with no losses in region competition.
"The game played last Friday night at Briarwood was somewhat of a scrimmage game for both teams," explained Briarwood Academy head coach John Osborne.
Coaches from both teams got together several days before their latest matchup and agreed to play their varsity players in the first quarter only and then allow for their younger players to play the remainder of the game.
"We felt this game should be used as a tune-up to the playoffs," said coach Osborne. "We agreed that neither team needed any injuries -- therefore we played it under special circumstances. Seniors and juniors were prohibited from playing in the game after the first quarter.
It allowed the younger players from both teams to gain some valuable playing experience, said coach Osborne.
"Briarwood does not have the opportunity to play B-team games with their younger players," he pointed out. "The only playing time they see is during the week facing the starters or in a few plays here and there on a Friday night."
The head mentor and athletics director said he believes the younger players deserved a night like last Friday night.
"They have worked hard all year and practiced just like the upperclassmen," said coach Osborne. "They needed a time of their own to get to play and enjoy.
"They played with a lot of enthusiasm and they really got after it," added coach Osborne. "It would be great if we were able to schedule at least one of these type games a year, so our younger players could get game-time experience."
He praised the following younger players in the game against TJA: Jackson Williams, who played left offensive tackle and defensive tackle; Dalton Banks, right tackle and middle linebacker; Tad McCorkle, left guard and defensive end; Fifth "Nacho" Newton, running back and linebacker; Colt Phelps, tight end and defensive end; Jesse Prescott, defensive tackle; Taylor Coxwell, quarterback and defensive back; Dalton Reese, quarterback and wide receiver; Ryan Prichett, running back and linebacker; Michael Kent, running back and middle linebacker; Russell Burdette, full back and linebacker; and Ashton Wiley, center and defensive tackle.
Kent, Pritchett and Newton all scored touchdowns in the game against TJA.
Leading the defense with six or more tackles for the Buccaneers were: Wiley, Kent, Reese, Burdette and Pritchett.