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Briarwood drops seventh in a row to Terrell Academy

DAWSON, Ga. -- The jinx continues.

At least that's the way it appears every time the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers go up against the Terrell Academy Eagles in football.

It's now been that way seven times in a row.

The latest meeting between the two schools came last Friday with the Eagles defeating the Buccaneers 28-0 in the semi-finals of the GISA Class A State Playoffs.

The loss eliminated Briarwood Academy from the playoffs and ended their football season.

Briarwood Academy is now 0-7 against Terrell Academy.

A victory by the Buccaneers would have put them in the championship game this week against Thomas Jefferson Academy. Instead, the TJA Jaguars, who upended Fullerton Academy this past week, will play Terrell Academy for the state title. The match-up is a repeat of last year's championiship game. The Eagles handily defeated TJA and are predicted to win the state crown again this Friday night.

Terrell Academy's Eagles took advantage of the two passing miscues in the first half that allowed them to build a 14-0 lead at halftime. They returned in the second half and scored two more touchdowns to assure themselves of another shot at a state title.

"Guys, I know it hurts," Briarwood Academy head coach John Osborne told his players after the emotional loss. "You have worked hard and you have had a good season. You keep your heads up. I am proud of the effort you gave. You have good morals and upstanding character."

Coach Osborne told the team's seniors they will go a long way in life, mainly because of a shared attribute.

"You've got excellent character," he said.

This year's seniors are: Eric Johnson, Trey Stadler, Matthew McElveen, Adam Hardy, Carson Wiley and Saul Smith.

The coach went on to tell his players that no one was going to think any less of them as football players because they didn't win the game against Terrell Academy.

"We gave them a good fight," coach Osborne said. "We never laid down and we never quit."

He added that his team can be proud of the fact they were one of the top four best football teams in the GISA Class A state playoffs.

"That's something to be real proud about," coach Osborne said.

One of the first mistakes made by the Buccaneers came on their first possession. Confronted with a third down and long, junior quarterback Blake Sowell attempted a long pass that was picked off by Terrell Academy's Riley Davis with 8:52 left in the first quarter.

Eagles' senior quarterback Cole Phillips then took charge, engineering his team downfield to pay dirt. Phillips eventually scored the game's first touchdown on a 4-yard run with 5:24 left in the initial quarter. Davis booted the extra point that lifted the Eagles to a 7-0 lead they never relinquished.

Briarwood Academy's Dalton Reese returned the ensuing kickoff 18 yards. The next offensive series turned out to be one of the longest drives of the game for the Buccaneers, as they got all the way to the Eagles' 18 before being turned back when sophomore running back Michael Kent was stopped short on a fourth down gamble.

The long drive was supported by several nice runs on the part of senior running back Matthew McEleveen.

Unfortunately, the Bucs were never able to get closer to the end zone than they did on that particular possession.

Still down 7-0 in the second quarter, the Bucs forced the Eagles to punt and took back over offensively.

Kent got the Bucs into Eagles territory again on the first play from scrimmage. Terrell Academy's stingy defensive unit, however, closed down the Bucs' running game from that point. For the second time in the first half, Briarwood Academy had a pass intercepted, which led to a touchdown.

The turnover occurred on a fourth-down play.

Terrell Academy's Caleb White snatched the interception and made a nice return with 8:41 left in the first half. Briarwood's Saul Smith made a saving touchdown tackle following the turnover.

Phillips eventually scored on a 1-yard run -- his second touchdown of the game. Davis' extra point made it a 14-0 game.

In the second half, the Eagles scored once each in the third and fourth quarters to seal the Buccaneers' fate.

Web posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009

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