Jake Brooks put on a dazzling performance, rushing for just shy of 100 yards and scored a touchdown to lead the Briarwood Academy Middle School Buccaneers past the visiting Edmund Burke Academy Spartans 32-14 last Thursday night at the Briarwood Field.
Brooks, an eighth-grader, rushed for just three times and gained 95 yards. One of those carries went for a 66 yard touchdown romp, off left tackle and down the sideline.
Quarterback Jack Russell, also an eighth-grader, had his best performance of the season, as he rushed for 40 yards on 10 carries and completed 3-of-6 passes for 32 yards. Russell also scored on a 5-yard touchdown run.
Russell also threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brooks just before halftime. Brooks scored his third touchdown of the game after picking off a pass in the second half.
"It was a great win for our players, fans and the program," Briarwood Academy head coach Bo Fleming said.
"We reversed the mistakes we made in the opener against Curtis Baptist. We never gave up as a team."
He praised the play of his veteran players.
"My older guys took care of business and gave our younger kids a chance to play, which bodes well for our future," coach Fleming added.
The Buccaneers took control of the game right from the start and never looked back, coach Fleming said.
Prior to Brooks' long touchdown run, Russell kept the football for a net gain of four yards.
"He (Brooks) stiff-armed one defender and simply outran several others," coach Fleming said.
The touchdown was scored with 6:34 left in first quarter action and gave the young Buccaneers a 6-0 advantage.
Later, the Spartans drove the ball all the way downfield to the Bucs' 25.
It was there, though that the drive was halted on an impressive defensive play by Jackson Sims.
As the defensive front line applied pressure on the Edmund Burke quarterback, it caused the quarterback to throw a bad pass -- one that Sims picked off and ran back from 79 yards out with 1:27 remaining in the first quarter.
The Spartans got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff, but were forced to punt it away -- again because of the Bucs' aggressive play, defensively.
When the Buccaneers got their hands back on the football, they put together their longest sustained scoring drives of the season.
A 10-play drive resulted in a five yard touchdown run by Russell.
With 4:42 left in the first half, Russell later fired a two-point conversion pass to Sims that increased the Bucs' lead to 20-0.
Briarwood Academy still wasn't finished putting points on the scoreboard. They scored yet another touchdown before halftime. It came on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brooks with just 55 seconds left in the second quarter.
In the second half, the Spartans attempted a drive, but were turned back when Brooks intercepted a pass and returned it 86 yards for a score.
Up 32-0, the Spartans finally hit pay dirt, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, as several younger Briarwood players got a chance to see action.
Defensively, Sims led the way. He recorded nine solo-tackles, made two assists and picked off a pass for a touchdown; Dusty Anderson made four solo-tackles and had three assists; Mason Kent made five solo-tackles, three assists and recovered a fumble; and Brooks made three solo-tackles, three assists and intercepted a pass for a touchdown return.