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Bigger Cougars sink Buccaneers, 63-32

Though a total of 94 points was scored in the football game between the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers and Piedmont Academy Cougars last Friday night, it was the Cougars coming out on top with most of them.

The end result: Briarwood lost its third game in as many weeks by a final score of 62-32.

It was the third straight week that the Buccaneers have played a Class AA school, which again caused them problems in terms of size, speed and number of players.

This Friday night, the Bucs have an open date before they settle into their GISA Region 1-A slate of games.

Piedmont's Cougars came into the game ranked the No. 1 team in Class AA in Georgia and they showed exactly why they deserve such status.

Briarwood Academy football head coach and athletic director John Osborne told his players after the game that he was proud of their character.

"We showed a lot of character out there by never giving up," coach Osborne said. "We work on character-building every day at practice."

Another positive point about the game was the fact that the Buccaneers moved the football against a much bigger football team.

"If you take the scoreboard out of the equation, we didn't do a bad job of moving the football," coach Osborne said.

At halftime, he and his assistant coaches made some changes that the head mentor believes helped his team.

"We scored 25 points in the second half," he told his players.

One of the problem areas the Buccaneers encountered was defense.

"We've got to learn to play better defense," coach Osborne said. "We've got to get in sink."

He explained that thus far this season, his Buccaneers play well offensively sometimes and then don't play so well defensively.

"It's so important that we play well on both sides of the football," coach Osborne said.

The head mentor informed his players that the most critical part of their season starts after their open date.

"It's for real after next week," coach Osborne added. "We've got to get better and start doing things as a team."

The Cougars jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.

But the Buccaneers didn't seem intimidated. For they bounced right back following the ensuing kickoff after the Cougars' second touchdown.

Briarwood's Ryan Pritchett returned the kickoff 30 yards and then combined with running back Michael Kent on several nice runs on the Bucs' next possession, as senior quarterback Blake Sowell engineered the way.

Early in the second quarter, Briarwood was confronted with a fourth down and 7 play at the Piedmont 37.

Coach Osborne decided to gamble and go for the first down.

Pritchett got the call and dashed up field for a 17 yard gain that got the Bucs to the Cougars' 25.

Kent then ran the ball three straight times, picking up a total of 14 yards. It got the Bucs all the way down to their opponents' 9. From there, Sowell ran into the end zone on the next play. The touchdown, which came with 9:34 to play in the first half, made it a 13-7 game after Fifth Newton's extra point kick.

Less than two minutes later, Alex Hall ran for a 61-yard touchdown that gave Piedmont a 21-7 lead with 8:37 remaining in the second quarter.

With 1:21 left in the first half, the Cougars scored again.

The touchdown was on a 61-yard pass play and lifted Piedmont to a 28-7 lead -- the way it stayed through halftime.

Things changed quickly in the third quarter, as the Cougars got into the end zone early to take a commanding lead of 35-7. It came on a 62-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.

Kent later scored again for Briarwood on a 9-yard run, which made it a 35-13 game.

Midway of the quarter, the Cougars struck pay dirt again and increased their lead to 42-13.

With three minutes left in the third quarter, Briarwood's Taylor Coxwell recovered a fumble which led to the Bucs' third touchdown of the game. Kent scored the TD from 5 yards out.

Earlier, Kent got loose on a 40-yard run during that drive. Russell Burdett also picked up some tough yards, as he played some in the backfield.

Piedmont went up 49-19 with another long touchdown run with 10 minutes left in the game.

Pritchett answered with his own version of a long touchdown run -- 85 yards to be exact on the ensuing kickoff. Newton's extra point made it a 49-26 game.

Just 16 seconds later, the Cougars were back in the end zone, thanks to a carbon-copy run of 85 yards by their most talented player.

Kent scored Briarwood's last TD of the game on a 9-yard run. It was his third touchdown of the game.

Web posted on Thursday, September 16, 2010

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