After losing their first game of the season, the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers middle school football team has now won their last three consecutive games.
The latest win came against the visiting Thomas Jefferson Academy Jaguars by a score of 38-16 at the Briarwood field last Thursday night.
"Our first team played great," said a jubilant Briarwood Academy head coach Bo Fleming. "We only gave up two first downs when that group played. My kids wanted to win and it showed. We came out and had a big first quarter and that allowed some younger kids to get some action. I could not be prouder of my team."
During the winning streak, the Buccaneers have had a player step up big for them. The game against Thomas Jefferson Academy was no exception.
This past week's big player was Jackson Sims.
"He had a career game for us," said coach Fleming, who is assisted in coaching the team by Kevin Cowart.
Sims scored two touchdowns in the game against the Jaguars. He also intercepted a pair of passes in the first half and returned one of them 32 yards to pay dirt. Sims also was on the receiving end of a 39-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jack Russell in the fourth and final quarter.
Today (Thursday), the Buccaneers play host to the Curtis Baptist Crusaders who defeated them 18-0 in the season opener that was played in Augusta.
"Our defense played great and forced a turnover on Thomas Jefferson's opening drive," said coach Fleming.
Briarwood Academy's Matthew Mooney jarred the ball loose from the hands of a Jaguar player, while teammate Dakota Reese scooped the ball up and ran it all the way back to the Thomas Jefferson 20. Reese's return run covered a distance of 30 yards, where the Bucs' offensive unit took over from there.
Just three plays later, Russell scored from five yards out. He also scored the two-point conversion which gave the Bucs an 8-0 lead.
Briarwood posted another touchdown just four plays later, following the Jags' second turnover of the game. It came on a 10 yard run by Russell with 2:07 left in first quarter action. Russell also scored on the two-point conversion run. The Bucs increased their lead to 16-0 at that time.
Offensively, Briarwood Academy was just beginning to stack up the points against their visitors from neighboring Jefferson County.
For a yet a third time in the first half, the Bucs' defense forced another turnover. It came when Sims picked off a pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown -- the Bucs' third one of the contest. Sims also ran for the two-point conversion which gave Briarwood a commanding 24-0 lead.
Just seconds into the start of the second quarter, Briarwood Academy scored yet another touchdown. It came on a 17 yard run by Sims and gave the Bucs a 30-0 lead. Before halftime, Sims intercepted his second errant pass of the game.
Thomas Jefferson scored their two lone touchdowns of the game in the fourth quarter.
Russell was the leading rusher for the Bucs with 83 yards on 18 carries.
He also scored twice. As quarter, he completed 2-of-6 passes for 42 yards and threw one touchdown pass.
Jake Brooks, another eighth grader, gained 73 yards on just four carries.
In the receiving department, Sims led the team with one reception for 39 yards. The play went for a touchdown.
Defensively, Briarwood was led by Dusty Anderson with seven solo tackles and three assists; Sims with six solo tackles, five assists and two interceptions; Taylor May, four solo tackles and three assists; Matthew Mooney, three solo tackles and three assists; Mason Kent, four solo tackles and four assists; and Brooks, four solo tackles and three assists.