The Crusaders of Curtis Baptist School in Augusta apparently know the secret to beating Briarwood Academy's Buccaneers this season.
For Curtis Baptist handed the host school their second loss of the season in middle school football action at the Briarwood Field last Thursday night. The final score was 20-8.
Despite the loss, Briarwood Academy head coach Bo Fleming said he was pleased with his team's effort.
"I was proud of our effort," said coach Fleming. "We played hard and never quit."
The Buccaneers played without the services of one of their key players, Mason Kent, who broke one of his hands two days before the game. Kent was an offensive lineman and defensive linebacker.
"That really hurt us," said coach Fleming. "He was one of our leading tacklers and starting offensive linemen."
With the loss of Kent, the Buccaneers had to play even harder than usual.
"We battled to the end," added coach Fleming.
"Our defense played well. But we gave up a big play, which turned out to be our downfall."
Offensively, the Buccaneers gave it everything they had.
"We just couldn't make the big plays when we needed them," said the head mentor. "The first drive of the game was our best drive of the year. You can't start a game any better."
Today, (Thursday) Briarwood Academy plays Nathanael Greene Academy's Patriots.
"We have had a great year so far," said coach Fleming. "We've just got to keep pushing for a winning season here on out."
Against Curtis Baptist, Briarwood Academy took the opening kickoff and marched downfield on an 11-play offensive attack, which was led by eighth grade quarterback Jack Russell.
The drive ended on a 1 yard touchdown run by Jackson Sims with 2:07 left in first quarter action.
The two-point conversion was scored on a run by Dakota Reese, which gave the Buccaneers an early 8-0 lead.
The scoring drive was highlighted by a 17 yard pass from Russell to Sims.
Little did the Bucs know at the time, but that was all the points their offensive unit would get the rest of the game.
The rest of the scoring belonged to the Crusaders.
The loss to Curtis Baptist drops Briarwood Academy's season record to 3-2. The loss also brought to an end a three-game winning streak by the Buccaneers.
Briarwood was led in rushing by Russell with 42 yards on 12 carries; Reese with 41 yards on 9 carries; and Sims, 20 yards on 5 carries.
Russell also completed 3-of-10 passes for 50 yards. Sims caught all three of those passes.
On the defensive side of the football, Briarwood was led by Sims with 4 solo tackles and 4 assists; Reese with 4 solo tackles and 3 assists; Russell with 3 solo tackles and 4 assists; Tripp Harper with 3 solo tackles and 3 assists; and Dusty Anderson with 3 sole tackles and 2 assists.