MACON, Ga. -- The Buccaneers of Briarwood Academy are now playing .500-football for the first time this season.
And on top of it, the team is on a roll, having won their last three games in a row.
The latest victory came when they defeated Covenant Christian Academy's Rams 38-14 in a key GISA Region 1-A game played at Windsor Academy in Macon last Friday night.
Aside from their 3-0 perfect record thus far in region play, the Buccaneers now sport an overall record of 3-3
This Friday night, the Buccaneers travel to Augusta in another key region game against the Curtis Baptist Crusaders. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
"I'm expecting them (Curtis Baptist) to be the best team we've seen in the past three weeks,' Briarwood Academy head coach John Osborne said during an interview on Monday afternoon. "I'm predicting that it's going to be a dogfight."
Curtis Baptist, like Briarwood Academy has improved a lot since the beginning of the season, coach Osborne pointed out.
"They are a very good team," he said referring to the Crusaders. "They won't be pushovers by any stretch of the imagination. We're going to have to play a real good game in order to beat them."
Such might pose a slight problem since the Buccaneers have as a team practiced only twice this week in getting ready for their upcoming opponents tomorrow (Friday) night.
Several members of the football team went on a weekend camping trip following the win over Covenant Christian last Friday night. They did not return until Monday night, which forced practice to be canceled.
"We've had one less day to prepare for Curtis Baptist than we normally would have against an opponent," coach Osborne said. "It's not going to help us by having had one day less to prepare for them, you can believe that."
In the game against Covenant Christian's Rams, the Buccaneers found themselves trailing 7-6 after the first quarter of play.
That all changed in the second and third quarters, as the Buccaneers rose to the occasion and simply outplayed their opponents -- both offensively and defensively.
Junior running back Ryan Pritchett scored Briarwood Academy's first touchdown of the game on an 18 yard run.
Steven Gunn's extra point failed.
After getting down 7-6, the Bucs stormed back and scored another touchdown in the second quarter. It came as a result of a 50-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Blake Sowell to senior tight end Steven Gunn. Hunter Brinkman later caught a pass from Sowell for the two-point conversion which gave Briarwood Academy a 14-7 lead -- the way things stayed as far as scoring was concerned during the first half.
"That was a big scoring play for us," coach Osborne said.
In the third quarter, Blake Sowell scored on a 20 yard run. And later, it was Pritchett getting into the end zone for the second time on the night on a 70 yard run.
Briarwood Academy's last touchdown was scored by Taylor Coxwell, a sophomore wide receiver, who caught a 5-yard pass from Sowell.
Pritchett and Coxwell accounted for three two-point conversion runs, too.
Coach Osborne said he was pleased with his team's second half play against Covenant Christian, but was disappointed with his offensive line's play during the first half.
"I feel that we didn't come out as aggressively as we should have in the first half," coach Osborne said. "We didn't block our best."
In the second half, the Buccaneers made big adjustments.
"We got after it a lot better in the third and fourth quarters," coach Osborne said. "Our linemen have been the key to our success this season and they don't need to start playing just so-so. We need them to get after it right away -- not wait around to do it. If they start slow, our team starts slow."
The head mentor said he was pleased that his offensive line stepped it up several notches in the second half.
"If the offensive line hadn't done their jobs in the second half, the game might have turned out differently," coach Osborne said. "I was very proud of the way we came back in the second half and blocked. We must continue to do that throughout the rest of the season."
The offensive line consists of the following players: Ashton Wiley, Tad McCorkle, Fifth Newton, Tyler Edwards, Matt McHatton and Steven Gunn.
BILLY W. HOBBS/Staff
Briarwood Academy head coach John Osborne has helped lead his team to three victories in the last three weeks.