LOUISVILLE, Ga. -- After a recent open date, the Briarwood Academy Middle School Buccaneers returned to gridiron action where they walloped the Thomas Jefferson Academy Jaguars 34-6 at TJA last Thursday night.
It was the Buccaneers' fifth victory of the season to go with a pair of losses -- both of them at the hands of the Curtis Baptist Crusaders of Augusta.
"We played well -- from the beginning to the end," remarked Briarwood Academy head coach Bo Fleming. "Defensively, my first group had another really good game, allowing only one first down and no points. Offensively, we had both of our ground game and passing game working well."
He praised the play of quarterback Jack Russell, an eighth grader.
"Russell really threw some nice passes," said coach Fleming.
The head coach, who is assisted by coach Kevin Cowart, also praised other players.
"Our older kids took care of business and allowed our younger kids some valuable playing time for our future," said coach Fleming. "We have had a great season and want to finish out the season with a win over Nathanael Greene Academy's Patriots in Siloam this Thursday."
Against Thomas Jefferson Academy, the Buccaneers wasted no time whatsoever driving the ball downfield and getting into the end zone. After receiving the opening kickoff, they quickly moved the ball and ended up scoring seven plays later on a 1 yard run by Ty Gunter with 5:45 left to play in the opening quarter. Russell ran for the two-point conversion which gave Briarwood Academy an early 8-0 lead.
Just two plays later, the Buccaneers got their hands back on the football, as the Jaguars fumbled. Jackson Sims recovered for Briarwood.
Three plays later, the Buccaneers hit pay dirt again. Jake Brooks scored on a 21 yard run with 3:48 left in the first quarter.
When Thomas Jefferson got possession of the ball on their next series, Briarwood's defense rose to the occasion -- stopping them on four downs.
The Buccaneers took over and scored their third touchdown of the first quarter. Russell connected with Sims on a 49-yard pass play with 2:15 left in the initial quarter. At that point, Briarwood Academy led 20-0.
Before halftime, the Bucs got into the end zone again.
With 2:40 left in the second quarter, Russell hit Sims on a 30-yard touchdown pass.
At halftime, Briarwood Academy held a commanding 26-0 lead.
In the second half, the Buccaneers only scored once. It came on a 1 yard run by Grayson Rhodes. The two-point conversion run was scored by seventh grader Lathan Roberson, which made it a 34-0 game with 2:40 left in third quarter action.
The Bucs' overall record is now 5-2.
Russell led the Buccaneers in the game against Thomas Jefferson Academy with 102 yards rushing on 18 carries. Jake Brooks rushed four times for 67 yards. Russell completed 3-of-8 passes in the game for 89 yards and threw for a pair of touchdowns. Sims caught all three passes for 89 yards, including both touchdowns.
Sims also led the way, defensively. He made six solo tackles, three assists and recovered a fumble; Dakota Reese made six solo tackles and had one assist; Jack Russell made five solo tackles and two assists; Jake Brooks made four solo tackles and one assist; Dusty Anderson made three solo tackles and two assists; and Ty Gunter made three solo tackles and two assists.