This Friday night's football game between the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers and Thomas Jefferson Academy Jaguars promises to be one of biggest games in the entire Central Savannah River Area.
"It's always a big game when these two schools play each other, because it's such a big rivalry," Briarwood Academy head coach John Osborne said.
The upcoming game against Thomas Jefferson is a big one for Briarwood Academy in other ways. For one thing, they haven't beaten the Jaguars in several years.
"It would be nice to pull out a win over them this week," coach Osborne said after his Buccaneers defeated the Curtis Baptist Crusaders 27-7 at Lions Memorial Field in North Augusta, S.C. last Friday night. "We can do it. It's time. We've just got to put our minds to it and get the job done."
The victory over Curtis Baptist was Briarwood Academy's fourth win in a row. They remain perfect in region play this season with a 4-0 record, entering the game against Thomas Jefferson Academy. The past two seasons, the Jaguars have beaten the Buccaneers for the region title.
That made not happen this year, though.
For Thomas Jefferson already has played and lost to Memorial Day of Savannah. Briarwood Academy and Memorial Day have yet to play each other. The date of that match is set for Nov. 5 in Savannah.
Depending on the outcome of the Thomas Jefferson and David Emanuel games, the Buccaneers could be looking at traveling to the coastal city with an unblemished region mark when they play Memorial Day.
First things are first, though, which is the only way coach Osborne approaches games -- one game at a time.
"You've got to think about one game at a time and prepare for that one," coach Osborne said. "And right now that game is Thomas Jefferson Academy." Coach Osborne is most familiar with the winning tradition of the Jaguars through the years, because he once was on the coaching staff at the school, located near Louisville.
Thomas Jefferson Academy come into the game with Briarwood Academy fresh off a big win over Nathanael Greene Academy's Patriots, a team that the Buccaneers defeated back on Sept. 24.
"If we play the kind of football we're capable of playing, we can win Friday night," coach Osborne said. "On the other hand, if we don't play good, they could take advantage and end up beating us. That's why it's important that we block well and execute well for four quarters."