Briarwood opened its 2011 middle school football season Aug. 25 against the Thomas Jefferson Jaguars. The Bucs won 20-16 in a hard-fought contest.
The Bucs received the opening kickoff and returned the ball to the 40-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Dakota Reese ran a 60-yard touchdown run up the right sideline. The two-point attempt failed. With 7:30 left in the first quarter, Briarwood led 6-0.
On the Jaguars' first possession, they fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Hunter Callaway for the Bucs. The Jags would however get on the board after a Briarwood punt. On their first play from scrimmage they scored on a 600-yard run up the left sideline to tie the score with 14 seconds left in the first quarter. The Jags would get the two-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead. That would be the score at halftime.
On the second play of the second half, Thomas Jefferson would again fumble the football and Ty Gunter recovered for the Bucs. Three plays later, eighth-grader Dakota Reese would break another long run up the right side line for a 43-yard run that would give the Bucs a lead. He followed it up by adding the two-point conversion to make it 14-8 with 6:59 left in third quarter.
The Jags would drive all the way down to the Bucs' 10-yard line on their next possession, but were turned away when Davis Newton intercepted a Jaguar pass. The Bucs would then march down the field. The drive ended in another Reese touchdown from 10 yards out. The two-point play failed, and the Bucs would lead 20-8 with 5:13 remaining. The Jags would score again on a 15-yard TD pass. The two-point run was good, to make the score 20-16 with 2:01 left in the game. The Bucs were able to run the clock out and come away with their first win.
"Dakota had a great game but he could not have done it without the blocking of our line and other running backs," coach Bo Fleming said.
"It is great to start the season off with a win but we've got to come back next week and get better at practice.
The next game will be at Edmund Burke Academy in Waynesboro at 6 tonight.