Briarwood Academy's 2011 football season ended Friday in a 35-6 loss at Terrell Academy in Dawson, Ga. The fifth recent injury and the sixth of the season left the Buccaneer bench short early in the clash with the Eagles in the first round of the GISA playoffs.
Michael Kent broke his left arm making a tackle.
"I felt bad for him. He's a senior. It was his final game," said coach John Osborne.
Osborne said the Bucs kept fighting despite the score. Senior Russell Burdette scored Briarwood's only touchdown with 1:56 left in the game. "We were driving and Steven Parrris came to the sideline to get the play and I said, 'Tell them to block. We've got to get Russell into the end zone.' I think we handed it to him one or two more times and he finally got in."
Burdette had 122 yards rushing on 27 carries.
Osborne said Burdette and Ashton Wiley were the only seniors left after Kent was injured. "Those two did what they had to do," the coach said.
A concussion, broken legs and other injuries over the past few weeks ended Briarwood's domination and sent four starters to the bench. The sidelined Bucs included senior Dalton Reese, junior Taylor Coxwell, junior Eli Holder and senior Ryan Pritchett.
"And no one knows about my freshman who got hurt early in the season, Matthew Mooney," Osborne said. "He broke his leg in practice before the season even started."
"That was six injuries throughout the year that were significant injuries," Osborne said. "They weren't a twisted ankle or a hurt shoulder. It was something that was going to put our players out for four to six weeks."
"I just hope the kids recover quickly," Osborne said. "I've been coaching for a while, and this is probably the toughest season for injuries."
Osborne said fatigue was a factor, with only 13 players left in uniform at the final whistle. "We drove the ball well, but we just couldn't seem to get the ball into the end zone when we needed it."
The coach said the Bucs adjusted well to unfamiliar assignments when they helped cover for injured players. He said 10 Brice Sowell filled in for Pritchett, who suffered a concussion in practice. Sowell had 70 yards rushing on 12 carries.
9 Jake Brooks also earned praise for filling in for Kent. Osborne said Brooks has had little experience at running back but will be better next year. "He's run the ball some, but as far as getting the practice he needed, that kind of goes to the starter," Osborne said. "We don't have the luxury of having an offense and a defense to scrimmage against, so my three starting running backs usually get the most practice time."
"Another 9 had to go to right G, Jack Russell, and that was his first playoff game and he had to step up and fill some big shoes," Osborne said.
The coach said he is proud of the 2011 Bucs, who finished 6-5, won the No. 3 seed in Region 1A, and made it to the first round of the state playoffs.
Those players who are not in basketball will report to the weight room Monday, he said.
Osborne said he left the Briarwood campus about 3:30 Monday. By evening he was at Walmart. He's working on a new bathroom, a project he started just before football camp started in July.
He has a few weeks available for that project. He's also the boys track coach, and track practice begins a week or two after basketball season ends.
TERRELL 35, BRIARWOOD 6
Briarwood 0 0 0 6 - 6
Terrell Acad. 7 14 7 7 - 35
T-Gray Rowe 55 run (Blake Grimsley kick), :11
T-Grimsley 24 pass from Chris Rogers (Grimsley kick), 10:09
T-Josh Waldrip 30 run (Grimsley kick), :54
T-Rowe 3 run (Grimsley kick), 9:52
T-Tyler Marshall 53 pass from Rogers (Grimsley kick), 5:30
B-Russell Burdette 10 run (kick failed), 1:56
First Downs 13 10
Rushes-Yards 50-221 30-226
Passing Yards 0 103
Comp.-Att.-Int. 0-1-0 7-17-1
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1
Punts-Yards 3-37 1-33
Penalties-Yards 3-25 2-20
RUSHING-Briarwood: Russell Burdette 27-122, Bryce Sowell 12-70, Steven Parris 4-8, Jake Brooks 5-6.
PASSING-Briarwood: Parris 0-1-0, Colt Phelps 0-1-0
RECORD: Briarwood 6-5