Lions advance to round three

The Third-ranked Briarwood Lions (11-1), after falling behind 17-7 late in the second quarter, came from behind to beat St. Paul’s (7-5) and advance to the third round of the Class 5A playoffs.

Junior defensive back and wide receiver Simeon Castille got redemption after being beat deep twice for two St. Paul’s scores in the first half.

The younger Castille scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:52 left in the game to send the Saints packing 24-17.

Quarterback Joe Craddock, after tying the game at 17 with an 8-yard scoring pass to Charles Hoke late in the third, hit Castille with a 13-yard scoring strike for the win.

It was the younger Castille’s only catch of the game.

The win advances the Lions to the third round on the road in Mobile again. Briarwood will face Williamson Friday night at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Following a scoreless first quarter, the Saints got on the board first when Addison McDaniel connected on a 29-yard field goal with 10:56 left in the second quarter. The score capped a 63-yard, 8-play drive.

Briarwood took the lead with 7:21 left in the first half when Joe Craddock scored on a 2-yard run. Ben Bludsworth’s extra point gave the Lions a 7-3 lead. The scored capped a 67-yards, 10-play drive.

St. Paul’s reclaimed the lead when Todd Wilson connected with speedster Chevis Jackson on a 54-yard scoring pass. McDaniel’s PAT gave the Saints a 10-7 lead with 5:57 left in the second.

Jackson burned the Briarwood defense again, this time on a 39-yard pass from Wilson with 1:01 left in the second quarter. The score came in just 8 plays and the drive covered 92 yards. McDaniel tacked on the PAT.

Briarwood would not be denied in the last minute of the opening half, however. Craddock and the offense mounted a 53-yard, 6-play scoring drive capped by a 34-yard Bludsworth field goal to make the score 17-10 at the half.

Briarwood head coach Fred Yancy and his defense adjusted to St. Paul’s speed at the break, holding the Saints scoreless in the second half while posting 14 points of their own.

Briarwood played on the short end of the field most of the second half. Yancy credited his special teams with great punting to turn the field position in favor of the Lions.

Briarwood evened the game at 17 when Craddock led the offense on a 50-yard, 10-play drive capped by an 8-yard scoring pass from Craddock to Hoke with 1:34 left in the third quarter.

Simeon Castille’s game-winning score with 2:52 left in the game capped a 35-yard, 4-play drive.

Bludsworth ended any hopes of a St. Paul’s comeback with an interception late in the final period of play.

Craddock finished the night 12-of-21 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 9 times for 8 yards and a score.

Tim Castille finished with 104 yards on 22 carries and returned two kickoffs 52 yards.

Simeon Castille rushed 3 times for 19 yards, caught a pass for 13 yards and a score and returned 2 punts for 55 yards.

Hart finished the night with 5 catches for 69 yards and Hoke caught 5 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown