Lions upset by Athens: Briarwood bounced in first-round playoff game

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Briarwood Christian&8217;s football season came to a screeching halt Friday night as the No. 8 Lions were upset at home by unranked Athens, 21-11, in the first round of the AHSAA, Class 5A playoffs Friday night.

The Golden Eagles (8-3) got off to a quick start in the game, with an 88-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rob Ezell to receiver Jacquez Pride on the first play from scrimmage.

The Lions&8217; (8-3) only points in the first half came off a 27-yard field goal by Matt Gordon midway through the second quarter.

A 65-yard run by Ezell set up the Golden Eagles for their second touchdown, giving Athens a 14-3 lead going in to halftime.

&8220;Their big plays hurt us,&8221; Briarwood head coach Fred Yancey said. &8220;We couldn&8217;t match them on offense.&8221;

The Lions struggled with penalties in the second half, which ultimately kept them from mounting a comeback. Briarwood was flagged eight times in the final two quarters and 11 times in the game for a total of 111 yards. Athens was only penalized 26 yards in the game.

&8220;We really hurt ourselves with penalties,&8221; Yancey said. &8220;We&8217;ve been getting penalized twice as much as the teams we&8217;ve played this year and it came back to bite us.&8221;

Trotter was the top offensive star for the Lions, completing 24-of-49 passes for 233 yards. He also had 40 yards on the ground and one touchdown late in the second half