Briarwood secures home playoff game

Briarwood Christian found a balanced offensive attack to blow past its host, Sylacauga Friday, 42-13, and secure a home game for the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

“I’m just tickled our guys wrapped up home field,” Briarwood head coach Fred Yancey said.

The secret to the Lions’ dominating success recently has been a balanced attack of both passing and rushing, as quarterback Paul Barber completed 14-of-22 passes for 213 yards Friday and the Lions also had 144 yards on the ground.

“We’re becoming more balanced because teams are lining up on defense and giving us some runs we really want to take,” Yancey said. “We are running the ball better and more deliberate. Not that we’re trying to be a running or passing team.”

Junior halfback Caleb Castille scored two touchdowns for the Lions early before Sylacauga found the end zone before the half, 14-6.

The Lions opened the third quarter by sustaining a 12-play drive that ended in a 4-yard touchdown run by Barber. Ben Bracewell later capped an eight-play drive with an 11-yard run in the third quarter.

Barber and freshman quarterback Cole Pearson each ran in touchdowns in the fourth. Wilson Whorton was 6-of-6 on point-after kicks.

Briarwood (7-1, 5-1) secured the No. 2 spot in Class 5A, Region 4 with the win, while Sylacauga (5-3, 2-3) will try to break a three-way tie for third place and secure a playoff spot when it travels to Moody next week. Briarwood will host Florence.