Lions preparing for second-ranked Aggies

By GRAHAM CARR / Staff Writer

JACKSON – The Briarwood Lions (4-6) will go on the road to face defending state champion Jackson High School Aggies (9-1) in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

Both teams are coming off losses as Briarwood fell to Pinson Valley 40-21 while Jackson is coming off its first loss in 721 days to Thomasville, 31-21.  The Aggies had won twenty-four straight games before last week.

The Lions advanced to the playoffs by finishing fourth in Region 4 while the Aggies secured a spot by winning Region 3.

Briarwood is averaging 26.3 points per game while the Lions are giving up 21.3 points per game.

The Aggies have been solid on both sides of the ball this season as they are averaging 39.5 points per game while only surrendering an average of 12.2 points per game.

Briarwood will most likely need big nights from senior receiver Daniel Robert and junior receiver Brayden Housel. On the season, Robert has 874 yards and 12 touchdowns on 56 receptions while House has more than 500 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Chandler Wilkins has thrown for more than 1900 yards and 20 touchdowns with 13 interceptions.

Second-ranked Jackson is led by senior receiver Jarren Johnson who has had more than 250 receiving yards and five touchdowns the last three games. The senior has scholarship offers from Arkansas State, Troy, Jacksonville State, Alabama State and Idaho State, but is also being recruited by the likes of Auburn and Mississippi State.

Jackson and Briarwood have a long tradition of being in the postseason with this season being Jackson’s 25th playoff appearance while Briarwood will be making its 26th appearance.

Briarwood has a record of 17-5 in the first round, but the Lions have had only three roads games in that stretch, losing two of them.

Jackson has a record of just 13-11 in the first round, but the Aggies are 11-3 at home. The Aggies have been stellar at home as they have compiled a 25-1 record since 2009.