Briarwood downs Sylacauga in home opener

Published 12:23 am Saturday, September 7, 2013

Junior Carson Cupo lines up against the Sylacauga offense in a Sept. 6 matchup. (Reporter Photo/Clayton Hurdle)

Junior Carson Cupo lines up against the Sylacauga offense in a Sept. 6 matchup. (Reporter Photo/Clayton Hurdle)

By CLAYTON HURDLE/For the Reporter

Briarwood went up early thanks to two first-quarter passing touchdowns from senior quarterback Will Edwards and never looked back en route to a 26-15 victory in the Lions’ home opener against Sylacauga.

The Lions had a 20-0 halftime lead and cruised through the second half to pick up their first win of the 2013 season.

“[Sylacauga]’s a pretty good team,” Briarwood head coach Fred Yancey said. “I’m proud of our guys for getting them.”

The Lions struck first with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter. Edwards capped a 15-play, six-minute drive with an eight-yard floater to fellow senior Blythe Woods, who caught the pass in the back corner of the end zone.

It took just over a minute after a Sylacauga three-and-out for Edwards to throw his second score of the night. A 36-yard fade to Andrew Schaper and resulting two-point conversion put Briarwood up 14-0 with 2:13 to play in the quarter.

“To come back on my home turf and get a W feels awesome,” said Edwards, who spent the majority of 2012 on the bench with a collarbone injury. “Throwing those two touchdowns in the beginning really got us hyped up for the rest of the game.”

The Lions’ defense took over in the second quarter. A Tim Robertson interception resulted in a two-yard Victor Jerald touchdown run with 3:11 before intermission.

With 53 seconds remaining, Dylan Rizzo became the second Lion to pick off a Sylacauga pass, keeping the Aggies scoreless through two quarters.

“Our defense was playing hard all night, but they’ve got a great offense,” Yancey said. “I’m proud of us for hanging tough with that bunch.

Sophomore Walker Lott continued at quarterback in the second half. His first drive went 79 yards and resulted in an eight-yard pass to senior Brayden Housel.

The Aggies rode senior running back Ian Floyd to a late comeback attempt. Floyd finished with 175 yards and both of Sylacauga’s touchdowns.

Sylacauga first got on the board with a one-yard Floyd rush 46 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Floyd’s second touchdown, a four-yard run, put the Aggies within nine points of Briarwood. The Lions recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock to secure their first win of the season.

In addition to his 6-12 passing performance for 81 yards, Edwards also led the Lions in rushing with 118 yards on 18 carries.

“We need to be able to run the ball to be better than we were last year,” Yancey said. “Our big quarterback and little running back did what they were capable of doing. We were real pleased with what we did offensively in our second game of the season.”

Briarwood (1-1, 1-0 Class 5A Region 4) pays a visit to regional foe Homewood next week. Sylacauga (1-1, 0-1) will return home to face Ramsay.