Briarwood’s title hopes end at Jackson

Published 2:22 am Saturday, November 16, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

JACKSON — The run for a state championship is over.

The Briarwood Christian Lions’ hopes for another AHSAA Class 5A ended like so many of their drives against the Jackson Aggies on Nov. 15; in the mud of a rain-soaked Legion Field at Simpkins Stadium as the Lions fell to the Aggies, 24-7.

Despite losing starting quarterback Matthew Jordan to an injury early, the Aggies opened up scoring on the drenched field when Jerel Foreman scored from three yards out. The Albert Baumgartner extra point made the score 7-0 at the 5:12 mark in the first.

The Aggies added another score in the second quarter, when backup QB Damarcus Williams hit Antonio Fox for a 54-yard touchdown strike. Baumgartner his second PAT to put Jackson up 14-0 with 11:50 left in the half.

As the game wore on, the elements began to take more of a toll on the game. Grip on the ball came at a premium, as both offenses seemed to struggle as the mist turned into a light but steady rain.

The score remained 14-0 until Baumgartner booted a 38-yard field goal with nine seconds left in the half to take a 17-0 lead into intermission.

Coming out of the half, the Lions continued to play strong defense, but were unable to generate much on offense.

With the rain picking up along with the wind, the Lions turned to a hard-nosed style of run game, where the ball alternated between Victor Jerald and Walker Lot carrying. The Lions’ adjustments paid off when the run set up a 5-yard Lott pass to Luke Cunningham for a score on a huge fourth down conversion. The point after made the score 17-7 with 9:49 left in the game.

Just as it appeared Briarwood was getting back in the game, the Aggies scored late in the fourth to extend the lead to 24-7.

It proved to be too large a lead to overcome, as the Lions fell 24-7.

Head coach Fred Yancey was disappointed with the result, but quick to compliment the Aggies.

“Jackson played a great game,” he said. “Give (Williams) a lot of credit. He lifted them up when they could’ve really fallen. He did a great job.”

Yancey went on to say that while his squad was unhappy with the loss, they understood how high the stakes were in the playoffs.

“When it’s all said and done, only one team’s going to come out of this thirty team tournament,” he said. “It’s a sad night for all of us at one time or another. We’re sick we lost tonight, but thankful we got to play a class team like Jackson.”

Lott finished 4-of-11 passing with 34 yards, a touchdown and an interception, rushing for  43 yards. Jerald finished with 40 yards on the ground, while Blythe Woods had three receptions for 25 yards.