Briarwood soccer takes down Collinsville

Briarwood's Andy Ball dribbles in on a Collinsville defender in a March 27 match. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Briarwood’s Andy Ball dribbles in on a Collinsville defender in a March 27 match. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

NORTH SHELBY—It was a battle of champions —literally— as the Briarwood Christian School Lions took on the Collinsville High School Panthers in boys varsity soccer March 27.

The two squads represented two of the three AHSAA Boys Soccer State Champions crowned in 2013; Briarwood took home the Class 5A title, while Collinsville grabbed the Class 1A-4A trophy. Fortunately for Lions, it was a one-sided affair, as Briarwood took home the 6-1 win.

The Lions struck first, going up 1-0 before the first ten minutes of the contest were gone on a John Graves goal.

The game then turned into a defensive scrap for the majority of the half. Briarwood turned up the pressure offensively, but Collinsville refused to yield, turning the Lions’ offense away repeatedly until Andy Ball buried a shot at the 3:37 mark to give BCS a 2-0 lead.

Ball nearly had another goal at the 1:58 mark in the half, but a header attempt went over the crossbar. Collinsville then used the opportunity to cut the lead in half, netting a breakaway goal with 43.8 remaining in the half. The Panthers went into half trailing, 2-1.

If the first half was about defense, the second half became an offensive clinic put on by the Lions. Daniel Coggin netted the first goal for Briarwood at 29:25, and followed it up with another goal at the 28:48 mark.

Less than five minutes later, Coggin scored again, burying a shot with 27:06 left to go in the half to seal a hat trick and put the Lions up 5-1.

Christian Candler capped off the win with another Briarwood goal at 22:59, giving the Lions a 6-1 advantage.

The Panthers tried to fight back into the contest, but simply could not muster enough offense as the Lions captured the 6-1 win.

BCS head coach Mark Wallace said the offensive outpour was exactly what his team needed.

“That was good for us because we’ve been struggling to score goals,” he said. “IT’s nice to see the guys put the ball in the back of the goal. We had a tough first half of the season and we talked about that tonight. If we want to make a run at the state playoffs, we’ve got to start putting the ball in the goal.”

The Lions will move on to face Sylacauga April 3 on the road.