Lions hold on, ground Gophers in defensive contest

Published 1:26 am Saturday, September 20, 2014

By JOHN MCEACHIN/For the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY — What started out as an offensively dull game turned into a nail biter at the end. In a defensive battle, the Briarwood Christian Lions held on to beat the Hueytown Gophers 14-7.

The game started with hardly any offense on both sides of the ball. Neither team scored in the 1st quarter.

BCS quarterback Walker Lott scored the first touchdown of the game in the second quarter when he broke an 88-yard run on the left side, giving Briarwood a 7-0 lead. The score would remain the same at halftime.

In the third quarter, Lott threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jake Morris in the middle of the endzone, covered by two defenders.

The wildest play of the game came with 8:31 to go in the game when Hueytown wide receiver Jonathan Patton picked up his teammate Michael Simpson’s fumble and ran it all the way to the endzone, cutting Briarwood’s lead to 14-7. It turned out to be a 58-yard play.

Hueytown had two more chance to score, but penalties and bad snaps cost them and Briarwood held.

Briarwood punter Chandler Wilkins gave the Lions a key advantage in the game by keeping the Gophers backed up all night averaging 38 yards per punt and a long of 44 yards.

Lott threw for only 42 yards on 7-of-9 attempts with a touchdown pass, but he was also the Lions’ leading rusher running for 119 yards on 13 carries and an 88 yard touchdown run. Briarwood had 172 total yards, but had no turnovers in the game.

Hueytown quarterback Michael Battle went 14 of 20 for 126 yards, with 2 interceptions and no touchdown passes. The Gophers finished with 234 yards of total offense and three turnovers for the night.

“Defense played great,” Briarwood coach Fred Yancey said after the game. “The offense made big timely plays, and our punting with Chandler (Wilkins) and our kicking with Jonathan McGehee was excellent.”