Lions down Pelham on rain-soaked night
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
NORTH SHELBY – It took more than four hours and a pair of weather delays to do so, but the Briarwood Christian School Lions rode big plays to a 31-19 victory over the visiting Pelham Panthers on Oct. 10.
The kickoff, originally scheduled for 7 p.m., came at 8:30 p.m. because of lightning in the area. After playing the first quarter, the game was again delayed because of lightning and torrential rains from 9:05-10:25 p.m. The final buzzer came at about 12:05 a.m. on Oct. 11.
“The thing about playing in something like this is nobody is prepared to take this long to play a game,” Briarwood head coach Fred Yancey said. “We just had to flex with our guys and let them relax while we were in (the locker room) and then call on them to refocus at the end of every break. They did, so I was pretty proud of them for that.”
Briarwood racked up 332 total yards of offense, 275 of which came on the ground on the rain-soaked field. BCS quarterback Walker Lott completed seven of 13 passing attempts for 57 yards and a touchdown.
The Panthers’ rushing attack was led by RJ McCall, who racked up 24 yards on eight carries. McCall also reeled in seven passes for 41 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Ross caught three passes for 70 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive leaders for Pelham were Chase Shearer, who recorded 13 tackles, and Jon Drake, who ended the night with 10 tackles.
Briarwood lit up the scoreboard a few minutes before the 9:05 p.m. weather delay when Lott connected with Luke Dyson on a 34-yard touchdown pass. Jonathan McGehee’s PAT split the uprights.
After the delay, Briarwood added a pair of touchdowns to go up 21-0 at the half. The first came on a 30-yard scamper by Lott, and the second came on a 30-yard run by Carson Eddy.
Pelham scored with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter when a Drake fumble recovery set up a 58-yard pass from quarterback Logan Burnett to Ross. Austin Bowen’s PAT split the uprights.
After Shearer intercepted Lott’s pass to end the third quarter, Burnett connected with Wilburn on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Bowen’s PAT attempt bounced off the right upright, cutting Briarwood’s lead to 21-13.
The Lions answered when McGehee connected on a 22-yard field goal to pull ahead 24-13 with four minutes left in the contest.
On Pelham’s ensuing possession, Briarwood’s Wilson Hand recovered a Panther fumble, setting up a Jordan DePaolantonio 15-yard touchdown run. Sam Parker’s extra point put the home team up 31-13.
Pelham’s final score of the night came on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Burnett to McCall with a minute left to play.