Briarwood Lions shutout Pelham’s homecoming game

Published 10:10 pm Friday, October 9, 2015

Brairwood's Jake Morris, 31, intercepted the ball to the Pelham's 13 yard line, allowing the Lions to score their second touchdown. (Reporer photo / Jessa Pease)

Brairwood’s Jake Morris, 31, intercepted the ball to the Pelham’s 13 yard line, allowing the Lions to score their second touchdown. (Reporer photo / Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer PELHAM— When Pelham met Briarwood on the football field Oct. 9, the Panthers had a lot to lose. Coming off six consecutive losses in the season, Pelham was looking to make a comeback and win its homecoming game. While the Panther’s defense performed particularly well, fumbles, interceptions and penalties created a hole the Panthers couldn’t overcome. Briarwood Christian School took the 14-0 win over Pelham. “I’m extremely proud of our defense,” said Pelham head coach Tom Causey. “I thought they played well enough to win tonight. We had too many silly penalties on offense, turnovers and (we) laid the ball on the ground.” Conner Christian and Jon Drake led the team defensively over the Lions, each with eight tackles and an interception. Vida Solito followed with five tackles of his own. Freshman quarterback Matthew Rye started this game in the place of senior Griffin Rivers. Rye passed 12 for 19 for 92 yards and had 14 rushes for 28 yards. “I thought Matthew Rye, in his first start, played his tail off,” Causey said. “He gave us a chance to be in the ball game, and I’m really proud of the effort he played with.” Rye, JT Reed and Jackson Weaver led the offense. Reed with five receptions for 29 yards and Weaver with 8 rushes for 39 yards and one reception for 20 yards. Nothing particularly notable happened in the first, although the Panthers did show promise as they neared the end of the quarter. After a series of gains, the clock stopped with Pelham only 9 yards away from the red zone. As soon as the team switched sides, Pelham fumbled the ball and almost lost it to the Lions. After recovering it, Jose Jimenez muffed the punt, giving Briarwood excellent field position on Pelham’s 5-yard line. Samuel Sherrod, who was instrumental in Brairwood’s offense all night, carried the ball for the first touchdown of the game. The Lions didn’t earn the extra point, putting the score at 6-0 with 10:07 in the second. After a failed field goal by the Lions, Pelham allowed Brairwood’s Jake Morris to intercept the ball to Pelham’s 13-yard line. This field position allowed a touchdown catch by B.E. Steward. Going for the two-point conversion, Briarwood ended the first half of the game 14-0. Pelham’s last shot to make it on the board came with two minutes left in the game when junior Jon Drake intercepted the ball from the Lions to the 24-yard line. Rye passed to Cody Verner for a gain of 19 yards. It wasn’t enough, and time ran out when Briarwood took possession of the ball. “We’ve just got to make a play or two somewhere along the ball game and we weren’t able to do that tonight,” Causey said. “Defense made that play down there with two minutes to go, with Jon Drake in the pick. It gave us a little life. We just can’t stay in the hole with a 14-point deficit like that and still grind it. “I’m proud of our kids for not quitting, and I’m extremely proud of our defensive the way they played and Matthew Rye the way he played tonight.”