Briarwood’s bid to knock off Madison Academy picked off
Published 11:52 pm Friday, October 30, 2015
By CHRIS MEGGINSON / Special to the Reporter
MADISON – Briarwood Christian rallied in the fourth quarter but could not stop Madison Academy’s Malik Miller, who helped carry the Mustangs to a 27-22 victory in the regular season finale Friday.
Miller, a four-star commitment to Auburn University, finished the game with 8.1 yards per carry, racking up 227 yards on 28 attempts and two touchdowns. His biggest drive was his last.
Briarwood took the lead for the first time, 22-21, with 5:46 to play on a 49-yard touchdown pass from William Gray. That’s when Miller took over.
“Time was getting fairly tight. He just took them on their shoulders and he made some incredible runs,” Briarwood head coach Fred Yancey said.
Miller led the Mustangs on a six-play, 71-yard drive, capped with his second TD from one yard out with 3:16 to play.
The BCS Lions had one last shot, taking over on their own 20. The drive ended though at the Mustangs’ 30 when Gray’s pass was picked off with 44 seconds to play.
“We thought we had one of their corners beat, and we didn’t. Their kid made a good play,” Yancey said.
Briarwood struggled to find the end zone in the first half, trailing 14-9 at halftime. Josh Browder had three field goals in the first half. The Lions pulled within a point, 7-6, with 4:28 play in the half. Madison’s two touchdowns were thrown by Grayson Edgemon on a 9-yard connection to Cole Tomlinson and a 1-yard pass to Jaelin Ferdinand.
The Mustangs (9-1) made it 21-9 with 2:51 to play in the third on an 8-yard Miller touchdown run, but Briarwood answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by Gray on the first drive of the fourth quarter and then took the lead, 22-21, on the 49-yard touchdown pass with 5:46 to play.
“We loosened up and started throwing. William Gray did a real nice job throwing the football tonight. Our receivers did a nice job making some nice catches and some nice long throws. We were really cooking on all cylinders in the second half,” Yancey said.
Gray finished with 199 yards on 9-of-12 passing.
“I’m really complementary of Madison Academy. They’re a class team, well coached and great players. I can say the same thing about our guys … Everything about this was fun except the final outcome,” Yancey said. “Our kids enjoy a good road trip. They prepared hard all week, and I expect them to do the same next week. They are going to be excited about playing the first round of the playoffs. They don’t care if it’s on the road.”
Briarwood (4-6) will travel to Class 6A, Region 7 champion Fort Payne (8-2) for an AHSAA Class 6A first round matchup Friday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.