Lions rout Moody, pick up first win

Published 12:16 am Saturday, September 3, 2016

Caleb Daniels and the Briarwood Lions, shown here in action against Chelsea, hammered Moody on Sept. 2 in their region opener, 42-6. (File)

Caleb Daniels and the Briarwood Lions, shown here in action against Chelsea, hammered Moody on Sept. 2 in their region opener, 42-6. (File)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – Coming off of last week’s tough 42-21 loss to Chelsea, Fred Yancey, head coach of the Lions, knew his bunch had to be better heading into Friday night’s region showdown against Moody.

“We just had to get better, we just had to,” Yancey said on Sept. 2 of his team’s loss to Chelsea. “The boys knew that. We didn’t think we were as bad as we showed last week. But we had to go out tonight on the football field and just show the improvement the boys made all week.”

Message received for the Lions.

In Briarwood’s second regular season game of the year, and first region game of the season, the Lions shot out of the gate early, scoring on each of their first seven possessions as they built an insurmountable 42-0 halftime lead before coasting to a 42-6 win to move to 1-1 (1-0).

From the opening drive, Briarwood was in complete and total control of this one. The Lions took the ball to start the game, and on the second play from scrimmage Carson Eddy took an end-around pass from William Gray and scored from the far side of the 40-yard line. A two-point conversion later and Briarwood led 8-0 before the crowd had even found their seats.

While Briarwood’s offense came to dominate this ball game, it was the defense that allowed the offense to roll. The Lions did not allow Moody one first down until midway through the second quarter, and the offense routinely got the ball back on the right side of midfield, setting up a number of short drives.

“Any time your defense is playing well, the offense just jumps up at the opportunity (to score),” Yancey said.

After Gray found Eddy on the first drive of the game, Gray connected with senior wide out Luke Miskelley on a fade route down the left sideline on a third and three play from the Moody 26-yard line for the game’s second score just minutes later. Gray then punched in a short drive on a fourth-and-one dive midway through the first quarter, and after Briarwood had the extra point blocked on the third touchdown, the Lions led 21-0 and were rolling.

Another 23-yard strike to Eddy in the first quarter gave Briarwood a 28-0 lead before the first quarter was complete, giving the Lions more points than they accumulated in any full game save for two a season ago.

The first play from scrimmage on Briarwood’s opening drive of the second quarter, Gray dropped back and found Miskelley, again streaking down the left side, for a 57-yard score. Both of Miskelley’s touchdowns came against single coverage, and Miskelley had the Moody cornerback beat from his second step on each route. Eddy scored his third touchdown of the first half on the Lions’ next drive on a 32-yard run, giving Briarwood a touchdown on each of its first seven drives.

The starters were done at that point, as a number of underclassmen got some second half reps as Briarwood rolled 42-6.

“Last week we played it close to the vest, and tried to keep their (Chelsea’s) offense off the field, and I probably overthought it,” Yancey said. “Tonight we said, ‘let’s just go play football.’ I think we’ve got the skill enough to go after folks, and I was too careful last week, that was my fault.”

Briarwood will travel to Wenonah next week as the Lions look to stay perfect in region play.