Briarwood dominates 6A Hueytown ahead of playoffs

Published 11:38 pm Friday, November 2, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – If you were questioning the Briarwood Lions heading into the 2018 postseason after their loss to Ramsay a few weeks ago, they put that doubt to rest on their home field on Friday, Nov. 2.

Hosting 8-1 6A Hueytown, whose only loss came to Homewood 18-7 in the first game of the season, Briarwood didn’t just show they could keep up with the team a classification higher, but they dominated the Golden Gophers by a final score of 31-13.

After the first drive of the game, you would’ve thought it was going to be a different kind of night for the Lions, as Hueytown marched 80 yards down the field quickly for an opening-drive touchdown to grab a 7-0 lead.

But before Briarwood’s offense even stepped on the field, you could sense this team wasn’t looking ahead to the playoffs and was out to prove a point.

On the ensuing kickoff, Luke Prewett gathered the kick and returned it close to 60 yards for the first of many strong returns in the game. Prewett help set the Lions up in good field position, as they punched in a touchdown from close to 10 yards out on a J.R. Tran-Reno run that tied the game 7-7.

After a few quiet possessions following that, Briarwood got the ball back and went to work.

The Lions hit Tran-Reno once for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a penalty, so they tried one more time and hit Tran-Reno again for close to a 60-yard touchdown to give Briarwood a 14-7 lead.

They turned it into 21-unanswered points shortly after when Prewett made some more noise with a 45-yard run that set up a quarterback sneak by Jonah Carroll for the touchdown and a 21-7 lead.

A turnover by each team and several defensive stops led to that being the halftime score.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Lions showed that they weren’t happy with the two-score lead at the half and came out on a mission again to start the second half behind some strong running by Prewett.

He eventually rumbled 39 yards for another touchdown to put the Lions up 28-7.

Hueytown looked like it was ready to answer on a long ensuing drive, but was unable to get any points out of it, but thanks to a Lions’ fumble shortly after, the Golden Gophers got the ball back and this time scored after two rushing plays. A missed extra point made the score 28-13 near the end of the third quarter.

Briarwood was, however, able to add more points before the quarter ended thanks to a 24-yard field goal right at the end of the quarter to take a 31-13 lead into the fourth.

With the Lions’ defense playing well all season, and seeing they could compete against 6A teams, they clamped down in the final quarter and were content to run the clock offensively, which led to them closing out the dominant night with a quick and scoreless fourth by both teams.

With the win, Briarwood improved to 8-2 overall and will now prepare to host 5-5 Valley in the first round of the playoffs, who is coming off just a two-point performance against Benjamin Russell and is only scoring 17.9 points per game this season.

Larry Dancy contributed to this story