Briarwood opens season with dominant win against Madison Academy

By JORDAN BROOKS | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – The Briarwood Christian School Lions opened up the 2021 season in dominant fashion after taking a 41-17 victory over the Madison Academy Mustangs.

A big reason for the success was a strong showing from Luke Reebals running the ball thanks to four touchdowns and 173 yards on 14 carries.

“I’m really proud of the offensive line. They were running a 3-3 stack, and blitzing all kind of ways.  Our offensive line sorting that out was really good stuff,” Brairwood head coach Matthew Forester said after the win. “We’ve got to get better at the fundamentals. There are some things we will work on, but they aren’t wholesale changes, and that’s something I’m really excited about.”

The BCS defense initiated the game with a three-and-out on the first possession followed by a botched punt that put the Lions’ offense on the 1-yard line. Briarwood then scored the first of many touchdowns as Luke Reebals took it in off the hip of his right guard, for a quick 7-0 lead over the Mustangs.

Madison academy quickly answered with a 50-yard kick return from Jalen Holmes to put the Mustangs in a great position to tie the game. However, the Briarwood defense held up in the next three downs, which led to a missed field goal from the Mustangs.

Madison Academy showed potential with a strong quarterback-running back duo, making subtle strides against the Briarwood defense.

The Mustangs marched down inside the Briarwood 10-yard line once again late in the first half, but but the gritty Lions’ defense held them to a field goal, making the score 7-3 with 11:54 left in the second quarter.

The Lions answered the bell with a huge run from Reebals making the score 14-3. Madison Academy struggled to match the Briarwood’s firepower after another three-and-out put the Briarwood offense right back on the field.

Briarwood capitalized and scored off a Christopher Vizzina pass to give BCS a 21-3 lead.

Later in the second quarter, the Lions scored yet again when Reebals scored his third touchdown of the half to make it 27-3 in the final 2:21 of the half.

The Mustangs showed flashes of greatness on offense but could not put together a score before the conclusion of the first half.

The Briarwood continued a torrid pace in the second half with Vizzina notching a 39-yard touchdown on his feet after escaping the Mustangs’ pressure early in the third quarter.

Down 34-3, Madison Academy did score 14 points down the stretch, but the Lions also added one more score to walk away with a 41-17 victory in the season opener.

Aside Reebals’s big night, Briarwood got 128 passing yards on 12-of-12 passing from Vizzina, who also added two touchdowns on the night. Caleb Keller was the leading receiver with a 42-yard touchdown reception.