Briarwood scores 28 unanswered in 2nd half to pull away from Spain Park

Published 1:13 am Saturday, August 28, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

HOOVER – Last year, the Briarwood Lions gave up a 14-0 halftime lead against the Spain Park Jaguars, but no similar fortune played out a year later on Friday, Aug. 27.

Taking on the Jags yet again on the road, Briarwood grabbed a 14-8 lead at the half. With last year’s bitter taste still in the mouths of the Lions’ players, they came out determined for sweet revenge this season, and it showed.

Briarwood scored 28 unanswered points in the second half, 14 points in each quarter, to pull away for 42-8 win against Class 7A Spain Park.

The Lions actually fell behind 8-0 early in the game, meaning the scored 42 unanswered in the win behind strong play from quarterback Christopher Vizzina and running back Luke Reebals offensively as well as a collective effort defensively.

Spain Park did strike first on its opening drive of the game when the Jaguars got a 48-yard touchdown run from Evan Smallwood, who then ran in a 2-point conversion to make it 8-0 in the first 2:30 of the game.

Briarwood, however, had a quick answer from Reebals.

He had a 31-yard run early in the ensuing drive before a 21-yard pass and a 6-yard run from Vizzina led to Reebals running in from 7 yards out for his first of three touchdowns on the night to bring the Lions within one point.

The two defenses took over the spotlight shortly after that with very little offensive production aside from a lengthy touchdown run from Reebals being called back.

It looked as if the Jags may get into the locker room with a one-point advantage, but that changed in the final 10.2 seconds of the second quarter.

Vizzina was able to find a hole from 10 yards out to cap off a strong drive and put Briarwood in front 14-8 going into the half.

In that moment, the Lions seemingly gained the confidence they needed with the motivation of not giving up the lead for the second year in a row already on the table.

Briarwood came out like a new team in the third quarter, scoring on a 48-yard touchdown run from Vizzina and then a 2-yard touchdown run from Reebals, as the two both reached two touchdowns for the game.

Meanwhile, up 28-8, the defense continued to trek along, not allowing any breathing room for the Jags since their first touchdown.

The Lions then put the game away early in the final quarter when Vizzina trotted in from 8-yards out in the first three minutes of the quarter, while Reebals followed three minutes later with a 16-yard run himself to create the final score of 42-8.

Reebals finished with 190 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while also adding 32 receiving yards. Vizzina totaled 131 yards rushing with three touchdowns and added 70 yards passing completing 6-of-9 attempts.

Spain Park was led by Smallwood with 114 yards passing and 58 yards rushing with one touchdown.