Vizzina leads Briarwood to win over Huffman, 5-0 start
Published 11:50 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021
By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter
BIRMINGHAM – Briarwood Christian School remained undefeated on a short week as they took down region opponent Huffman Thursday, Sept. 16 by a score of 42-14 on the back of Christopher Vizzina’s five touchdown passes.
The Lions took advantage of early field position and used a punishing run game late to pave the way for the win.
“We fought hard, Huffman did a good job of battling with us,” Briarwood head coach Matthew Forester said after the win. “Our offense was hitting tonight, we had one drive that stalled in the first half but, for the most part, we did a good job of executing on offense. Defensively, we’re improving each week.”
Huffman muffed the opening kick, and the Lions pounced on it to give themselves an early short field of 31 yards to work with.
Vizzina then got his special night started quickly, hitting a 31-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Anderson on the first play following the turnover.
That set the tone for the evening.
Punt returns of 29 and 32 yards gave Briarwood great field position on two more drives, and the Lions capitalized.
One ended in a 10-yard Luke Gilbert touchdown run, while the other ended with four penalties and a touchdown called back.
Huffman (1-4, 0-3) still found a way to battle early, despite Briarwood’s fast start. The Vikings found a way to tie the game at 14-14 with 7:22 to go in the second quarter.
The Lions, however, buckled down defensively from then on out and didn’t allow another point.
Senior running back Luke Reebals rolled up 29 yards on three carries on the following drive before Vizzina found Jay Butler for a 28-yard score to take break the tie and give Briarwood the lead for good at 21-14.
Huffman had a second muffed kick of the game on the ensuing kickoff and could only return the ball to their 8-yard line.
The Briarwood defense forced a quick three-and-out, which led to Vizzina coming back on the field and quickly tallying his third touchdown pass of the half two plays later to Anderson for a 28-14 halftime lead.
Briarwood (5-0, 3-0) wasted no time in the third quarter using a punishing run attack on an impressive nine-play, 78-yard opening drive.
Reebals was heavily involved again and was especially clutch, ripping off a 24-yard run after a sack put his team behind the chains.
Vizzina then hooked up with Butler one last time on a 21-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 35-14.
“Our offensive line did a great job,” Forester said. “We worked on a few base run plays that we need to execute incredibly well, and the line looked more balanced and established a new line of scrimmage, I’m proud of them.”
The defense had four tackles for loss in the second half and forced another three-and-out shortly after the score, while the offense only needed one more play to finish off the win.
Vizzina ended the night with a perfect ball 54-yard pass downfield for Sawyer Russell that went of the final touchdown of the night in the 42-14 win.
Vizzina finished with 278 yards passing and five touchdowns to lead the Lions, while Reebals finished with 90 all-purpose yards.
Anderson totaled more than 100 yards receiving with his two touchdowns, while Butler and Russell both totaled more than 50 yards receiving in the most consistent effort of the season for the receivers.
Briarwood Christian will get an extra day of rest and host Mortimer Jordan for homecoming Friday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.