Briarwood falls to Clay-Chalkville in home opener

Published 12:37 am Saturday, August 26, 2023

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By GREG CORBIN | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – The preseason #2 ranked Clay-Chalkville Cougars made the trip to Lions Pride Stadium and lived up to their billing.  The Cougars stifled the Lions offense all night and eventually got their potent offense untracked, handing Briarwood a tough 31-0 home loss.

Clay-Chalkville turned it over on downs to end their first drive, and then Briarwood recovered a fumble to stop the second drive. However, the Lions gave it right back on their first play when the Cougars recovered a lateral pass and fumble.

It didn’t take the Cougars long to capitalize when Jaylen Mbakwe found Jabari Staples for a 17-yard score.  Mbakwe made scored again on a 26-yard scramble with 7:11 to go in the second quarter, making the score 14-0 Cougars.

After forcing another Briarwood punt, Taurus Chambers scored on a 23-yard run, and the score was 21-0 Cougars at the half.

The second half saw Cougars running back Aaron Osley make a spectacular run down the sideline for a 37-yard score. Antone Ellison added a late field goal to give the Cougars their final score for the evening.

Clay-Chalkville amassed 298 yards of total offense, while Briarwood managed only three first downs.

After the game, Lions coach Mathew Forester said there were some positives his team could build on despite the loss.

“Was it the outcome we wanted? Absolutely not, but we saw improvement during the game,” Forester said. “We saw fight and determination.”

He went on to compliment the Lions defense.

“Our defense played lights out, especially early,” Forester said.

Forester also believes the Lions offense will improve.

“We have great coaches and players that I believe in,” Forester said. “We will do what it takes to be successful.”

Briarwood will need to improve quickly as they travel to face a resurgent Spain Park team next Friday.  The Jaguars were big winners over Calera on Friday as they took down the Eagles 55-0 on the road.