Briarwood bounces back with region opener win over Chilton County

Published 11:28 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

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By GREG CORBIN | Special to the Reporter

CLANTON – Briarwood coach Matthew Forester told his team that he was proud of them after their first win of the season – a hard fought, convincing region win over the Chilton County Tigers.

“We got better tonight,” Forester said. “We made a lot of stupid mistakes, but what I love to see is the fight.”

Briarwood took a big lead into the half and held off a Chilton County comeback in the second half. The Lions defense stymied the Chilton County running game all night, and the offense capitalized on three Chilton County turnovers.

Briarwood’s Cooper Higgins started the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run with 0:57 remaining in the first quarter.  In the second quarter, Briarwood’s Rylan Hamm intercepted a Chilton County pass and returned it to the Tigers 20-yard line.

From there, Briarwood quarterback Josh Thompson found Caleb Keller in the end zone for a 20 yard TD pass, and the Lions took a 14-0 lead into halftime.

The third quarter saw a Chilton County rally behind the passing of quarterback Logan Coppedge.  His 11 yard touchdown pass to Justin Goodwin with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter cut the Briarwood lead to 14-7.

After stopping the Lions offense, Chilton County added a 22-yard field goal with 0:26 remaining in the third quarter, bringing the Tigers to within 14-10.

However, Briarwood dominated the fourth quarter.  The Lions recovered a Chilton County fumbled punt early in the fourth quarter, and they were in business deep in Tiger territory. Will Clark scored for the Lions on a 17 yard touchdown run with 7:29 remaining in the fourth quarter.

After a defensive stop, the Lions kept pounding the Tigers with their running game, and Clark added another touchdown run on a 2 yard plunge with 1:37 remaining.  That score gave the Lions their final margin of victory, 28-10.

Briarwood totaled 193 yards of offense on the night. Will Clark led the way with 16 carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Josh Thompson completed 4 of 7 passes for 38 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Logan Coppedge led Chilton County, completing 15 of 30 passes for 121 yards with one touchdown and one interception.  The Tigers were held to only 40 yards rushing on 23 attempts.

After the game, Briarwood coach Matthew Forester was glad to get the win after a tough 0-2 start with losses to Clay-Chalkville and Spain Park.

“We knew we had played two really tough opponents,” Forester said. “Tonight, we played a good Chilton County team, and our guys have been resilient. Even during those first two games, they fought and they worked to get better.

The Lions look ahead to another big region match up next Friday when the Pelham Panthers make the trip up Highway 119 to Lions Pride Stadium.