Briarwood turns in complete performance in shutout win at Calera

Published 2:30 am Saturday, October 14, 2023

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By STEPHEN DAWKINS | Special to the Reporter

CALERA – The Briarwood Lions dominated on both sides of the ball in a shutout win over the Calera Eagles on Friday, Oct. 13 to keep their momentum going in the final stretch.

Briarwood got on the scoreboard first with its defense, and then the offense followed with another great day from Josh Thompson to take advantage of the Lions defense holding Calera scoreless.

Thompson was 12-for-14 passing for 175 yards and two touchdowns and went for six carries for 89 yards and a touchdown. Overall, the Briarwood signal caller had 264 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns.

The Eagles (0-7 overall, 0-5 in Class 6A, Region 3) started slow, giving up two safeties for the first scores of the game, and could never recover.

The first safety followed a defensive stand for Calera inside its own 5-yard line. The defense did its job by turning away the visiting Lions (4-3, 3-1) on a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line, but then the offense couldn’t escape the hole, as Briarwood forced an intentional grounding call in the Calera end zone for two points.

A second safety made it 4-0 Briarwood, and then a field goal extended the lead to 7-0.
Briarwood’s Cooper Higgins was the first player to find the end zone, as his touchdown made it 13-0 after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.

Calera almost got the break it needed late in the first half when a punt was botched, but the Lions ended up with the ball and drove for another touchdown by Higgins to make it 20-0 after the point after with 1:21 remaining in the first half.

In the third quarter, Thompson turned on the jets as he took the ball 65 yards for a rushing touchdown to increase Briarwood’s lead early in the half.

After the Lions defense continued to hold firm, Briarwood made a pair of big throws, with the second one setting up Thompson and the offense on the Eagles’ 8-yard line.

Higgins punched in another touchdown with time winding down in the third quarter to close out the scoring at 38-0.

Calera will visit region foe Helena on Friday, Oct. 20, while Briarwood will host Benjamin Russell.