Briarwood wraps up regular season with loss at 7A Fairhope ahead of playoffs

Published 12:28 am Saturday, November 4, 2023

By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

FAIRHOPE – The Briarwood Christian Lions’ regular season came to a rough end on the road on Nov. 3 at the hands of the Fairhope Pirates out of Class 7A. In the end, too many mistakes by the Lions in big moments led to a second half comeback and 24-14 win by the Pirates.

Fairhope broke through for the game’s first score on a short field, but the Lions were able to hold them to a field goal for a 3-0 score with 8:22 left in the first quarter.

A quiet beginning period ended with a wild finish as Luke Reynolds snatched an interception to turn around a BCS fumble. It only took a few plays for Cooper Higgins to run his way into the end zone for a 7-3 lead with 3:39 to go.

Then, a quick twist of momentum hit. Fairhope took the kickoff on their own two-yard line and returned it 98 yards for a startling touchdown and a 10-7 lead they would take deep into the second quarter.

The rest of the first half went quietly until the Lions’ final drive. Quarterback Josh Thompson rallied the offense down the field, and Briarwood hit paydirt with 1:16 to go before halftime on Thompson’s pitch to Luke Reynolds for a 39-yard touchdown that gave them a 14-10 halftime lead.

Fairhope’s response, similar to the first quarter, came quickly, and the Pirates used their first drive of the second half to do so. They proceeded to take the first four minutes of the quarter and concluded with a 21-yard touchdown to retake the lead 17-10.

The game’s next score would ultimately determine the evening’s fate with the Lions stuck deep in their own territory. Fairhope’s rush knocked the ball loose in the end zone and recovered a touchdown to give them some breathing room with 1:35 left in the third.

Josh Thompson went 11-18 for 108 yards and also rushed for 84 yards on 15 carries. Luke Reynolds took the ball 82 yards on 20 rushes as well.

Briarwood (5-5, 4-2) will face Carver Montgomery in the first round of the playoffs on Friday, Nov 10 at 7 p.m.