Another shutout win last Friday has propelled the Briarwood Academy Buccaneers into a 4-0 record.

The Bucs faced Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School and produced a 27-0 homecoming win. It was Mon Don’s first loss and the first time they had been held scoreless this season.

“Mon Don was much improved from last year. They were a lot more physical up front and their kids played hard Friday night,” said Bo Fleming, Briarwood Academy head football coach.

Briarwood recovered the opening kickoff, but marched down the field at a slower pace than in most games this season. Starting on the Rams’ 45, it took the Bucs 15 plays to reach the end zone. Quarterback Dax Reese scored on a 4-yard carry,  and then the point-after kick missed to the right.

“We had a long first drive and ended up with a touchdown. It took a little bit more than we wanted to, but in the end we got the job done,” said Fleming.

After Briarwood chewed up so much time on the clock, a sole possession by Mon Don wrapped up the first quarter.

After holding the Rams in check on a fake punt, the Bucs strung together a five-play scoring drive. Lucas Freitas scored on a 7-yard run and Reese connected to Barrett Johnson on a two-point conversion pass. Early in the second quarter, the Bucs stretched their lead to 14-0.

Mon Don’s next drive was cut short by a fumble, which Jacob Cato recovered for the Bucs. On the first snap of the Briarwood possession, Reese bolted 43 yards for a touchdown — which gave the home team a 20-0 advantage.

With a little more than four minutes remaining in the second quarter the game was stopped for a lightning delay. When the teams returned to the field, neither squad found much success prior to halftime.

After the crowning of the Briarwood homecoming queen, the Bucs opened with a huge kickoff return by Tucker Purvis. He fielded the kick at the 10 and returned it to the 50.

“Tucker Purvis had a great return on the kickoff in the second half,” said Fleming.

Then, on first down, Freitas broke through the Mon Don defense to score. With the point-after kick, the Bucs had reached 27 points for the night.

“Lucas and Dax ran the ball hard and we had another productive night on the ground,” said Fleming.

Freitas rolled up 171 yards on the ground and Reese 129. With one carry by fullback Evan Moore also included, Briarwood had a 302-yard night rushing.

Reese completed 4 of 10 passing attempts and spread the ball around. Freital, Chapman Mohr, Jacob Petrie and Barrett Johnson each had one catch.

“We’ve got to cut out mistakes offensively,” Fleming said, pointing out several fumbled snaps. “We’ve got to iron out some issues with us up front and keep getting better each week so that hopefully down the road we can play for another region championship.”

Again the Briarwood defense was tough as it delivered the second shutout of the year. This shutout came against a team which had proven to be an offensive power in its first two games of the season.

“Those guys came in averaging 40 points a game and didn’t even really get inside the 20 other than once or twice and our guys stiffened up and ended all of that,” Fleming said. “We haven’t had a defense playing this well in a long time. Coach (John) Barnett is doing a great job having the guys prepared and ready to go.”

Senior Evan Moore again led in tackles — 9 total with 6 solo. Scott Reynolds ended the night with 8 tackles, including 3 solo tackles.

This Friday the Bucs travel to Gibson to face the 1-3 Glascock County Panthers.

“Coach (Chris) Kelley does a good job with them and he will have them prepared and ready to go. Our plan is to get another win Friday night,” said Fleming.

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