Friday night Edmund Burke Academy came to Warrenton to fight it out with Briarwood Academy for the annual Backyard Battle trophy. In the end, EBA took the win, 24-21.
The two teams slugged it out in a defensive battle for most of the game until each squad fielded a scoring surge late.
“Both defensive coordinators had really good plans. We had bottled them up all night and they broke three long runs,” said Bo Fleming, Briarwood head coach. “There was no offense for three quarters and then the fourth quarter it was a shoot out.”
Briarwood’s opening score of the night came from a 63-yard touchdown run by Lucas Freitas on the Bucs’ second possession of the night. Trenton Cotton supplied the point after kick and the Bucs led 7-0 with 1:34 left in the first quarter.
For the most part, the two teams continued to exchange punts. However, Charles McMichael picked off an EBA pass to stop one drive in the second quarter.
Briarwood defended the 7-0 lead into the half. At one point the Bucs appeared to be about to score again, but the EBA defense stopped Freitas on a fourth-and-goal from the 1 yard line.
“Friday night we had so many chances to put it away offensively. Literally there were two main plays that were the difference in the game. Us not scoring on that fourth at the one right at the end of the first half and that 50/50 ball that their receiver took away from our cornerback,” said Fleming. “We had it played perfectly. Their kid just took it away from us.”
EBA scored its first points of the night late in the third quarter on an 86-yard touchdown run then tied the game with the point-after.
EBA scored again, and took the lead, early in the fourth quarter when the quarterback broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run.
Briarwood trailed 14-7, but responded quickly. Dax Reese connected to Chapman Mohr on a 10-yard touchdown pass. The Bucs had again tied the game, this time 14-14.
The two offenses continued to roll strong.
EBA scored quickly on an 80-yard play. Then, Briarwood scored on a 70-yard pass completion to Mohr down the sideline.
“Dax made a good throw and Chapman made a good catch and he played the ball right,” said the coach.
Again the game was tied, 21-21. Slightly more than six minutes remained.
The Bucs defense held tough after EBA marched down the field and had to walk away with just a field goal. But, that field goal delivered the 24-21 win.
Briarwood had a final shot at the win, but could not produce on fourth down and the series ended.
Freitas led the Bucs in rushing with 114 yards from 15 attempts. Reese picked up 94 yards on the ground and passed for 119. Among Briarwood’s receivers, Mohr led in yards with 80 total from just two receptions, but those two both were touchdowns. Tucker Purvis had four receptions for a total of 31 yards.
Senior Daxton Kent led in tackles with 14 total, one solo. Evan Moore amassed 11 total, with three solo. Freitas ranked third in total tackles with nine.
Mohr punted six times with the longest being 52 yards and an average of 33.7. Cotton was perfect on all three of his extra point attempts.
Briarwood has a bye this week and will start playoff action Nov. 22 against St. Andrews. The winner of that game will advance to face the winner of the game between EBA and Southwest Georgia Academy.
“We’re got to get over Friday and we’ve got two weeks to get ready for St. Andrews,” said Fleming.