The two-time defending Virginia Division 4 state champion Briar Woods High School football team started this season with a slogan: “Stay humble, stay hungry.”
The Falcons proved their desire Sept. 28, dismantling previously unbeaten Tuscarora 35-6 to earn their 20th straight victory.
“Our seniors got together at the beginning of the year and our number one motto was stay humble, stay hungry,” said senior running back Corey Colder, who has totaled 553 yards and nine touchdowns on the season. “That’s something coach instilled in us two years ago when we started this and we keep that going week after week.”
Charlie Pierce, Falcons head coach, credits his captains with maintaining discipline and drive and maintains the team just takes it one week at a time.
“It’s cliche but we honestly do one game at a time,” Pierce said. “We talk about it and they do it. There’s never a mention of anything other than the team we’re playing.”
And the Falcons had their sights set on the host Huskies Friday and came out ravenous.
Briar Woods first struck eight minutes into the game, when Brandon Polk took a 19-yard sweep to the house. The Falcons then forced a Husky punt and began their next drive at the tail end of the first quarter. Colder would run for 40 yards to set up JT Logan’s 4-yard touchdown run.
Senior Adrian Stinger gave the Huskies a glimmer of hope on the ensuing kickoff, dropping but then quickly recovering the ball to deliver a 89-yard touchdown return.
But Colder tacked on two more touchdowns, including one set up by a 37-yard Trace McSorley to Devin Ramos pass, to put the Falcons up 28-6 at the half.
Briar Woods would add just one more touchdown in the game, a one-yard Colder run in the third quarter, but they would limit the Huskies to just two possessions in the second half.
“Coach Pierce had been scouting them all week so we knew what to expect,” said junior defensive lineman Nick Merletti. “We just came out and executed.”
The Falcon defense overwhelmed Tuscarora from start to finish, limiting the Huskies to just four first-down conversions and holding sophomore standout Noah Reimers to 13 yards on 14 carries. Tuscarora accumulated just 72 total offensive yards.
“Since I’ve been here, that’s the first time we’ve dominated the line of scrimmage so much that the other team didn’t have a chance to get the ball offensively,” Pierce said.
Briar Woods’ offense was equally potent, accruing 246 yards on the ground and 135 in the air.
In keeping with the one game at a time strategy, Briar Woods now prepares to host a one-loss Woodgrove squad and hopes to overwhelm them like its previous 20 opponents.
Merletti is confident another hard week of practice will prepare the team for their next challenge.
“This is 20 wins,” Merletti said. “We have no plans to stop now.”
Click for a numerical look at Briar Woods’ streak.
Briar Woods 35, Tuscarora 6
BW: Polk 19 run (LaFrankie kick) 4:12
BW: Logan 4 run (LaFrankie kick) 8:59
T: Stinger 89 kick return (Reimers run failed) 8:45
BW: Colder 1 run (LaFrankie kick)
BW: Colder 2 run (LaFrankie kick)
Colder 1 run (LaFrankie kick)
-Rushing: BW – Colder (27 for 110 yards, 3 TD), Larco (8 for 49 yards), Ford (8 for 37 yards); T – Reimers (14 for 13 yards)
-Passing: BW – McSorley (10 of 14 for 135 yards); T – Azzarita (1 of 5 for 26 yards, Int.), Carrera (2 of 4 for 11 yards, Int.)
-Receiving: BW – Polk (2 for 48 yards), Serigne (4 for 43 yards), Polk (4 for 36 yards); T – Reimers (2 for 28yards), Fisher (1 for 9 yards), Wall (2 for 8 yards)
-All photos by Beverly Denny
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