by John Goolsby
The Mounties dropped a key region game this past Friday night to the Briarwood Christian Lions, 5-2. Shades Valley’s record fell to 0-6.
Shades Valley played an impressive 22:13 minute first half, led by a fourteen play opening drive for a touchdown, against Briarwood. The Mountie offense had numerous long drives in the first and second quarters, but due to multiple mistakes, was only able to put 13 points on the scoreboard. With 1:47 remaining in the half, the Mounties were up 13-7 over the visiting Lions.
Briarwood, capitalizing on costly Mountie mistakes, scored two touchdowns in the span of 82 seconds. Statistically the Mounties dominated the first half, but found themselves trailing 21-13 heading into the locker room at halftime. The Lions came out and played a strong second half, capitalized on more Mountie mistakes, and pulled away for a 42-19 win.
Coach Jamie Mitchell is working hard to correct those lapses in execution that have plagued his team. “We are looking to eliminate those three to four minutes of bad football. It happened against Mountain Brook, it happened against Briarwood, it happened against Pinson Valley late in the game,” said Mitchell. Mitchell still believes he has a good team and they are very close to turning the corner. Eliminating those lapses, “when the team goes offline,” as Mitchell calls the mistakes, will go a long way towards ending the Mounties losing streak and putting a check mark in the win column.
Despite the disappointing loss, Shades Valley’s offense showed flashes of it’s potential Friday night. The Mounties rolled up 436 yards against a well-coached Briarwood defense.
Mountie quarterback Earl Woods threw for a season-high 252 yards and added another 52 yards on the ground. The Lions’ secondary had no answer for speedy wide receiver Al Weathers IV. Weathers had 204 receiving yards on 10 receptions with one touchdown. Davin Bostock was the Mountie’s leading rusher with 82 yards.
The Mountie defense played extremely well at times against a balanced Briarwood offense, but gave up big plays to the Lions at key moments. Briarwood gained 440 yards, 277 coming on the ground. The Lions’ rushing attack was led by Luke Reebals, an outstanding junior running back, with 185 yards on 15 carries.
The Mounties head into Thursday night’s game at Homewood against the 4-2 Patriots with, according to Mitchell, “as healthy of a team that we have had since maybe week one of the season.” Shades Valley had six starters out of action against Briarwood due to injuries. Despite the win-loss record, Mitchell remains optimistic about his team. “I do feel very good about where we are right now,” Mitchell said.