Briar Woods High School
Falcons Best Freedom for Season’s First Victory
September 28, 2017
On the first play from scrimmage, Briar Woods safety Scott Blair intercepted a pass on the 40 yard line and returned it to the Freedom Eagle’s 24. Six plays later Camden Gillie rammed it into the end zone from the one. After a failed two-point conversion attempt the Falcons took their first lead of the season. While racking up yards of offense and shutting down the Eagle offense, the Falcons scored a second touchdown midway into the second period and the Falcons had a 12-0 lead, again failing to convert the two-point extra point.
Just when it appeared the Falcons might be on their way to tensionless victory, driving deep into Eagle territory, their third turnover of the half, an interception and 59 yard return by Eagle defensive back Zyan Collins gave Freedom a first down on the Falcons 41 yard line. One play later quarterback Jack Fitzgerald connected with Zach Mayo on a 36 yard touchdown pass with 52 seconds before the half time whistle. The Falcons took 12-7 lead into the locker room
The Falcons would 10 second half points to nil for Freedom, making the final margin 22-7. But five fumbles, three of which were lost and one interception disrupted an otherwise productive offense. It was the defense that led the Falcons to their first victory in five games. They limited Freedom to just three first downs and 48 yards of total offense. Julian Posas and Matt Luebke each accounted for six tackles half of which resulted in losses. Danny McMinn grabbed his team high fourth interception of the season to go along with Blair’s steal, his second of the season
When not mishandling the ball, the Falcons running game was stellar. Ryan Walther gained 149 yards on 29 carries. Posas was handed the ball 14 times and turned that into 77 yards. Camden Gillie was equally effective with 51 yards on 10 carries.
Quarterback Ryan Rutkowski continued his improving season completing seven of 10 pass attempts for 57 yards in addition to a 13 yard touchdown rush in the third quarter.
After pooch kicking three times in the first half, Kicker Eddie Moreno put his two second half kickoffs deep into the end zone for touchbacks and was solid on a 19 yard field goal.
On-field imperfections aside, head coach Mike Groves let his team know he was proud and happy about the team’s first win. All the Falcons have to do to challenge their next opponent, the undefeated Stone Bridge Bulldogs, is replicate their rushing effectiveness while maintaining possession of the football from first contact to play-ending whistle.