Saturday, December 3, 2011
Special to VivaLoudoun
Williamsburg (Dec. 2, 2011) - Briar Woods High School will make a return trip to Williams Stadium at Liberty University in Lynchburg to defend its Group AA Division 4 state title. The Falcons booked passage with an all-encompassing 31-0 win over Grafton on Saturday at Bailey Field on Yorktown.
The Falcons (13-1) dominated on both sides of the ball. Cory Colder led the offense with 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Colder also caught a touchdown pass from Trace McSorley, who picked the Clippers apart by connecting with his receivers often on quick outs and medium-range passes. McSorley was 14-of-21 passing for 168 yards.
Briar Woods’ defense was even more dominant, limiting Grafton (9-4) to just 75 total yards. The combination was good enough to earn the Falcons a berth in the state championship game on Saturday against Christiansburg, which beat Broadway 35-0 in the other semifinal.
“I think it’s a heck of an accomplishment because we’ve had a bulls-eye on our back all year and we got the best out of everybody,” Briar Woods coach Charlie Pierce said. “It’s just as great an accomplishment as what we did last year.”
The Falcons struck quickly, going ahead 7-0 on the game’s first series when Colder broke a tackle to turn a routine off-tackle run into a 37-yard touchdown. Briar Woods got good field position at the Grafton 45 on its second possession by pushing the Clippers backward 17 yards and forcing them to punt from their end zone.
Seven plays later, Colder floated wide open in the flat and ran 18-yards down the left sideline for a TD after making an over-the-shoulder catch of McSorley’s pass. Grafton responded by driving 68 yards from its own 14 to the Falcons 18 in 15 plays – most of them on the ground.
But the Briar Woods defense rose to the occasion, with linebacker Matt Rolin dropping Grafton’s Marcus Spearman for a two-yard loss on first down. After a Grafton incompletion on second down, Alex Carter ended the drive altogether with an interception in the end zone on third down.
“That was probably the biggest turning point of the game,” Pierce said. “When Carter made that pick we were able to adjust our defense.”
The Falcons dominated defensively from there, surrendering a net of just 32 yards the final two-and-a-half quarters. Their adjustments included blitzing less to contain Spearman (11 carries, 30 yards rushing) on the counter, and adding a nickel back on passing downs to stifle Grafton quarterback Jett Johnson (3-of-12 passing, two interceptions, 48 yards).
“They shut us down,” Grafton coach Jared Van Acker said. “There wasn’t a weak link on that defense.”
With Grafton stuck in quicksand, the Falcons increasingly turned to Colder, and ball control, to pull away. Colder’s 5-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter gave the Falcons a 24-0 lead and pointed them on the road back to Lynchburg.
BRIAR WOODS 31, GRAFTON 0
Briar Woods 14 3 7 7 – 31
Grafton 0 0 0 0 – 0
BW – Colder 37 run (Clements kick)
BW – Colder 18 pass from McSorley (Clements kick)
BW – Clements 37 field goal
BW – Colder 5 run (Clements kick)
BW – Cashman 4 run (Clements kick)
First downs 19 5
Rushes-yds 30-134 29-27
Passing yds 168 48
Comp-att-int 14-21-0 3-12-2
Penalties-yds 5-58 6-26
Punts-avg 1-41 3-34
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Rushing: BW, Colder 20-113, Logan 3-20, Larco 1-4, Cashman 1-4, Leith 1-2, Carter 1-1, McSorley 3-minus 10. Grafton, Spearman 11-30, Bartells 7-25, Swartwood 1-0, Johnson 10-minus 28.
Passing: BW, McSorley 14-21-0-168. Grafton, Johnson 3-12-2-48.
Receiving: BW, Carter 3-39, Gadsden 3-39, Ramos 3-26, Serigne 2-22, Rolin 1-28, Colder 1-18, Logan 1-6.