2007-09-05 / Sports

Spartans lose to Bucs by one

By Diana Royal Staff Writer

STAFF -  DIANA ROYAL Freshman Brandon Oliver sacks the Bucs' quarterback. STAFF - DIANA ROYAL Freshman Brandon Oliver sacks the Bucs' quarterback. The Spartans can chalk up their 9-8 loss to the Briarwood Academy Bucaneers last Thursday to typical first game mistakes.

But it's those errors they'll need to correct when they face Brentwood Academy for their home-opener Friday night.

Last year, Edmund Burke made history with its 28-14 win over the Eagles, defeating them for the first time in more than a decade. Now, the question is, can they do it again?

Spartans head coach Jeremy Blackstock foresees a tight matchup. Both teams will be trying to bounce back after close losses in which their defenses played well and their offenses stalled occasionally. He says size won't be an issue. "They aren't very big, but they are extremely quick and very well coached," he commented, adding that the Spartans will need to remain patient and focused in order to handle the Eagle offense.

They'll also need to concentrate on their discipline on the field, as penalties were a large factor in their loss to Briarwood last week.

"We made too many mistakes," Blackstock said. "The only positive thing about those mistakes is that they can be fixed. Our effort was not the problem - execution was … if we only give up nine points I would say that is a solid defensive effort."

The rains seemed to hamper the efforts of both teams as the game began and the first quarter remained scoreless.

The Bucs picked up a safety barely a minute into the second quarter after a bad snap forced punter Hamp Wade to flip the ball past the Spartans' own end zone. Although this move prevented the Bucs from recovering a fumble just yards from the Spartans' goal line, they scored just 35 seconds later on a 62-yard play. With a successful extra point kick, they led 9-0. An interception by Jeremy Hayes got the crowd back on their feet, but the Spartans were unable to gain the yardage needed and went into halftime still trailing.

Penalties and rain continued as the second half began, and the Spartans struggled to light up the scoreboard. After a second interception by Hayes in the fourth, the Spartans moved into scoring position. Freshman quarterback Alex Sturkie hustled in for a touchdown on first and goal with 5:59 left in the game. An illegal procedure pushed the Spartans back 5 yards, but Sturkie hit Hayes with a successful 2-point conversion, and EBA was back in the game, 9-8.

On their next possession, incomplete passes, penalties and fumbles plagued the Spartans, but they managed to hang on to the ball, and Sturkie broke away for a 35- yard run with 1:05 left. EBA was 4 and 1 with just 44.5 seconds to go. The chain was brought out on the next play, and the Spartans fell just inches shy of a first down, turning the ball over with 41.2 on the clock.

"I was disappointed for the kids," Blackstock lamented. "I felt and still feel they deserved to win … I really think we have something special here that some of our guys don't quite see yet - but they will."

Leading the Spartans in rushing was Hayes, who averaged 4 yards per carry.

Boyd Lively had 11 tackles and 2 sacks. Sturkie also contributed 2 sacks.

Return to top