2018-11-07 / Front Page

Spartans stomp the Bucs for region championship

DIANA ROYAL


Seniors Joey Wall and Collier Smith display the Backyard Battle trophy after defeating Briarwood for the region championship. Seniors Joey Wall and Collier Smith display the Backyard Battle trophy after defeating Briarwood for the region championship. Rogers Field was a sea of red as the Edmund Burke Academy family celebrated following a 48-7 victory over Briarwood on Friday night. Not only did the Spartans win the Backyard Battle against one of their biggest rivals, they also earned the region championship trophy for the fifth time in the school’s history.

The Spartans finish out their regular season with a five-game winning streak and a record of 8-3.

“Our defense has been playing really well,” head coach Aaron Phillips said following the big win. “We held Brentwood to 69 yards and Briarwood to under 100 yards. Anytime you come out with stats like that against teams that are as good and as well coached as they are, you know you have done something special. These boys have really stepped up and played hard and have managed to excel to a higher level.”


Quarterback Eason Waters rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown and completed two passes for touchdowns on Friday night. Quarterback Eason Waters rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown and completed two passes for touchdowns on Friday night. The Spartans garnered over 500 total yards against Briarwood’s Buccaneers, who managed just 61 on the ground and 22 passing against a tough Spartan defense. Edmund Burke dominated the game, easily taking a 35-0 lead by halftime and allowing just one touchdown as the game dwindled down.

Senior Collier Smith ran the ball a total of 9 times for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, while sophomore quarterback Eason Waters also rushed 9 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. Junior Will Jenkins had a phenomenal night, earning 115 yards on 8 carries, including a touchdown, and junior Mason Boswell also had one carry for 26 yards that resulted in a touchdown. The Spartans had a total of 487 yards on 39 carries.

In the air, Eason completed 3 of 6 passes for 70 yards, with 2 touchdown passes (one for 61 yards and one for 2 yards) landing in the hands of junior Tripp Parker.

Defensively, sophomore Brantley Jones had 5 solo tackles, 5 assists and 3 tackles for loss. Senior Joey Wall had 4 solo tackles, 1 tackle for loss and a forced fumble; he also had a fumble recovery. Freshman Evan Hirschauer had 2 solo tackles and 4 assists, and Jenkins had 6 solo tackles, 1 assist and 1 tackle for loss.

“At the beginning of the season, I thought we were one of the three best AA schools. On paper, we definitely are, and when these guys show up and compete, they can play with anybody,” Phillips said. “We have just enough depth and skill position to take care of business.”

That’s just what Phillips and the Spartans are hoping to do on Nov. 16 when they face Robert

Robert Toombs for the second time this season.

“It’s always hard to beat teams twice,” Phillips said, remembering Edmund Burke’s 38-13 victory over the Crusaders back in September. “I expect this game to be much closer and harder fought.”

This week the Spartans get a much deserved bye as they prepare for the second round of state playoffs, but Phillips said that won’t affect their practice schedule. The coaches have broken down game film and will work with the players on their weaker areas before mixing in their game plan against the Crusaders, who is region runner-up but will also have a bye week since their region has just three seeds.

“We’re going to treat every round like it’s a state championship game, like it’s our last one,” Phillips said. “We always tell these kids to do the ordinary things extraordinarily. That’s how you make it a long way. That’s why we work so hard. Are they still hungry to keep going? We are about to find out.”

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