At their core, the Briar Woods Falcons are a reflection of their coach.
Grizzled and gruff at times, Charlie Pierce describes himself as an “old-school offensive line guy” and a fan of hard-nosed, run-first football.
Friday night’s matchup with an unbeaten Tuscarora team that thrives with a similar style gave Pierce and the No. 9 Falcons a chance to put their toughness on display. And if there was any doubt as to whether the rest of the Virginia AA Dulles District is closing the gap on the two-time defending Division 4 champion, the Falcons showed the gulf between them and everybody else is as wide as ever as they rolled to a 35-6 victory in Leesburg.
The Briar Woods defensive front stuffed Tuscarora sophomore Noah Reimers at the line of scrimmage and limited the Huskies to just nine yards on 13 first-half carries. And when the Falcons (6-0, 4-0) had the ball, they called workhorse running back Cory Colder’s number and let their 5-8, 190-pound senior chip away at Tuscarora’s defense.
After Brandon Polk opened the scoring for Briar Woods with a 19-yard touchdown run, Colder dominated the next two drives, pounding out short but punishing runs that kept the Falcons on the field for all but eight plays in the second quarter.
“Since I’ve been here, that’s the first time we’ve dominated the line of scrimmage so much that the other team didn’t have a chance to get the ball offensively,” Pierce said. “And that’s a beautiful thing.”
Adrien Stinger gave the home crowd hope with an 89-yard touchdown return that pulled the Huskies (4-1, 2-1) within 14-6 midway through the second quarter, but Trace McSorley intercepted a pass over the middle on Tuscarora’s ensuing drive to snatch that hope away.
Colder scored on a pair of short touchdown plunges to give Briar Woods a 28-6 halftime lead. He carried 10 times on the Falcons’ opening possession of the second half, and capped the 15-play, 70-yard drive with a one-yard dive into the end zone for his third score and the final margin.
“I know I’m not a home-run hitter every time,” said Colder, who finished with 106 yards on 27 carries. “I just get those five-, 10-yards a carry, and come that second half, we can mix it up a little bit with play action, it really opens up our offense.”
The Huskies came in averaging 229 rushing yards per game and ended the night with 36 yards on 20 carries. Briar Woods, which has won an area-best 20 consecutive games, piled up 243 yards on the ground on 56 carries and another 135 through the air on the arm of McSorley.
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