BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Quarterback Christopher Vizzina tossed five touchdown passes as Briarwood Christian defeated Huffman 42-14 in a Class 6A, Region 5 game at Huffman High School on Thursday night. Both teams traded touchdowns but in the end, Briarwood scored 28 unanswered points to go on for the win.
Vizzina hit on three different receivers for touchdowns and the Lions offense clicked for most of the night. "We came out with a lot of determination," said Lions head coach Matthew Forester. "We fought hard, Huffman did a good job of battling with us. Our offense was hitting tonight. We did a good job of executing on offense. We are getting better on offense each week. We made strides on both sides of the ball."
Vizzina completed 9-of-12 passing for 239 yards and the five touchdowns and no interceptions. "Our receivers are really the heart of what we are going to have to do to play at a high level in the playoffs," added Forester. "You just can't run the ball, you just can't just throw the ball. You have to have a great mix with Vizzina and (Luke) Reebals in the backfield and these receivers developing, this gives us a chance to be good in the playoffs." Ethan Anderson and Jay Butler each scored two touchdowns while Sawyer Russell scored on another.
Briarwood Christian (5-0, 3-0) scored first in the game when Vizzina tossed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Anderson and after the first play for the Lions, Briarwood Christian took a 7-0 lead with 11:45 left in the first quarter. Huffman came right back. With 8:43 left in the first quarter, Makhi Hughes took a hand off and raced 53-yards for a score and the Vikings tied the game at 7-7.
WIth 7:10 left in the first quarter, Luke Gilbert scored on a 10-yard touchdown run and the Lions went back up 14-7. On a 4th and one play, Huffman scored on a Hughes 1-yard touchdown run over the top of the pile. With the score, again the Vikings tied the game at 14-14. Hughes finished the game with 95 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns with one reception for 13 yards. Also, Hughes played linebacker on defense and finished the game with five tackles getting a lot of snaps on the defensive side of the ball.
From this point of the game, the Lions defense kicked it into gear as the Vikings didn't score anymore the rest of the game. With 5:54 left in the second quarter, Vizzina threw to Butler on a 28-yard pass play and the Lions took the lead for good at 21-14. With 3:16 left in the half, Vizzina hit Anderson on a 31-yard touchdown pass and the Lions went up 28-14 late in the second quarter.
In the second half, Briarwood Christian scored two more touchdowns. With 8:08 left in the third quarter, Butler scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Vizzina. WIth the score, the Lions led 35-14. With 6:15 left in the third quarter, Vizzina threw his fifth touchdown of the game when he found Russell on a 54-yard touchdown pass. With the last score, the Lions led 42-14. "The depth of our receivers was key for us in this win tonight," said Lions QB Vizzina. "It was great to throw to multiple receivers. We had a great week of practice. We have to bring our own energy when you play on the road."
For Briarwood Christian, Luke Reebals had 52 yards on seven carries. Anderson had two receptions for 62 yards and two touchdowns. Butler had two receptions for 48 yards and two touchdowns. For Huffman, Mekail Johnson completed 12-of-22 passing for 117 yards. Johnson added 52 yards on 16 carries.
On the recruiting scene, Vizzina has a lot of offers and Alabama has been on the radar as he just came back from an Alabama visit. The senior quarterback had a great visit with the Tide and keeps in touch with the Alabama coaches on a weekly basis. Hughes has committed to Appalachian State last season but is still taking visits this fall.
Up next, Briarwood Christian will host Mortimer Jordan while Huffman will travel to 7A Hewitt-Trussville.