The Shankar Spin: Briar Woods Squashes Riverside’s Homecoming in Overtime

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Leesburg, Va. — The top spot in the VHSL Region 5C standings has been dominated by one team so far this year: the undefeated Stone Bridge Bulldogs.

After that, it gets much more confusing. There are a host of teams vying for that second spot, and two of them faced off when the Briar Woods High School football team travelled to Riverside High School on the latter’s homecoming night on October 4.

The Falcons came back, winning 24-23 in overtime after trailing 17-7 at halftime, but just as importantly, they displayed certain skills that make them dangerous for the future, not only this year but also next.

Right now, Briar Woods is at 3-2, after defeating Dominion, Rock Ridge, and Riverside, and losing to two tough teams in Tuscarora and John Champe, the latter just a seven-point loss.

In this week’s Varun’s Verdict, I took a look at the Falcons, and what they could do to solidify that second spot.

Briar Woods quarterback Christian Greene woke up dangerous

I tell everyone I’m built for this, I’m born for this. I woke up dangerous today.

—Christian Greene

Briar Woods quarterback Christian Greene isn’t lacking in confidence. At halftime, with his team down 17-7, Greene stood on the sideline, helmet on, hands to his side. Most would have been nervous, against a raucous crowd and a 4-1 opponent.

Greene is a junior. Standing on that sideline, it wouldn’t have been surprising to see him a little bit cowed by the enormity of the task in front of him, daunted by the weight of the pressure. He stood there, helmet on, face all but hidden by the cage of the facemask, and then he yawned. After the game he said, “I tell everyone I’m built for this, I’m born for this. I woke up dangerous today.”

That’s just how Greene rolls: always calm, always under control, never flustered. Now, that’s not the biggest reason he led his team to a comeback, but it definitely helped. Now to the physical tools that help him.

The shiftiness Greene displays is unparalleled at his position. He’s not as powerful a runner as Broad Run senior quarterback Mitch Griffis is, but he’s much shiftier. Multiple times, he made Riverside defenders look silly trying to stop him. He finished with 20 rushing attempts for 191 yards and 3 touchdowns and added another 133 yards through the air. Those are ridiculous numbers, but Greene isn’t a finished product.

He threw two interceptions, on two plays where he didn’t seem to read the underneath defender well. When throwing on the run, his accuracy suffered, like when he missed an easy touchdown pass on third down late in the third quarter. Hitting those passes could take the Falcons to a new level.

The Falcons defense is energetic

Defensively, the Falcons play with a great deal of energy, as their coaching staff is one of the most energetic I’ve seen on the sideline. This team may not be contending this year, but head coach Daniel Bruton and his staff have set themselves up for a successful next few years. Their offense is extremely well-designed, making use of their offensive skillset while also developing a quarterback’s passing game.

Briar Woods has a huge test coming up against Woodgrove on October 11, and a good showing there could give the Falcons the springboard they need to vault themselves into a firm position in Region 5C.

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About Author

Varun Shankar

Varun is a senior at Dominion High School and the Academy of Science in Sterling. He’s also the editor-in-chief and founder of The Tea Shop, a multimedia site. He is the host of Down to the Wire and LoCoSports' Technical Fowl. In his free time, Varun enjoys watching D.C. sports teams consistently break his heart, except for the Capitals who are Stanley Cup Champions.

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