August 1, 2021

Astonishing Finish Propels 7-8 Braves to Kiwanis Bowl Championship Game


7-8 Braves (Dean) 13, Trojan Gold 12 (Franklin,Ga) – For the first time in history Saturday, Heard County hosted several first round Kiwanis Bowl games on the campus of Heard High School. Players, coaches, and fans from all areas of West Georgia and East Alabama filed into Staples Stadium to enjoy a sunny afternoon of playoff football.

By far the most exciting game of the day for the home side, was an A bracket match-up between the undefeated 7-8 year old Braves coached by Cain Dean and the Trojan Gold team from Carrollton.

The Trojans found the endzone in the first quarter and quickly went on top 6-0. The Braves quickly answered when running back Tae Gray also reached the endzone, and after the opening quarter of play the game was knotted in a 6-6 tie.

At this point, the defenses took over in a big way as neither offense could find any scoring opportunities. Cody Hand, Jameer Cook, and Hayden McCosh made several key plays to lead the defense for the Braves.

Finally, with only 2:15 to play in the game, the Trojans scored a big touchdown to take a 12-6 lead. It looked as if the end of the season could be near for the young Braves, but they did have one last chance with the ball and only two minutes on the clock to try and mount a hasty comeback.

Coach Dean decided to go with “what got him to the dance” as he had quarterback Eli Dean hand of to stand-out tail-back Tae Gray play after play on the drive. The fans were on their feet the entire drive as Gray continued gaining yardage as the clock was running out.

Finally, the Braves were faced with a 1st and goal from the 4-yard line but with only 2.5 seconds remaining in the game. The outcome of the entire season had come down to this single play. The stadium erupted as Gray carried the ball over the goal line as time expired to tie the game at 12-12.

The Braves faced an extra point that if missed would send the game to overtime and if made would send the Braves to the Championship game at the University of West Georgia next Saturday.

Again the Braves went to Tae Gray who extended the ball just over the goal line to give the Braves an amazing 13-12 win. After the game, we asked 8-year old Tae Gray what he was thinking after he scored the big touchdown. “I was thinking that we were gonna win,” said Gray.

When we asked how he developed all those great football moves on the field, he credited his 4-year old German Shepard named Max who chases him around in the yard on nearly a daily basis.

After the game a very emotional Coach Dean spoke with us about the big win; “That was probably the most exciting game I have ever been involved in. What can you say about Tae Gray? He is a superstar in the making. We are going to need all of our parents and fans in the entire community to come out and support us in the championship game next week.”

Coach Dean and his 7-8 Braves will now meet the Villa Rica Purple team next Saturday morning in the Championship game at 10:00 a.m. on the campus of the University of West Georgia in Carrollton. (Photos Courtesy of Wendy Gray)

7-8 Braves Game Tying Touchdown from on Vimeo.

7-8 Braves Game Winning Extra-Point from on Vimeo.




  1. Scott Owens says

    What a game to watch. It does not get any better that this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. […] Rica Purple team this Saturday (10:00 a.m.) on the campus of the University of West Georgia. Click here to see a full write-up on this exciting […]

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