December 5, 2020

Brave season ends with crushing loss at Rockmart

(Rockmart, GA) — The Brave football season ended in a very disappointing way Friday night in Rockmart where the Braves were shut out 42-0 by the Yellow Jackets, the No. 2 seed from Region 7-AA.

The crushing loss in the opening round of state was the first for the Braves since 2011 when they finishing 6-5 and falling 44-19 at Blessed Trinity in 2011. It was also the largest margin of defeat in Coach Tim Barron’s 15 years at the helm for the Braves.

The Brave offense and senior third string quarterback Trey Alford were unable to move the ball the entire night against a stout Jacket defense gaining just 53 yards of total offense in the first half.

The Jackets led 7-0 after the first quarter and 21-0 at the half before pulling away even further in the second half.

Starting QB Emory Jones and back-up QB Alijah Huzzie being out with injuries and several other Braves playing banged up made for a long night against the Jackets.

“They were better than us tonight obviously — you know that when you get beat 42-0 — but we didn’t play as well as we are capable of playing and we didn’t give ourselves a chance,” said Barron following the loss. “You hate to end it like that because you walk off the field and that’s the last chance with a bunch of seniors and you want it be special when they walk off that field and you want to be able to share that time with them.”

Barron thinks the Braves have gotten way from some of the things that have made them great in the past and knows the program has to get that back.

“We’ve got to go back to some old ways at Heard County and that’s in the weight room, in the classroom, the way you walk, the way you talk — everything that you do has got to change,” said Barron.

“We have got to revert back to what gave us success and that’s just the ‘old school’ mentality and toughness. I can’t think of a time in the playoffs where we took one like we did tonight. We have been in situations where teams were way better and still didn’t have an outcome like this.”

While acknowledging the difficult challenge of all the late season injuries, Barron still expects more from a Braves squad that has become known state wide as traditionally one of the toughest and most physical programs in Class AA.

“We have to reevaluate and look at some things and we have to go to work. Obviously, there’s no excuses in life and in the real world it don’t matter — but we brought a bunch up here that was banged up and beat up and that really limited what we could do — but at the same time those are things you can’t control,” added Barron.

“What we can control is to play better, to play harder and to play with more energy — and that wasn’t here tonight, at least not as a collective group. There were a handful of guys that battled no matter what and I don’t think that anyone quit but just because you didn’t quit doesn’t mean you showed up with great energy and great fight. We have got to back to being ourselves. We have to coach them the way we have coached them — we can’t sugar coat things; we can’t coach with gloved hands — we have got to go back to being Heard County High School and having that toughness that separates us from others.”

Rockmart advances to the second round and will travel to Fitzgerald to take on the Purple Hurricane.

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