November 26, 2020

Braves banged up after scrimmage

Rebel scrimmage(Franklin, GA) — The Braves varsity football team hosted a scrimmage with the Haralson County Rebels Friday night at Staples Stadium and while the final score was positively in the home team’s favor, the squad did suffer some injuries which may play a big role in the upcoming start to the season.

Senior Spencer Hannah suffered a knee injury late in the first half which could leave him inactive for up to eight weeks and possibly longer, although team trainer David Scruggs said the best case scenario might find him only missing four weeks of the season.

Hannah, a starter on the defensive side of the ball is perhaps even more valuable to head coach Tim Barron as a member of nearly all of the special teams.

Also prior to halftime, senior running back Tori Rogers went down with an ankle injury during the tail end of a long run down near the Rebels end zone. Rogers, a key member of the defensive secondary, is listed as day-to-day and hopes to be able to play this Friday night during the season opening Pulpwood Classic at Staples versus arch rival Callaway.

After a somewhat sloppy start to the game by both teams, the Braves rolled to a 62-20 win in the scrimmage that saw plenty of younger kids get into the action.

All state running back Duranta Dunson picked up right where he left off giving the Braves an early 7-0 lead on a 26-yard scamper to the north end zone.

The Rebels showed a lot of fight early answering on the very next play from scrimmage with a 70-yard touchdown from Cody Spain.

After the Braves were stopped on their next offensive series, junior Elijah Toney recovered a fumble from the Rebels leading to a 6-yard score from senior quarterback Jonathon Hunt. Hunt found the end zone on foot again early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 21-7 before both coaches began to make heavy substitutions.

A huge positive moment also came in the second quarter when senior back Fenuku Shaheed ran for an 80-yard touchdown and the 28-7 lead. It was good to see Shaheed, who scored twice on the night, looking so healthy after he missed his entire junior season with a knee injury.

Junior Zack Stephens accounted for two of the TD’s on the night, catching a 48-yard pass from Hunt and then later tossing a 56-yard score of his own to sophomore Austin Barron.

Freshman Jonta Gray accounted for all of the 4th quarter scoring with two scores as the Braves notched a 62-20 final.

One of the most notable improvements from last year’s scrimmage was the kicking game. Sophomore Collin Nutt and freshman Trey Wiggins alternated extra-point kicks going eight of nine on the PAT’s with the lone unsuccessful try coming after a bad snap late in the game. Nutt’s kicking has improved tremendously after the 2012 season, his first ever playing football or kicking.

Wiggins looked very comfortable in his first ever varsity action. Although small in stature, the soccer stand-out he boasts a big and accurate leg.

The Braves will have one more week of practice to fine tune before next week’s big home opener versus the AAA Cavaliers.

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