December 12, 2018

Braves battered in weather-shortened loss at Rockmart

(Rockmart, GA) — Nearly everything went awry for the Heard County Braves in north Georgia Friday night as they lost 33-0 to Class AA foe Rockmart in a weather-shortened contest.

The Braves had some chances inside the red zone early in the game, but were unable to capitalize as the Jackets responded with several big scoring plays to take a huge lead in the second quarter.

Severe lightning and a torrential downpour invaded ‘The Rock’ at halftime and Brave head coach Tim Barron and staff upon agreement with the Yellow Jacket coaches made the tough decision to end the game at 33-0 following a lengthy delay where the restart may have been pushed back to near midnight.

“We had the choice to wait out that next storm cell and maybe be able to get the game restarted at 10:45 or 11:00 PM or we had the choice to go home,” said Barron.

“Yes, we could have stayed up there and waited and gotten back out there on that muddy field — but we had already lost three kids to injuries in the first half and we only have one varsity ready quarterback right now that we can’t afford to lose.”

Barron says the decision was a very difficult one where he called upon his past coaching experience while paying special regard to the health of each player and his team as a whole as they head into region play in just two weeks.

“Everything in me thought these kids needed to go back out there and fight and battle, but that was just me being hard-headed. When you look at where we were in the game — there comes a point in time where you have to say our season is more important than just this one game,” said Barron.

“I kept flashing back in my mind to Dontavious Jackson’s senior year (2007) when we went through several rain delays in our home opener and then ended up losing him for the season in a non-region game.”

According to GHSA, the game is recorded officially with a final score of 33-0.

GHSA Constitution By-Law 2.93-c states: “Any interrupted game must be replayed from the point of interruption. The school that is behind in the score may choose not to continue the game and the score will be recorded as it was at the point of interruption.”

In addition to the three injuries, the Braves made the trip without two-way star Aaron Beasley who missed the game due to a violation of team rules.

After taking the opening kickoff, the Braves moved down the field quickly on two completions from QB Alijah Huzzie to Quincy Sheppard before the drive ended in a blocked field goal attempt.

With the Jackets up 7-0, the Braves again drove down to the three yard line of the Jackets before turning it over on downs. The missed opportunities were eerily similar to last week’s loss versus Hapeville.

Things deescalated quickly from there when Rockmart completed a 97-yard TD pass on the next play from scrimmage. Ashton Bonner came up with the blocked PAT for the Braves to make it 13-0 before the home team would pile on three more quick scores.

A great punt from first year Brave Colson Jiles ended in a 75-yard TD return as the Jackets built the 33-0 halftime lead.

The lighting and rainstorm blew up out of nowhere during the halftime band performances and the stadium was cleared as fans tried to find cover.

Barron acknowledges that the team has a lot to improve on heading into game four next week at home versus Central.

“Our issues are much bigger than injuries or weather right now — we can’t continue to look at films and see a lack of effort, heart, and character,” says the Brave head coach.

The Braves will host Central of Carrollton next Friday night in Franklin (7:30 PM) before hosting Spencer for Homecoming the following week in the Region 5-AA opener.

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