July 24, 2021

Braves Drop Devils; Prepare to Visit Titans

The Braves celebrated Senior Night Friday with a 27-12 win over the Manchester Blue Devils at Staples Stadium. Senior players, cheerleaders, and marching band members were honored in a ceremony before the game.

After the Braves won the toss and deferred to the second half, the defense did not take long to stop the Devils and the Braves took over on offense. They quickly drove down the field with Duranta Dunson taking the bulk of the hand-offs from Quarterback Jonathan Hunt.

With 6:27 to play in the first, Hunt carried the ball in the endzone from one yard out for the early lead. One of the five Seniors on the roster, Bill Singleton, added the extra-point to put the Braves on top 7-0.

Early in the second quarter Hunt connected with another Senior, Brandon Smith, on a beautiful 51-yard pass to extend the lead to 14-0. Manchester answered with a touchdown but failed on the extra-point.

Just before the half, freshman Duranta Dunson broke loose for a 20-yard score and at the half the lead was 21-6. In the third quarter, Dunson added another TD from six yards away and the Braves were firmly in control.

A late TD by the Devils brought the final score to 27-12. Hunt intercepted a Devil pass to secure the win late in the fourth. The Sophomore quarterback had one of his best games of the season throwing for 109 yards, scoring a rushing touchdown, throwing a touchdown pass while also getting a fumble recovery in addition to the interception.

Dunson also again posted big stats with 201 yards rushing on 27 carries and of course the two scores while making Brave Nation history early in the second quarter by becoming the first freshman to rush for over 1000 yards in a season.

Ta Freeland gained 62 yards on the ground and Smith caught two passes for 76 yards and the TD. The win secured Coach Tim Barron’s 8th consecutive winning season and 7th consecutive state playoff appearance leaving little doubt that he is the most successful football coach in Heard Co. history.

The Braves (6-4, 5-2) will now travel as the Region 5-AA #3 seed to take on the #2 seeded Blessed Trinity Titans (6-4, 5-3) from Region 6B-AA. The Titans are a solid program and will be a very difficult challenge for the very young Braves squad.

The Titans record of 6-4 is misleading as two of the losses came at the hands of the University of Buford while another of the losses came to a solid AAA program in the Grady Grey Knights.

The winner of this game will advance to play the winner of the Lamar Co.-Bleckley Co. game which will be played in Barnesville. The Lamar Co. Trojans (10-0) completed their first ever undefeated season this year and could be a likely favorite in the Braves region next year once realignment takes place.

In the rest of the 5-AA playoff games Callaway will host Westminster, Carver will host a tough Lovett team, and the Temple Tigers will face the unenviable task of traveling to the Wolves den to take on the previously mentioned University of Buford. This will mark the first playoff appearance by the Tigers since 2005.

In other area round one playoff match-ups, Bowdon will travel to Holy Innocents(A), Newnan will travel to Valdosta (AAAAA), Carrollton will host Columbia(AAA), Lagrange will host Woodward Academy(AAA), and Troup will host Cedar Grove(AAA).

(Below photos are provided courtesy of  Rodney East. Click here to see more photos from Senior Night. To order photos e-mail rodneyeast@ymail.com)




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