May 24, 2019

Braves drub short-handed Patriot squad

Brave captains enter Staples Stadium Friday night (L-R): Mike Holmes, David Urquilla, Dylan Ball, and John Helton

Brave captains enter Staples Stadium Friday night (L-R): Mike Holmes, David Urquilla, Dylan Ball, and John Helton

(Franklin, GA) — Senior Brave Nation Player of the Week Austin Miller provided some early fireworks in Friday night’s home opener versus the Greenville Patriots by taking the opening kickoff 84 yards to give the Braves an early 7-0 lead in the first regular season game at newly remodeled Staples Stadium.

The Brave scoring would not stop there and would not stop easily as Coach Tim Barron had to get creative in order to NOT run the score up against the severely short-handed Class A school that was missing several starters due to disciplinary suspensions.

The Braves would score almost every time they touched the ball in the first half quickly building a 41-0 lead with 6:04 to play in the second quarter.

That’s when Barron got creative not just by substituting younger Braves all over the filed but by kicking field goals on first down a couple of times when the Braves were deep in Patriot territory.

A running clock and even deeper subs in the second half helped maintain the margin as the Braves moved to 2-0 with a 47-6 win.

Barron said after the game that the situation was tough for both he and Greenville head coach Vex Farley.

“Coach Farley had a tough situation over there with those suspensions, but I commend him for trying to get those kids going in the right direction. It made it a tough night for both of us,” said Barron.

“We tried to come up with some ideas to still get some positive things from the night but it was tough. A lot of kids did get to play so we are hoping that may showcase some guys that haven’t necessarily been able to show us anything in practice yet.”

Barron has a history of doing anything necessary to avoid running up the score against an opponent and Friday night was perhaps his most challenging moment to date with the Braves being able to virtually score at will during the first half.

The scoring was spread around with several players getting in on the action. Emory Jones tossed two touchdown passes, one to junior Jaden Moreland for 35 yards and another to freshman Micaiah Austin from 17 yards.

Backup QB Alijah Huzzie found Moreland from 30 yards away for a second quarter score. Mike Holmes and Jonta Gray found the end zone on rushing scores. Kicker Trey Wiggins was perfect on PAT’s and 2-for-2 on short field goal attempts.

Defensively, senior Ethan Brant, sophomore Andrew Leak, and Holmes were standouts. Gray had a nice interception and return keyed by a big block from Peyton Ehlers. Sophomore Tray Dunson also had a nice interception.

Another freshman, Wyn Denney, recovered a fumble early in the second half as the youngest Braves saw some Friday night action.

Brant and Ehlers had sacks early in the game and sophomore Gage Cannon picked up a sack on a unheard of 42-yard loss for the Patriots.

Junior Damion Hart also had some nice defensive stops along with sophomore Jacob “Big Country” Stephens. The Brave defense held the Patriots to just 19 yards of total offense.

The Braves will be back in action next Friday at Staples Stadium when they host a very athletic New Manchester Jaguar team, a very formidable Class AAAAAA squad from Douglasville. The Jaguars lost 24-21 to Paulding County Friday night in their first game of the season.

In other Region 5-AA action Friday night, Temple routed Haralson County 48-22, Callaway defeated Handley 42-28, Spencer took down Carver (Columbus) 26-14, Lamar County edged Northeast 14-13, and Jordan fell to Columbus 62-21.

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