November 23, 2017

Braves pound Hornets 42-16

Brave Captain’s for Friday night’s opener (L-R): #4 Damion Hart, #21 Aaron Beasley, #56 David Urquilla, #18 Leroy Marsh

(Franklin, GA) — The Braves opened the regular season in impression fashion at home Friday night, dominating the visiting South Atlanta Hornets by a final score of 42-16 in the inaugural Hall of Fame game.

The induction of seventeen Brave legends into the new Hall of Fame along with a festive pregame atmosphere set the stage for a fun night of football at Staples Stadium.

The Brave varsity team dominated the game on both offense and defense before the Hornets managed a couple of late scores against the second team Brave defense.

The outcome was a far cry from last year’s opener where the Braves had to battle and claw to a last minute 22-19 road win.

New Brave running back Aaron Beasley was highly impressive in his first game at Staples, rushing for 100 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries.

Brave senior quarterback Emory Jones also had a solid night completing 10 of 15 passes for 168 yards and a TD and rushing for 40 yards on five carries with his own score.

Jones was sharp through the air with some of his incompletions being drops or throwaways.

His No. 1 target on the night was junior WR Alijah Huzzie who caught five passes for 115 yards including a 63-yarder from Jones in the second half that sent Brave starters to the sidelines for the remainder of the contest.

The Brave defense was stifling all night with the first team D allowing only 88 total yards.

Micaiah Austin set the tone with a huge defensive hit early in the game which is the kind of physicality Coach Barron and his staff have preached about all summer long.

Sophomore Kesean Johnson had a big sack defensively and junior Andrew Leak also had a big night with a sack and a key interception early in the second half.

“The biggest thing was this time last year we walked off the field after that South Atlanta team beat us physically everywhere on the field except the scoreboard,” said Barron after the win.

“We wanted to find out where we are and our kids came out tonight and played hard and played physical. We always talk about effort and being physical because those are two things a kid can totally control.”

The Braves will travel to Cartersville next Saturday afternoon for a two-game showcase event that will air on ESPNU as they battle Class 6A Saraland (Ala.) in the 3:30 p.m. opener.

The game will feature a match-up between two of the best QB’s in the nation, Ohio State bound Emory Jones and Spartan QB Jack West. West is already committed to Stanford.

Coach Barron knows his squad faces a huge challenge in the opponent from a much larger school, but plans to try to make the week as ‘normal’ as possible despite all the pregame hype.

“This ain’t their first rodeo and we know that they are a very good football team and we know what kinds of teams get showcased on ESPN. We won’t vary from who we are and how we practice this week — we’re not going to get caught up in all this other stuff,” says Barron.

“There will be some mental challenges in the game as far as TV time-outs and lulls that we aren’t used to but other than that we want to stick to our process as much as possible.”

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further coverage of the Hall of Fame induction in the coming days.

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