October 23, 2017

Braves Upended Late by Rival Cavs

(Lagrange,GA)- A potential number two seed in Region 5-AA was on the line and perhaps even more importantly pride was at stake as the Braves traveled to Lagrange Friday night to take on Callaway.

Coach Wiggins and the Cavaliers were seeking to avenge a 23-19 loss at Staples Stadium last year.

Conversely, Coach Barron and the Braves were looking to pull yet another upset of the favored Cavs team which features highly touted Auburn commit Ricky Parks at quarterback.

After the Cavs won the toss and deferred, the Braves were pinned back at the 12 yard line by a deep kickoff by Tavin Thompson.

A fumble by the Braves set up a quick touchdown and less than two minutes into the first quarter the Cavs led 7-0. After a quick three and out and a punt by the Braves the Cavs took over once again.

This series didn’t go as well for the Cavs as a holding penalty and a big sack by Senior Tyler Wynn left them facing a 3rd down and 33 yards to go for a first down.

After a Cav punt the Braves took over at the 20 and once again were stopped on three downs and forced to punt setting up nice field position for Parks at the 50-yard line.

Things turned quickly the Braves way though when Brandon Wiggins recovered a fumble and the Braves finally took over with decent field position near mid-field.

Randall Curbow then pulled a trick play out of his back pocket as quarterback Jonathan Hunt pitched to receiver Brandon Smith who then passed the ball deep to freshman Elijah Toney for a big gainer.

A few plays later Hunt powered over the goal line and after the PAT by Bill Singleton the game was knotted at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

After a missed 56-yard field goal attempt by Thompson the Braves took over and once again went three and out as the defense of the Cavs held. Parks then strolled in from 38 yards out to put Callaway back up 14-7.

On their next drive Hunt and the Braves began to move the ball well which resulted in a 15-yard touchdown pass form  Hunt to Brandon Smith. The extra point was blocked so the Braves still trailed 14-13 near the end of the first half.

The Cavs were able to answer quickly when they scored on a pass from Parks to Bo Anderson and the teams went to the break with the Cavs leading 21-13.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Braves fumbled the ball to the Cavs once again, but on the ensuing drive Jonathan Hunt made a big 4th down tackle to hand the ball right back to the Braves offense. Things got very exciting on the Braves next possession.

The Cavs defensive coordinator Dusty Hubbard was flagged for not just one but two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties which advanced the Braves 30 yards into Callaway territory. As a result, Head Coach Wiggins was by rule ejected from the game.

The Braves offense, however, was unable to capitalize and the Cavs took over near mid-field after a failed 4th down by the Braves. The Cavs took over the game at this point.

Ricky Parks eluded a potential sack by Christopher Pease for a big gain which set up a quick touchdown by James Newsome. Parks tacked on another score as time ran down to make the final score 35-13.

The final score was certainly not indicative of the strong effort by the young Braves. Freshman Duranta Dunson had another solid game with 89 yards on 15 carries.

The Braves were outgained in total yardage 312 to 187.  They will travel to Memorial Stadium in Columbus this week to face the Greenwave of Spencer. A win would likely secure the number three seed in the state playoffs for the Braves.

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