May 22, 2018

Canes Run Past Braves at Classic

Brave Senior Captains at Saturday Night's North-South Classic at Mercer University in Macon: Austin Barron (#23), Matt Brown (#21), Hunter Lane (#55), and Rad Brooks (#54)

Brave Senior Captains at Saturday Night’s North-South Classic at Mercer University in Macon: Austin Barron (#23), Matt Brown (#21), Hunter Lane (#55), and Rad Brooks (#54)

(Macon, GA) —  The Braves put up a strong fight in the second North-South Classic Saturday night, but came away on the losing end of a 29-7 score against the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane.

Head coach Tim Barron knew his team would face a difficult challenge against the South Georgia power ranked No. 2 by the AJC and picked by many to possibly win it all in Class AA this year.

Thanks in part to a couple of big defensive stops and a huge offensive pass play, the Braves only trailed 13-7 at the half.

Down 13-0 at the end of the first quarter, sophomore Brave quarterback Emory Jones hit senior Chandler Polk on a long 79-yard TD pass to keep the Braves close.

The Canes would pull away in the second half thanks almost entirely to the combined rushing attack of junior tailback J.D. King and sophomore quarterback James Graham.

The Braves secondary did a great job limiting the Canes in the passing game. Matt Brown, Diamond Delgado, and Mike Holmes led the way for a defense that never allowed the explosive Canes any long plays from scrimmage.

“You know they are No. 2 for a reason — I think they returned eight starters on defense and they got after us — no other way around it,” said Barron after the game.

Senior back Austin Barron handled the majority of the carries from the backfield for the Braves offense against a very physical Canes defense.

The Braves must now regroup as they prepare for another huge non-region game this Friday at Staples Stadium vs. the Callaway Cavaliers in the 4th Pulpwood Classic (7:30).

“We are going to be much better this week I can promise,” said Barron. “One thing I am not going to question is our ability to bounce back and get after it. We are all going to get better — I know our kids and I know their fight and I know their pride. Luckily we got to play a good football team tonight and it let’s us know where we are now — and right now we are a long way away — but our kids know and realize that.”

For the second straight year, the Braves are faced with a difficult non-region schedule early in the season.

Barron’s troops faced the same schedule last year starting 1-4, but the bumps and bruises of the early losses paid off come playoff time when the squad advanced all the way to the Class AA state quarterfinals.

“We are going to go to work and our kids are going to fight and bounce back — the whole thing is about staying together,” Barron explained. “It is a tough non-region schedule and while it is good to be tough physically — we are going to find out during the next five weeks just how tough we are mentally.”

A huge crowd is expected to be in Franklin this Friday night for the season opener with the arch rival Cavaliers.

The Cavs enter the game with one win (30-14 over B.E.S.T. Academy) and one loss (44-20 to Lagrange).

The winner of the game will claim ownership of the official Pulpwood Classic trophy for the next year until the teams meet again in 2016.

Charlton County defeated Manchester 33-7 in the other game at Mercer Saturday night.

 

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