August 21, 2018

Epic finish at Southwest Bowl

Heard County members of the Titans at the Southwest Bowl (L-R): Head coach Tim Barron, coach Shane Lasseter, Peyton Ehlers, Drew Hopkins, ball boy Max Lasseter, Jonta Gray, DayVin Troy, Trey Wiggins, coach Chuck Sykes, ball boy Major Lasseter, and coach Ken Wiggins

Heard County members of the Titans at the Southwest Bowl (L-R): Head coach Tim Barron, coach Shane Lasseter, Peyton Ehlers, Drew Hopkins, ball boy Max Lasseter, Jonta Gray, DayVin Troy, Trey Wiggins, coach Chuck Sykes, ball boy Major Lasseter, and coach Ken Wiggins

(Powder Springs, GA) — An epic see-saw finish closed out a fun week for some Brave coaches and players at the Georgia Southwest Bowl held on the campus of McEachern High School Saturday afternoon.

Fans from around the state gathered on a cold and drizzly day to watch some of the best talent from the state compete in one of four all-star games.

The Titans team coached by Tim Barron and featuring players primarily from the Carroll, Douglas, and Heard County areas fell by a final score of 24-17 to the Saints, a team comprised of players from Coweta, Spalding, and Fayette Counties.

The Southwest Bowl was easily the most competitive of the day with two lead changes occurring in the last 35 seconds of the game.

The Titan players and fans went nuts as a Trey Wiggins PAT after a TD pass gave the Titans a 17-16 lead with just 35 seconds to play, but that celebration would be short-lived as the Saints returned the ensuing kickoff for a long score to win the game 24-17.

The Titans had led the game 10-0 before the Saints rallied for a 13-10 lead a the half and defense dominated the game for most of the second half.

Brave athletic director Shane Lasseter was a defensive coach in the game which also featured five Brave seniors in action.

All of the Brave players saw extensive action and Peyton Ehlers was a standout on defense with several big plays including a huge tackle on a fourth down play. Ehlers also had the special teams play of the game for the Titans, a blocked punt in the second quarter.

Jonta Gray, DayVin Troy, and Drew Hopkins each saw extensive playing time on defense while Wiggins split the kicking duties and handled the punting for the Titans.

The all-star contest is designed to give college scouts and recruiters another chance to view some of the best unsigned talent from around the state in action beyond the regular football season.

“It was a neat thing this week to be around some different kids and different coaches with different personalities,” said Titan coach Tim Barron after the game. “The good thing coaching-wise is to be able to pick some brains and see how these other coaches adjust to certain things, but the challenge is trying to gel all the different coaches schemes together.”

Barron was pleased with the way his team played and the work of his assistant coaches throughout the week. The teams only practiced 4-5 days leading up to Saturday’s match-up.

“I thought our defense played lights out today, but it’s a little harder to put together an offensive scheme in such a short time — which is why you don’t usually see a lot of scoring in these type of games,” Barron said. “Usually there aren’t a lot of big drives but just some big plays in these all-star games and we saw that from both sides today.”

“It is great to get out there and compete with such a good group of guys and go one-on-one with some of the best players in the state,” said Peyton Ehlers after the game.

Ehlers is unsure if he will play football again, so the game meant was extra special for him especially getting to be with his head coach one more time.

“Coach Barron has been so much more than just a coach to me — he’s been like a father figure to me for the last four years,” said Ehlers.

Young Braves Max and Major Lasseter did a fine job serving as official ball boys for the Titans Saturday.

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