(Franklin) — The Heard County High School football team earned a first round home game in the 2013 AA state playoffs with their 53-12 dismantling of Spencer High School on Friday night. The Greenwave entered the game as the third seed in region 5-AA, averaging almost thirty points per contest.
“The defense really stepped up tonight against one of the most explosive offenses in the region,” stated head coach Tim Barron. “We will definitely need a similar effort next week.”
The victory sets up a de facto region 5-AA championship game between the Braves (8-1, 7-0) and Bowdon High School (9-0, 7-0) at Staples Stadium on Friday, November 8.
The Braves defense stopped the Greenwave on the opening drive of the game, forcing them to punt after going three and out. The first score of the night for the Braves came when junior Duranta Dunson outmaneuvered several Greenwave defenders for a fifty yard touchdown. The run capped of an eight play, three-minute drive giving Heard County the early 7-0 lead.
After Spencer failed to convert on a fourth and two from the Braves’ forty-four yard line, senior quarterback Jonathon Hunt connected with senior running back Ta Freeland for a fifty-five yard pass, taking the ball down to the Greenwave one yard line. On the very next play, Freeland ran it in for the Braves, giving Heard County the 13-0 lead.
The next possession for the Greenwave ended on yet another failed fourth down conversion, giving Heard County the ball on their own twenty-seven yard line. After several big plays by the Braves pushed the ball to the Greenwave ten yard line, Dunson rushed for the touchdown and the 20-0 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the half.
The next score of the night for the Braves came when sophomore Andrew Cannon blocked a Greenwave punt, recovered by Freeland for a thirty-two yard touchdown, extending Heard County’s lead to 27-0. After a three and out by the Braves on their next possession, a big punt return by Spencer gave them the ball on the Heard County twenty-seven yard line.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Spencer quarterback Tarvaraska Davis connected with Spencer receiver Richard Jones for the twenty-seven yard score. The Braves responded with an eight yard rush by Dunson, giving Heard County the 33-6 lead with under two minutes remaining in the half.
Freshman Jonta Gray scores a TD late in the third quarter of Friday night’s 53-12 rout of Spencer. (Photo: Hunter Parmer)
The Braves final score of the half came when Dunson rushed for a forty-nine yard touchdown, giving the Braves the 40-6 halftime lead.
On the first possession of the third quarter, the Braves drove down the field, scoring on a four yard rush by senior Tori Rogers. The extra point was kneeled by kicker Trey Wiggins, as an act of class by head coach Tim Barron.
The teams exchanged scores late in the third quarter, when both teams emptied their benches. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter, as a running clock rule was implemented.
Dunson finished the evening with 168 yards and four touchdowns on twelve carries, averaging fourteen yards per rush. Hunt finished the game two for four, throwing for ninety-one yards, adding another thirty-four on the ground.
As a team, Heard County finished with 456 yards of offense, with 365 yards of that total coming from the running game. The Braves defense held the potent Greenwave attack to 268 yards of offense and only eight first downs. To see more photos from the game by Hunter Parmer, visit www.facebook.com/heardhighnews.