October 22, 2021

Hornets sting Braves in rematch

Brave captains for Friday night’s big game were #21 Aaron Beasley, #60 Bo Hazel, #4 Zaylin Wood, and #62 Tray Owens

(Franklin, GA) — For three quarters Friday night, the Heard County Braves stood toe-to-toe with the defending Class AA State Champion Hapeville Hornets before things would quickly get away from the home team in the closing minutes of the game.

The Hornets walked away with a 33-3 win in a game where the final score was not indicative of the closeness of the contest.

The Braves trailed just 7-3 with 14 seconds to play in the third quarter after controlling the ball and the clock for over nine minutes on the opening drive, before a crucial Hornet sack forced the Braves into a narrowly missed field goal attempt.

The Hornets struck quickly scoring on a 51-yard TD pass to extend it’s lead to 14-3 entering the final period. The defending champs would dominate the fourth quarter with three rushing TD’s to close out the win.

The Braves took an early lead on a 30-yard first half field goal from Jakab Moon before Hapeville would respond a 31-yard TD pass to make it 7-3.

A Brave defense forced a fumble deep inside the red zone but were unable to capitalize after the Hornets got it right back on a fumble. Aaron Beasley pulled down a second quarter interception as the defense worked to stop an athletic Hornet offensive attack.

Beasley also led the rushing attack with 76 yards on 18 carries while Alex Boyd picked up 42 yards on 10 carries.

“We have to clean so many things up and there has to be a sense of urgency on Monday because we play another dang good football team (Rockmart) next week,” said Coach Tim Barron after the game.

“You can’t have penalties, you can’t turn the ball over and you’ve got to block your assignments,” Barron said. “For three quarters tonight, we were better offensively than we were in game one, but self-inflicted penalties and turnovers killed us. We cannot leave our defense on the field that long but at the same time we cannot let that happen in the fourth quarter — that was a lack of effort and just being out of shape. “

Andrew Leak and Tray Owens led the way with stout efforts up front for the Brave defense.

It was a hot and humid night at Staples Stadium with a capacity crowd on hand for the exciting rematch of last year’s state semifinal.

The Braves will travel to Rockmart this Friday (7:30 PM) to face another top 10 Class AA opponent in Rockmart.

The Yellow Jackets (2-0) were off Friday after knocking off Cedartown and Central in the first two games of the season. Rockmart handed the Braves a 42-0 round one playoff loss in Rockmart two years ago.

In other Region 5-AA action Friday night, Callaway defeated Lagrange 14-0, Temple downed Kendrick 38-12, Lamar County defeated the Academy For Classical Education 48-3, and Jordan/Bremen were both off.

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