June 23, 2021

Middle Braves Championship Bubble Burst by Pitchforks

The Heard County Middle School football team saw its magical undefeated season come to an end on a somber note today when they were defeated by the Bowdon Middle School Red Devils 18-8 at home in the small school division championship game.

It was a repeat for the Devils who also claimed the big trophy last season. The Red Devils mostly dominated the game from start to finish propelled mostly by some very big guys up front on the line of scrimmage. The game was a rematch from three weeks ago that was won by the Braves 14-6.

Things went wrong from the outset as a Braves fumble was recovered by the Devils less than one minute into the game. They quickly took advantage when running back Devin Keller scampered into the endzone from 38 yards away to put the Devils on top early 6-0 after a failed conversion attempt.

Keller reached pay dirt again early in the second quarter to extend the lead to 12-0. With 1:07 to play in  the first half, the Braves caught a break when they recovered a muffed punt by Bowdon but were unable to capitalize and the score remained 12-0 at the break.

The Devils received the kick in the second half and drove deep into Braves territory before Austin Barron intercepted a pass and returned it 25 yards to give the Braves new life, but again they were unable to convert any points as another turnover gave possession back to Bowdon.

A quarterback keeper by Carson Parmer late in the game on a 4th and goal from the one all but sealed the championship for the Devils with just 4:33 to play.

The lone big highlight of the day for the Braves and perhaps the highlight of the year came with just 19 seconds to go in the game when a sixth grader Carlton White dragged about five Red Devil defenders on his back for about five yards into the endzone.

Andrew Cannon carried the ball in for two points and the final score was 18-8. White was originally set to play on the 11-12 year old recreation department team this year, but his weight would not allow him to participate at any position other than offensive or defensive line.

With two years remaining at the middle school level, Carlton should be a major force for Coach Sikes in the next two seasons.

After the game, Sikes told his visibly emotional players to try to not focus too much on the heartbreaking loss and just be appreciative of the great season they had with lots of major accomplishments. The Braves finished the season with an impressive 7-1 record.

On the other side, Coach Mitch Johnson and the Red Devils were ecstatic to be champs once again. “There were a couple of games this year where we didn’t play as a family, but today we showed up. We had a few small mistakes but we played as one family,” said Johnson.

Championship Game Captains: #23 Austin Barron, #10 Quay Daniel, #50 Ryan Moody, #41 Andrew Cannon




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