January 17, 2022

Worst to First Tigers Upset Middle Braves

The Middle Braves offense sporting the varsity's newest grey uniforms early on in Thursday's big game at HCMS

The Middle Braves offense sporting the varsity’s newest grey uniforms early on in Thursday’s big game at HCMS

(Franklin) — By far the largest crowd of the year arrived at HCMS Thursday evening for the West Georgia Athletic Conference Small School Championship game and were treated to an exciting game between the Heard County Middle Braves and the Temple Middle School Tigers from Carroll County.

In the end, the Tigers brought home their first ever middle school championship winning a see-saw affair by a final score of 22-18.

It was a remarkable turnaround for the Tigers who lost every game in 2013 and had been dominated by the Braves 24-0 just three weeks ago in Temple. The loss ended an impressive 11 game division winning streak by the defending champion Braves.

Fans of both schools witnessed a big game atmosphere with the middle Braves band and cheerleaders rocking the house with the middle Braves donning new grey uniforms on loan from Heard High School.

The Tigers arrived in Franklin accompanied by two busloads of Temple Middle School students creating an awesome setting for the title game that saw four lead changes.

The Braves closed the gap to just four points with under two minutes to play before recovering an onside kick just short of the required ten yards allowing the Tigers to take over and run off the last seconds of the game. A big fumble recovery by the Tigers defense in the fourth quarter keyed the win in addition to a 37-yard fake punt pass for a TD.

Gage Cannon and Andrew Leak each had rushing touchdowns in the first half giving the Braves a 12-8 lead at the break before the Tigers scored 14 unanswered second half points. The final Braves TD came on a half back pass from Cannon to Kayo Bradfield on the Braves final offensive drive.

“My hats off to Temple — they came down here with a great game plan and executed well at doing what they had to do to be successful,” said Braves coach Allen Sikes after the game. “I am proud of our kids and how hard they worked this season — we had a great year and we are ready to start preparing for next season.”


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