October 30, 2020

Braves Cruise Past Panthers

(Cusseta, GA) — The Braves opened Region 5-AA play with a solid win over Chattahoochee County Friday night defeating the Panthers 41-20 in Cusseta.

Sophomore quarterback Emory Jones had another big night connecting on long touchdown passes to three different targets in a game the Braves led 28-6 at halftime.

Jones set the pace very early finding Chandler Polk on a 52-yard strike on the first play of the game from scrimmage. Jones also found Austin Miller from 55 yards out in the second quarter and Jaden Moreland from 41 yards away in the third.

Jones was 6-for-12 on the night for 207 yards and the three TD’s. His feet also proved valuable with four carries for 58 yards.

Senior Austin Barron led the way out of the backfield, scoring twice in his first significant game action since being sidelined by an early season ankle injury.

Barron had 12 rushes for 65 yards.Barron’s second TD was set up by an impressive 60+ yard punt return from Dayvin Troy. Mike Holmes scored the other Brave TD on a short burst early in the second quarter.

The Braves defense played well despite a couple of touchdown scampers by Panther senior Cory Dixon, one of the best athletes in the region. Dixon proved elusive and tough to tackle all evening long, scoring all three Panther TD’s including a pass reception from senior QB Justin Dore to open the second half.

Jaden Moreland once again snagged a critical interception in the end zone to end a Panther scoring threat late in the third quarter that could have closed the gap to just one score. Holmes blocked the Panther PAT after the first TD.

Diamond Delgado, Austin Dean, Peyton Ehlers, Jonta Gray, Polk, and Matt Brown led the defensive attack. Jones also saw some defensive time in the secondary and freshman Alijah Huzzie took a few snaps at QB to gain more experience.

The Braves getting ready for Region 5-AA action  Friday night in Cusetta (L-R): Peyton Ehlers (#52), Diamond Delgado (#8), Rad Brooks (#54), and Andrew Cannon (#53)

The Braves getting ready for Region 5-AA action Friday night in Cusetta (L-R): Peyton Ehlers (#52), Diamond Delgado (#8), Rad Brooks (#54), and Andrew Cannon (#53)

The offensive line of Chandler Moon, Jacob Bishop, Andrew Cannon, Hunter Lane, and freshman Michael Cheney controlled the line of scrimmage all night and gave Jones plenty of time to make the deep passes.

Another freshman, Andrew Leak, continued to see action on both sides of the ball at fullback and linebacker. Leak had two carries for 27 yards on offense.

“I thought we came out and play well early and just a few mistakes from our first defense — one on the first half and one in the second half — but other than that I thought we played lights out,” said coach Tim Barron after Friday’s win.

“We came out and set the tone early but I do wish we would have finished a little faster — we do have to get better at putting a team away when we get the chance. We got through this healthy and that is as big a plus as anything lately.”

The Braves will be off next week before returning to Staples Stadium for one of the biggest region games of the year versus the Manchester Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils are coached by former Bowdon Red Devil assistant Evan Hostetler. Evan’s dad, the legendary Dwight Hostetler is now an assistant under his son.

The Blue Devils knocked off Bowdon 27-14 Friday night in Manchester. In other Region 5-AA action, Bremen outlasted Temple 38-13.

Bowdon and Chattahoochee County face non-region games this week with Greenville and Stewart County respectively, while the rest of the region gets a week to rest up for the home stretch of region action.

Every region game is important from here on out as team’s vie for playoff seeds in the GHSA Class AA State Playoffs. Region 5-AA teams will face off with Region 8-AA in the first round this year on November 13.


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