November 27, 2021

Times-Georgian preview of Braves vs. Trojans

Courtesy of Nick Simon and the Times-Georgian

(Franklin, GA) — A heart-stopping 13-10 victory for the ages over rival Callaway last Friday allowed the Heard County High School football team to control its own destiny in the Region 5-AA title hunt.

The No. 10 Braves (6-2, 4-0 Region 5-AA) will now try to maintain their grasp on first-place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. when welcoming Lamar County to Staples Stadium for Senior Night.

The “Pulpwood Classic” hasn’t been for the weak of heart in recent years, and last Friday was no different with Alijah Huzzie hitting Quincy Shepherd for a 27-yard touchdown pass to lift Heard County over Callaway in dramatic fashion.

Among the several things to take away from that ballgame, head coach Tim Barron was simply proud of how hard his team worked to secure that crucial region ‘W’.

“Regardless of a win or a loss in that game, I would’ve been proud of them just off effort alone and playing the right way,” Barron said. “The effort the kids played with on defense knowing that with the talent level of the other team, they couldn’t take off one play made the coaching staff very proud.”

Returning to practice this week, the veteran coach Barron witnessed the expected roller coaster of emotions that comes right after an epic win – first the highs, then the lows. But he expects his veteran roster to be even-keeled and focused come Friday night.

“Coming off the win, Monday’s practice was high-energy. You could definitely tell that the kids were excited and there was a little more pep in their step. Tuesday, you could tell, ‘Here comes the hangover from Callaway.’ They drug around a little bit, but it wasn’t anything terrible. Those things happen,” Barron said.

“We talked about being mature enough to learn from our mistakes from early in the season and understand that hard work and preparation has to come way before the success on Friday nights.”

Paying a visit to Franklin is a Lamar County (3-5, 1-3) team fighting for its playoff livelihood.

After a promising 3-2 start under second-year head coach John Flath, the Trojans have been outscored 108-13 in consecutive blowout losses to Spencer, Callaway and Bremen.

Even with LC’s recent struggles, Coach Barron and his players are approaching this region battle with the same level of focus they approach every region contest.

“They run a Wing-T and do a good job with it. The kids continue to play hard despite having a tough season,” Barron said of Lamar County. “Friday night, it doesn’t matter if we’re playing Callaway, Lamar County, or Bremen, it’s got to be about us. Focusing on Heard County, staying within ourselves and finding a way to get better with every practice and every game.”

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