Brave offensive linemen Isaac Walls (L) and Anthony Graley (C) block for ball carrier Alex Boyd during Friday night’s playoff game at Pepperell (Photo: Jeff Napier)
(Lindale, GA) — The football season came to an end for the Heard County Braves last Friday night in a 27-7 road loss to the Pepperell Dragons.
The Braves put up a strong fight on a cold and rainy night but could not overcome a strong defensive effort by the Dragons from Region 7-AA.
A group of seniors led the way for a Brave defense that held the Dragons to just 216 total yards.
Big Tray Owens was a force up front in his last game as a Brave with 13 tackles including five for a loss. Seniors Kesean Johnson and Jai Wright also had big nights with each finishing the game with 10 tackles.
Fellow seniors Key Whitlow and Qua Thornton had eight and seven tackles respectively.
Alex Boyd had an interception and Ashton Bonner had yet another blocked field goal to keep the Braves alive early on in the game.
The Braves (4-7, 4-2) actually out-gained the Dragons in total yardage 236-216 on the night, but a muffed punt attempt early in the game left the Dragons with a short field to take the early 7-0 lead.
A strong drive by the Brave offense near the end of the first half made it a 14-7 Dragon lead, but a Dragon TD drive to open the third quarter pout the game out of reach.
Alex Boyd closed out his junior campaign with another big effort in the rushing attacked. Boyd tallied 169 yards rushing on 26 carries to give him 1403 yards on the season despite missing two full games early in the season with an injury.
The big offensive highlight of the night came on a 40-yard TD pass from Leroy Marsh to Ayden Cannon in the second quarter.
“We had a lot young players that got better throughout the year and this senior group was a big part of us keeping everything together when things were going really bad,” said Coach Tim Barron after the game.
“I am awfully proud of everything our seniors accomplished not just this year but last year too — without them there’s no way we go win it last year. This community should be very proud. Anytime you don’t win game 15 it’s tough, but hat’s off to Pepperell they played and executed very well and we just didn’t have our best game tonight.”
Pepperell moves on to face Thomasville from Region 1-AA on the road this Friday night.