(Franklin, GA) — The Heard County Braves remain perfect (3-0) in Region 5-AA competition following a 49-14 homecoming game win over Jordan at Staples Stadium Friday night.
A large crowd was on hand to see the Braves (3-4, 3-0) dismantle the visiting Red Jackets behind strong performances on both sides of the ball.
The home squad led 37-0 at the half giving Coach Tim Barron and staff the chance to rest some of the starters and play some of the underclassmen in the second half.
For the second straight week, junior Alex Boyd had a huge night rushing the ball. Boyd rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries.
Senior fullback Kesean Johnson also had a very productive game scoring two short touchdowns on his five touches. Johnson also caught a 40-yard pass from starting QB Leroy Marsh and a 10 yard pass from backup QB Maurice Fench.
Senior Brave Qua Thornton makes on of his many big plays during Friday night’s 49-14 win over Jordan (Photo: Jeff Napier)
Senior Ashton Bonner closed out the first half scoring with a 66-yard touchdown scamper.
In the second half, Fench connected with junior Ayden Cannon on a 16-yard touchdown pass — the first TD pass for Fench as a Heard County Brave. The Braves amassed a total of 422 yards on the night.
On the defensive side of the ball, several Braves had big performances highlighted by senior Homecoming King Qua Thornton who tallied two sacks and two tackles for a loss.
Another senior, Will Finch, recorded a second quarter safety that pushed the lead to 30-0 and set up the Bonner score soon after the ensuing kickoff.
Alex Boyd put an end to the Jackets best first half drive when he came down with a big interception late in the second quarter and freshman Todd Huey, Jr. had a big moment when he hauled in his first career interception near the end of the game.
Freshman running back Dylan “Little Kountry” Stephens had five fourth quarter carries for 18 yards. Rounding out the freshman highlights was Nathan McClellan who scored his first career rushing touchdown for the Braves’ final score of the night.
Another notable moment late in the game came on a tackle by sophomore Ellen Witz, the first tackle by a female player in Heard County history. Witz is also the first female Brave player to see regular season game action in school history.
“We had kind of a laid back week this week which we needed mentally but we did challenge them to come out and play fast and they did that,” said Coach Barron after the game.
“There’s going to be lots of mistakes and there always is but the kids are dialed in and they are seeing it and getting better at turning things up. Being physical and playing fast takes care of a lot of mistakes.”
Barron knows his team will face a huge challenge versus arch rival Callaway this Friday in the 8th edition of the ‘Pulpwood Classic’ game.
“These kids understand that this game versus Callaway is big. We know how talented they are and we are excited for the challenge. That is the way that we see it as an opportunity to play a really really good football team and see what kind of progress we’ve made the last five weeks.”
The game may serve as a defacto Region 5-AA Championship game with both teams entering as the only undefeated teams in the region.
Callaway would officially clinch a region crown and the No. 1 seed in the state playoffs with a win while the Braves even with a win would still need to take care of some business at Lamar County on November 1 and/or at home versus Bremen in the regular season finale on November 8.
The Braves have already clinched a spot in the state playoffs for the 17th time in Coach Barron’s 18 years as the head coach.