Brave captains enter Staples Stadium in front of the HCHS Cheerleaders and the Gold-Out Banner (L-R) Michael Cheney (#61), Tray Owens (#62), David Wilkins (#23), and Kezman Kelley (#44)
(Franklin, GA) — The Braves rebounded from the two straight losses in a big way Friday night at Staples Stadium during the first ever Gold-Out for childhood cancer.
A 45-0 win over Central gives the Braves a 2-2 non-region record and some momentum as they head into this week’s first Region 5-AA contest versus Spencer that will conclude the 2018 Homecoming week.
The Braves were all over the Lions early Friday night and thanks to some miscues in the Lion special teams jumped out to a 26-0 lead after the first quarter.
Tae Gray’s 82-yard TD run closed out the first quarter scoring and the sophomore was the leading rusher on the night with 107 yards on 12 carries.
Senior Aaron Beasley also had 12 carries for 60 yards and two scores.
A long completion from Alijah Huzzie to Jake Harrod set up the first Beasley TD. The senior QB had a nice night throwing the ball completing 5-of-9 through the air for 150 yards including three TD’s to three different receivers.
Big defensive lineman/running back Zaylin Wood hauled in the first of those from 14 yards out with 2:21 left in the opening quarter.
Huzzie connected with junior Micaiah Austin from 26 yards out in the second quarter and the only points of the second half came on a 73-yard bomb from #HuzzieFactor to sophomore Alex Boyd.
Coach D.J. Curbow’s defense was stellar all night long allowing just 96 total yards by the Lion offense. Several Braves had big nights on the defensive side of the ball including Andrew Leak, Jai Wright, Wood, Tray Dunson, and Tray Owens.
Senior kicker Jakab Moon booted a 35-yard FG in the first quarter.
Brave head coach Tim Barron was pleased with the first half effort but thought the squad showed a letdown in energy during the second half of the blowout.
“In the first half we came out and played with energy and effort and if you do that overcomes a bunch — I’m sure there were a ton of mistakes in the first half but if you’re playing hard and tracking the ball you can overcome so much,” Barron Said.
“If we are going to be a Heard County football team we have to play with that same intensity on every snap. We did it for two quarters tonight but then I think our energy level dropped and you saw our performance drop — and that needs to be a lesson to them. If we play hard we are really good but if we don’t we’ve proven we can be really bad.”
The Braves (2-2, 0-0) will open the Region 5-AA schedule at home next week versus Spencer. The Greenwave (0-4, 0-0) come in to the game winless but three of those losses have been by seven points or fewer including last week’s 21-17 setback at Schley County. The Greenwave had a bye this week to rest up for this week’s region opener.
In other Region 5-AA action Friday night, Callaway lost 37-20 to a talented Class AAAA Troup County squad, Temple fell to 42-14 to Northwest Whitfield, and Jordan fell 62-49 in a shoot-out versus Greenville, and Lamar County lost at home 31-14 to Pike County. Bremen was off.