(Barnesville, GA) — The Heard County Braves traveled to Barnesville Friday night for a region 5-AA tilt versus an improved Lamar County Trojans team that entered the game at 6-2.
At night’s end, it was the Braves that walked away with a 35-20 win in a game not near as close as the final score would indicate.
The Braves led the contest 35-0 at the half after a strong first half from junior running back Alex Boyd.
The Trojans scored 20 second half points but only six came versus the Braves first defense. Boyd found the end zone three times in the first half and crossed the 1000 yard mark for the season just before the half — an impressive stat considering he missed two full games early in the season.
Junior quarterback Leroy Marsh accounted for the two other first half TD’s, the first on a QB sneak late in the first quarter.
Marsh connected with Ayden Cannon on a 33-yard TD pass to Ayden Cannon with just four seconds to play in the first half to close out the Brave scoring for the night. Marsh was 5-for-8 in the game for 96 yards in addition to the TD.
Junior Brave Alex Boyd has 1077 yards rushing this season
Isaiah O’Neal had a nice game on the ground as well. The defensive starter had 40 yards gained on just five carries.
Ashton Bonner had 28 yards on two carries. Sophomore backup QB Maurice Fench saw significant action in the second half completing four of his seven passes for 33 yards.
The Braves were led up front in the trenches on offense by Anthony Graley, Jackson Akins, Drew Cornelius, Isaac Walls, and Matt Brown.
The Brave offense had 382 total yards on the night while the Trojan offense managed 253 yards of offense but just 135 versus the defensive first teamers for the Braves.
Some familiar faces led the way for the Brave defense including Tray Owens, Jai Wright, Marsh, O’Neal, Kesean Johnson, Cedric Ware, Jake Harrod, and Micaiah Austin as well as some new faces such as junior defensive lineman Nathan McGoran who saw a lot of minutes up front in the first and second halves.
“We came out and played probably our best half of football all year in terms of playing good in all three phases,” Brave coach Tim Barron said after the game.
“The offense came out and had success running and throwing, the special teams were playing exceptionally well and defense was playing well. It was a fun first half for us and good to see the guys putting it together.”
The Braves (4-5,4-1) face another big Region 5-AA challenge this Friday when they host Bremen for a Senior Night regular season finale at Staples Stadium.
The Blue Devils (6-3, 4-1) enter the game on a four game winning streak with the No. 2 seed in Region 5-AA and a home playoff game in the GHSA Class AA State Playoffs on the line for the winner.
The loser of the match-up will drop to the No. 3 seed and must travel in round one of the playoffs that begin next Friday, November 16.
The Braves have won five straight games versus Bremen but the Blue Devils lead the all-time series 9-8.
A win by the Braves this week would tie the all-time series for the first time since the Devils rolled to seven wins in the first eight meetings. The first match-up between the two programs took place in 1984.
Callaway already owns the No. 1 seed as Region 5-AA matches up versus Region 7-AA in round one this year on November 16. Temple travels to Lamar County this Friday with the winner of that contest earning the No. 4 seed and a first round trip to face the top-ranked team in the state — Rockmart.