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Flowery Branch could secure playoff spot with win tonight

POSTED: October 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Sara Guevara/The Times

Flowery Branch quarterback Connor Shaw throws a pass during a game earlier this season.

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Looking ahead can ruin the present.

With a win tonight against West Forsyth at Falcon Field, Flowery Branch would lay claim to the program’s fourth-straight trip to the state playoffs.

With a win tonight against West Forsyth (6-1, 2-1 Region 7B-AAA) at Falcon Field, it’s possible that Flowery Branch (7-1, 3-0) could play for the program’s first region title Nov. 2 against Gainesville.

It’s probable, however, that if the Falcons think about any of the aforementioned, West Forsyth could beat them tonight at Falcon Field.

The Wolverines come into tonight’s game averaging 40 points and giving up only 19.

The Wolverines boast a strong running game led by back Ben Emert who, against Johnson last Friday, had 181 yards rushing and three touchdowns.

Emert’s most impressive performance, however, might have been an 84-yard, two-touchdown game against a Gainesville defense which, at the time, was giving up only five points per game.

Flowery Branch’s defense, however, has done well against the run this year.

The corps, led by Greg Palmer (79 tackles), Izaan Cross (57 tackles, four sacks), Cory Sanderson (56 tackles) and Rodriquez Frazier (four interceptions) held Chestatee, Johnson, North Hall and East Hall (all run-first offenses) to a touchdown or less.

Contending with a stout pass offense hasn’t been much of a problem either.

Sans the first game of the season, a 28-25 loss to Stephens County, in which the Falcons’ secondary gave up big play after big play, Flowery Branch has had the consummate last line of defense.

Never was that more evident than against West Hall, in which the Falcons’ defense, even though it gave up over 300 passing yards, was only scored on once.

Wolverines’ quarterback Lance Baker has passed for over 100 yards in all but one of West Forsyth’s games, and facing a rush-happy Gainesville defense much like the front seven he will face tonight, went for 145 yards.

Flowery Branch’s offense will have to be on point tonight against a Wolverines’ defense that has amassed two or more interceptions on two occassions.

The Falcons, however, have scored 43 points per game over the last four games and are balanced when called upon to be so.

The emergence of running back Imani Cross (133 yards and two touchdowns last Friday night), and the hope that Daniel Drummond (634 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games) will return from an injury sustained last week takes the pressure off quarterback Connor Shaw (830 yards passing and 10 touchdowns) and provides a bevy of weapons that West Forsyth will have to contend with.


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