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High school football notebook: Flowery Branch holds up road warrior status

Habersham Central set record for points against Chattahoochee

POSTED: November 12, 2011 8:49 p.m.

Habersham Central's first round game against Chattahoochee amounted to school history; unfortunately it didn't translate to a victory in the Class AAAA state playoffs.

The 113 combined points was the most scored in a Raiders game in school history, with Chattahoochee coming out on top 65-48.

Raiders senior Kevin Ellison was superb in his final high school game with 345 yards of combined offense rushing and passing, with six touchdowns.

He finished his senior year with 2,183 rushing yards, 1,125 passing yards and 44 total touchdowns.

BRANCH BOY MAGIC: The trip home from road playoff games is usually a pretty happy atmosphere for Flowery Branch's football program.

Its 41-38 win against Johns Creek on Friday in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs marked its eighth road playoff victory since 2008.

The Falcons (10-1) captured four road playoff victories in 2008 en route to the state championship game, then three the next season leading into the state semifinals against Gainesville.

Over the past four seasons, Flowery Branch is 8-2 in road playoff games. Its only losses in that span were against Gainesville (2009) and Kell (2010).

This Friday, Flowery Branch returns back to The Branch for a second round game against No. 4-seed Thomas County Central (7-4), a first-round 31-28 winner against Statesboro in overtime.

SECONDARY ON FIRE: One of the keys for Flowery Branch against Johns Creek was excellent play in the secondary.

Noel Padmore and Quinton Mayfield both intercepted passes from the secondary and returned those picks for touchdowns.

Mayfield's 85-yard interception came with only 2:05 left in the first half and gave the Falcons 21-14 lead going into halftime.

Midway through the third quarter, Padmore intercepted a pass and took it 35 yards for a score. It extended the Falcons' lead at the time to 35-21.

Both teams also did a good job holding onto the football - there were no fumbles.

RUN FIRST OFFENSE: Commerce has always been a program predicated on running the football.

Senior quarterback Cody Streetman set a new school record, carrying the football 41 times in Friday's 35-14 loss to Lincoln County in the first round of Class A's state playoffs.

He finished his final high school season with 205 carries and 1,113 yards.

READY FOR A CHALLENGE: Buford cruised through the regular season this year.

The first round of the playoffs wasn't any more difficult Friday with a 49-13 win against Temple.

That falls right in line with what the Wolves (11-0) have done each of the past five seasons.

It's average margin of victory in the opening round of the playoffs since 2007 is 35 points per game.

The most lopsided win in that span was a 56-6 win against Washington-Wilkes in the first playoff game en route to the 2007 state title in Class AA.

The Wolves are chasing a state-record fifth consecutive state title this year.



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