Falcons 49, Red Devils 21
Difference maker: Kanler Coker rushed for four touchdowns and passed for three to lead the Falcons. Coker accounted for 325 total yards of offense (passing and rushing).
Stat that matters: The Falcon offense had 493 of total offense on the night and scored on seven of 10 possessions in the game.
Turning point: Only leading by seven points, the Falcon offense scored on their first possession of the second half as they pulled away.
Who’s next: Flowery Branch hosts Salem next Friday. Loganville hosts Habersham Central next Friday.
FLOWERY BRANCH — Flowery Branch found itself in a close game for the second straight week on Friday, leading only by seven at halftime.
But the Falcons (8-0, 8-0 Region 8-AAAA) scored the final 21 points of the game while holding Loganville (4-4, 4-4) scoreless to pull away and win 49-21.
“We weren’t playing real good defensively,” Falcons coach Lee Shaw said. “Our (run) fits were terrible and we couldn’t get lined up correctly. They (Loganville) did a great job. We made some adjustments at the half and started playing our football.
“I was a little disappointed the way we came out of the gate defensively, but to finish the way we did made it a good win for us.”
Falcon quarterback Kanler Coker put his team on the board first on a two-play drive in which he accounted for every yard. After a 30-yard run spotted the ball at the Loganville 32-yard line, Coker ran an option keeper into the end zone to put the Falcons up 7-0.
Coker wasn’t finished there. After a Loganville field goal narrowed the margin, Coker led a seven-play drive which he capped off with a 10-yard touchdown run to extend the Falcons’ lead to 14-3.
Loganville marched down field on the ensuing possession in six plays, capped off by a Juwann Saffold 5-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion by quarterback Garrett Ford narrowed the Flowery Branch lead to 14-11.
Coker connected with receiver C.J. Curry for the next two Falcon touchdowns in the second quarter. The first score, from 44 yards out, saw Coker hit Curry on a crossing pattern and the receiver did the rest by making a couple of defenders miss and walking into the end zone.
With 5:02 left before halftime, Coker connected with Curry again, this time from 23 yards out. The three-play drive only took 49 seconds off the board and extended the Falcons’ lead to 28-14.
The pesky Loganville bunch fought back as Ford had lots of running room down the left sideline after picking up a huge block from a teammate. The score from 41 yards out narrowed the margin to 28-21 going into halftime.
The Falcons made adjustments to slow down a potent Loganville ground attack in the second half. Jacob Allen and Quincy Hodges and a slew of other Falcon defenders harassed and swarmed the Red Devil ball carriers while the offense kept putting touchdowns on the scoreboard.
Coker scored two more rushing touchdowns from 5 and 4 yards to put the game out of reach. Coker connected with Curry again from 38 yards out to make the final score 49-21.
Coker led the charge, finishing with 110 yards and four rushing touchdowns. He also contributed 215 passing yards, three passing touchdowns on 15 of 21 attempts.
Curry had three receiving touchdowns and 128 yards on the night on only six catches. Running back Jeremy Haley did his part to contributing 135 tough yards on 13 carries.
“When your quarterback can make plays like that, you’re going to put points on the board. He’s becoming a threat running the ball,” Shaw said.
Loganville fought hard with a potent ground attack that rushed for 288 yards in the first half alone. Quarterback Garrett Ford led the Red Devils on the night rushing for 205 yards on 23 carries.
Flowery Branch plays host to Salem next Friday night in the march closer to a region title.
“The Salem game becomes the biggest game on our schedule,” Shaw said.