By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Falcons cruise to 9-0 with 40-14 win
Flowery Branch to play Clarke Central for top spot in region next Friday
Jeremy Haley runs for yardage Friday in Flowery Branch's 40-14 win over Salem in Conyers. Haley rushed for 171 yards to spark the victory. - photo by By William Brawley

CONYERS — The Flowery Branch Falcons won their ninth straight game Friday night, beating Salem 40-14.

The Falcons will play host to Clarke-Central next week to decide the best team in Region 8-AAAA.

"They're the top dogs right now until we knock them off," Flowery Branch Coach Lee Shaw said. "It' going to be a great game. That's what high school football is all about. Two 9-0 teams going in playing for a region championship."

Salem (5-5) had won its last two games and looked to close out the season on a high note.

"We wanted to try get to 9-0 tonight," Shaw said. "We were playing against a really good football team. They had a lot of speed, and I felt like they could be dangerous. I felt like our guys responded and came out and did a good job."

The Seminoles got off to a good start, forcing a three-and-out on the first Flowery Branch possession and then moved the ball from its own 19 to the Flowery Branch 35. The Falcons defense stiffened, and Salem was forced to punt.

The Falcons then went on a nine-play drive that covered 74 yards, mostly on the strength of carries by Jeremy Haley. He carried the ball six times for 55 yards and scored on a 7-yard run to put the Falcons up 7-0 after Will Monday's kick with 2:52 to play in the first quarter.

The next Salem possession fizzled after an intentional grounding penalty cost the Seminoles 15 yards, and after a short punt, the Falcons took over at the Salem 28. A few plays later, quarterback Austin Brown ran left, cut back to the inside and scored from 10 yards out. Monday's kick made it 14-0 with the second quarter barely under way.

Strong running by Seminole running back Jahaad Coleman moved Salem to midfield on the next Salem possession, but Jeremiah Words recovered a fumble and raced 40 yards for another Falcon touchdown. The kick was wide of the mark, but the Falcons led 20-0.

The Falcons just kept pouring it on. Brown hit Logan Conley down the right sideline for a 31-yard touchdown with 6:44 to play in the first half. Monday''s kick put the Falcons up 27-0.

Salem moved the ball all the way to the Flowery Branch 20 on its next possession after a 31 yard run by Che-Darious Robinson, but the Seminoles coughed up the football on a third down and short and the Falcons took advantage of it.

Flowery Branch mounted a quick five-play drive that covered 80 yards, highlighted by a 30-yard reception by Casey Osbourne and 14-yard reception by Brody Thomas. Haley scored the touchdown to put the Falcons up 33-0.

Misfortunes continued for the Seminoles in the second half when Matt Tiller picked off a pass on the first Salem possession. But Salem's Breon Prad returned the favor and intercepted Brown. The Seminoles couldn't take advantage of the turnover.

A personal foul penalty on the return moved the ball to midfield and Haley crashed through the middle scored on the first play to put the game out of reach.

Che-Darious Robinson got the Seminoles on the board early in the fourth quarter with a 55-yard run. On the next Salem possession, Mitchell Billingsley had a 52-yard run to kick start a drive that culminated in a Che-Darious Robinson 8-yard carry to close out the scoring on the night.

Haley had 85 yards on 11 carries in the first half, a total of 16 carries for 171 yards in the game.

On defense, Mitchell Brett had a sack and tackle for a loss.

Friends to Follow social media