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Falcons soar through The Jungle, roll to 50-15 win
Flowery Branch uses 3-pronged offensive attack, strong defense to rout Cedar Shoals
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ATHENS — Flowery Branch may have another A in its GHSA classification, but not without more W's.

The first-year Class AAAA Falcons remained unbeaten on the season with a 50-15 win against Cedar Shoals on Friday at The Jungle in Athens.

Flowery Branch (4-0) racked up 436 yards on offense, but also reverted back to the strong defensive efforts it showed the first two weeks of season when the team posted two straight shutouts before giving up 35 points last week to Apalachee.

All four of the Falcons' wins have been in region play.

"In this region, that's huge, because I have a lot of respect for this region," Flowery Branch head coach Lee Shaw said. "This is a great region, they play great football and for us to be at the point we're at, we're privileged."

The Falcons relied on a 36-point halftime cushion to win the game early in the evening, led by three-headed offensive attack consisting of quarterback Austin Brown, running back Jeremy Haley and wide receiver Logan Conley.

Haley helped Flowery Branch jump out to an early lead, scoring three touchdowns in the first half. The first came in the closing seconds of the first quarter, with another one following four minutes later. The junior ran for his third with a minute left in the half.

Haley finished the game with 111 yards on 16 carries.

Brown and Conley contributed the other two touchdowns scored in the first half, finishing off the first drive of the game on a 7-yard connection. The two found each other again in the second quarter on a 38-yard reception.

Brown, a Western Carolina recruit, finished the game 12-for-21 passing for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

Six of Brown's completions went to Conley, who led all Falcon receivers with 118 yards.
"He's a quarterback, too, so we spend a lot of time together," Brown said. "He goes out there and makes plays and I just have to get him the ball."

Brown threw for another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter on a deep pass to Casey Osborne, which the junior receiver took 74 yards to the end zone.

Sophomore running back Jimmy McIntyre scored the Falcons' final touchdown in the final minute of the game on an 11-yard run.

Cedar Shoals (1-3, 1-3 8-AAAA) produced most of its offense in the second half after being limited to 58 yards in the first. Playing against mostly Flowery Branch's backups, the Jaguars outscored the Falcons 15-14 in the final two quarters.

Cedar Shoals contained the Flowery Branch offense for the entire third quarter, then recorded its first points with a minute left in the quarter when quarterback Shaquille Gatlin capped off a long drive with a 1-yard carry.

The Jaguars scored again midway through the fourth quarter when senior Tray Briscoe found Chris Middlebrooks open in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass.

Briscoe also lined up at receiver, leading Cedar Shoals with 47 yards on four catches. Tay Bowens led all Jaguar rushers with 56 yards on 11 carries.

"Our team came together tonight in the second half," Cedar Shoals head coach Xarvia Smith said. "Normally, they would've quit, but they fought back and fought hard."

Flowery Branch continues region play next Friday at home against Rockdale County. Cedar Shoals is off next week, then visits Heritage of Conyers the following Friday.

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