Flowery Branch football coach Chris Griffin enjoys coming up with creative ways to get the ball into the hands of junior playmaker Myles Janess. The most versatile weapon for the Falcons put it all on display in the Falcons’ 33-0 win against Cedar Shoals on Friday at Falcon Field.
Janess most enjoys catching passes and making defenders miss, but at 185 pounds is also sturdy enough to handle carries out of the backfield. Against Cedar Shoals, Janess was able to bait the defense every time he got the ball in his hands, then showed off his arm that’s strong enough to air it out downfield for a long scoring play.
“Myles has a really strong arm,” said Griffin, whose Falcons have now won their first two in region play. “He has a chance to be a true quarterback.”
Back from an injury that kept Janess on the sideline the first three games of the season, Janess had a long touchdown pass and a few catches against the Jaguars. He also ran it 11 times for 59 yards for the Falcons (3-3, 2-0 Region 8-AAAAAA).
For his efforts, Janess is The Times’ Football Player of the Week.
Griffin found just the right time for Janess to go for the big play since the Jaguars were collapsing fast any time the triple-threat athlete had the ball in the open field. On a screen pass from quarterback Nick Lance, Janess caught the ball and instead of running, tossed it to an open Jalin Strown for a 52-yard touchdown pass.
Whatever role Janess fills on offense, he rarely makes mistakes, according to Griffin. Even on a busted play, Janess avoids losing yardage.
“Myles has a knack for making positive yards,” said Griffin.
Without going into details, Griffin indicated he’s going to keep finding new ways to make Janess a major part of the Falcons’ offense.
“We have a couple tricks up our sleeves (with Myles),” said Griffin.
Janess got back on the field at just the right time for Flowery Branch. The Falcons were looking to find an identity during the first three games of the season while Janess recovered from a required surgery after an injury right before the season started. Griffin was especially concerned about the direction of the season after an ugly 41-13 loss to Stephens County in Game 3. The following week Janess was back on the field, making a few notable catches in a loss at Jefferson.
Flowery Branch opened region play with a 46-7 win against Johnson.
With four games remaining in the regular season, Flowery Branch is right in the thick of the race for the No. 2 spot to the postseason out of the region behind second-ranked Buford (4-1, 1-0). Earning the second slot to the playoffs is a big deal since it equates to opening the state tournament at home. For Janess, making the playoffs and creating a new atmosphere with the program is important since Flowery Branch missed the postseason in 2014 and 2015.
Growing up and playing football starting with the Junior Falcons almost 10 years ago, Janess knows the rich football history at Flowery Branch High. He wants the current flock of Falcons to recapture some of the swagger from when they played for a state championship in 2008 and made the state semifinals in 2009.
“That’s a really huge goal we have here,” said Janess. “We want to have a rebirth of Flowery Branch football.”
Janess feels like this squad has the talent to make those great strides.
Flowery Branch’s next region contest is against Walnut Grove on Friday in Loganville.