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Winder spoils Falcons emotional night, wins 24-7
Winder-Barrow's Joey Junius gets past Flowery Branch's Kyle King to return the opening kickoff for a Bulldogg touchdown during Friday's night's game at The Branch.

Winder-Barrow overcame an emotional atmosphere on its way to a 24-7 victory over Flowery Branch on Friday night.

Flowery Branch (2-3, 1-3 in Region 8-AAAAA) held its third annual Gold Out for Cure, honoring Keaton Coker, a Flowery Branch player who lost his battle with brain cancer.

“They had a lot on the line with everything going on,” Bulldoggs senior Bradyn Randall said. “But we had a lot on the line too. Our defense stepped up. This is the best they’ve played all season. We’re just trying to make the playoffs.”

Winder-Barrow (3-3, 3-2) got off to the quickest start possible when junior Joey Junius took the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score.

Flowery Branch got on the board early in the second quarter when Nick Lance connected with Cortez Davis for a 40-yard bomb to tie the game at 7-7. Davis finished the game with three receptions for 57 yards and a score.

On a third-and-short midway through the second quarter, Bulldoggs junior Cece Green busted it right up the middle of the Falcons’ defense for a 58-yard touchdown to put Winder-Barrow up 14-7. Green finished the game with 153 yards on 30 carries and a touchdown.

Winder-Barrow took an insurmountable lead at the end of the third when Lance threw his third interception, which Jamaul Cox took 28 yards to the house to put the Bulldoggs up 24-7. Deon Williams, Drezdin Williams and Jeremy Ramsey also had interceptions for this Bulldoggs’ defense

“Our defense played lights out,” Winder-Barrow Coach Heath Webb said. “For our defense to come out and play the way they did, the secondary and up front, that was the difference. This shows we can compete with the best in the region.”

The Bulldogs’ defense tallied four interceptions, two sacks and held the Falcons to just two first downs in the second half.

“We just have to get better as a team,” Falcons senior Cooper Harrison said. “The defense was clicking at times, and I have a lot of confidence that our offense can play so much better.”

Flowery Branch’s defense racked up three sacks, forced two turnovers and held the Bulldoggs to just three second-half first downs.

“The defense played great and played really hard tonight,” Lance said. “But we just need to execute better on offense and not turn the ball over.”

Flowery Branch’s offense converted just 1-of-11 third down attempts in the game, 1-of-4 on fourth down. The Bulldoggs outgained the Falcons to 208 to 188 in total offense, but three second half turnovers told the story.

“We didn’t show up to play,” Flowery Branch head coach Chris Griffin said. “We were less prepared than they were and we didn’t make plays when we needed to make plays.”

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