Go ahead and tell David Renard he can’t do something on the football field.
Then watch as the Flowery Branch High quarterback proves the naysayers wrong.
Underestimated his entire three-year career, Renard has continued to excel for the Falcons (8-3) and has their program in the second round of state for back-to-back seasons. This season, Flowery Branch’s quarterback has thrown for 1,366 yards and 13 scores through the air, while rushing for almost 500 yards.
“David is one cool cat on the field,” Flowery Branch coach Ben Hall said. “He knows how to take control with the game on the line.”
And the latest outing was his most impressive.
In the first round of the 4A state playoffs on Nov. 12, Renard orchestrated a thrilling last-minute drive to pull out the 33-28 win against Mays in Atlanta.
Trailing 28-27 in the final two minutes of the game, the Falcons’ quarterback continued to make one clutch play after another.
None was more thrilling or clutch than his fourth-down run inside of a minute left in the game.
Facing fourth and 11 near midfield, Renard dropped back and saw that throwing the ball wasn’t a good option.
So, he didn’t hesitate to take the game into his own hands, running toward a seam between the tackles and picked up 22 yards to move the chains and keep the game alive.
“My adrenaline was pumping and I saw room open to run and a lot of green space to run with it,” Renard said.
Even with that first down, Renard’s work was not done.
First, Renard completed a throw to sophomore tight end Ethan Fetterman down to the Mays 25.
Next, he found Jaheim Hayes on a pass play down to the 10.
With the Falcons in field goal position, Renard made the perfect throw, hitting Fetterman near the back of the end zone for the game-winning score and 33-28 win.
After the game, Renard said it was a time to let loose for a few minutes after a win that will be remembered in school history for many years to come.
“After the game, I don’t think I’ve every seen a group of guys so excited,” Renard said.
To truly properly put into context the magnitude of Renard’s game-winning effort, you have to know the trajectory of his high school career.
When Elijah Gainey went down with a season-ending knee injury in the 2019 preseason game, Renard was thrust into action in Game 1 of his sophomore season and had to grow into his role.
Renard took his lumps, but never stopped growing.
In 2020, Renard started to flourish, guiding Flowery Branch to a runner-up finish in Region 8-4A and trip to the second round of the state playoffs.
Up next, Flowery Branch’s quarterback is looking to guide its program to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.
In the second round, Flowery Branch visits No. 7 Perry (10-1) in Middle Georgia.
The Panthers have a fast-paced offense, guided by junior quarterback Arman Gordon (2,573 passing yards, 27 touchdowns) and senior tight end Daequan Wright (950 yards receiving, 12 touchdowns).
Defensively, Perry has been elite, holding six opponents to single-digit points (four shutouts).
In the first round of the playoffs, Perry beat Hardaway 31-12.
Renard doesn’t mind entering this game as the underdog.
In fact, he prefers to be overlooked.
Then he gets the chance to prove people wrong.
Flowery Branch at Perry
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