DAHLONEGA — If Flowery Branch’s Week 1 win was a testament to its run game, the Falcons 35-7 win Friday night against Lumpkin County in Dahlonega was a showcase of their passing attack.
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw was 15-for-16 passing for 223 yards and four touchdowns. Rodney Young, Shaw’s favorite target on the night, caught six passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns.
“(Connor) did a great job in the pocket with a lot of pressure from Lumpkin,” Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw said. “I haven’t bragged on him much, but his (second touchdown) throw to Rod (Young) was one of the best I’ve seen.”
For the second straight week, the Falcons defense was solid despite giving up 241 yards of total offense, including 150 on the ground.
Lumpkin County’s Jake McClure was the catalyst for the Indians, rushing for 95 yards on 20 attempts while amassing 49 yards receiving.
“You’re never satisfied with a loss,” Lumpkin County coach Tommy Jones said. “Our kids are hurt that we didn’t win.
“But hats off to Flowery Branch — what a tremendous team. I was proud of my team for their effort, courage and heart.”
Lumpkin County (1-1) came out with something to prove, holding the Falcons (2-0) to a three-and-out on their first possession and blocking the ensuing punt, taking over on the Falcons’ 19-yard line.
The Flowery Branch defense, however, made its first stand of the game, holding the Indians without a score in spite of their good field position.
Led by Rodriquez Frazier (two interceptions), Mykah Hester, Destin Tipton and Young (18 tackles combined), the Falcons defense withstood a valiant effort by the Indians that included tying the game at seven early in the second quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by McClure.
“Lumpkin County saw this as an opportunity to knock off one of the state’s top 10 teams,” Shaw said. “They came out with want-to and are going to win some ball games this season.”
Flowery Branch’s offense got going on its second possession of the night with an 80-yard, four-minute drive capped by a 4-yard touchdown run by Imani Cross.
Cross finished with 91 yards rushing, Shaw with 68, to lead a Falcons ground game that amassed 168 yards on the ground.
After the Indians tied it, Flowery Branch went to its bread and butter — the hurry up offense — in an effort to tire a Lumpkin County team where many of the players play both ways.
Flowery Branch scored on four of its next six possessions to seal the win to start the fourth quarter the way they finished the game, with a 35-7 lead.
In addition to the two touchdown passes to Young, Frazier caught a 35-yard touchdown pass and Robby Boudreau caught one for 8 yards.
The first of those four scores took less than a minute, the final one took exactly 31 seconds.
“Once our guys got rolling we started playing like we could,” Shaw said. “If I knew what made my team come out flat, we’d never come out flat again.
“Hopefully this game will give us momentum. We’re 2-0 and even though it was an ugly start, it was a good finish.”