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Flowery Branch bounces back with 42-10 win over Lumpkin
Connor Shaw sparks Falcons' offense in home victory
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Listen to Flowery Branch head coach Lee Shaw discuss his teams 42-10 win against Lumpkin County on Friday in Flowery Branch.


Listen to Flowery Branch quarterback Connor Shaw discuss his the Falcons' 42-10 win against Lumpkin County on Friday night in Flowery Branch.

FLOWERY BRANCH­ -­- Whether it's through the air or on the ground, Flowery Branch quarterback Connor Shaw is moving the ball somehow.

Shaw completed 11 of 16 passes for 169 yards with two touchdowns while rushing for 161 yards with a rushing touchdown in the Falcons' 42-10 win over Lumpkin County on Friday night at Falcon Field.

The win is the Falcons' (1-1) first of the season after losing by three to Stephens County last week.
"I think had a better game rushing, but our receivers did a great job tonight," Shaw said. "We also have a tradition of winning at home, and our fans did a great job supporting us tonight."

Flowery Branch picked up points in every quarter and finished the night with 461 total offensive yards, 288 on the ground. Along with Shaw's running heroics, Darius Kimbrough and Daniel Drummond each picked up 46 yards for the Falcons.

"We've still got a long way to go and we still have some weaknesses to correct, but we put 42 on the board and we're going to roll from here," Falcons coach Lee Shaw said. "Our front played very well and we have some momentum now."

Flowery Branch showed potent offense in the first quarter, including a four-first down drive highlighted by Daniel Drummond's 27-yard run. Freshman Imani Cross ended the drive with a 1-yard run to put the first points on the scoreboard.

Lumpkin County (0-2) answered on the next drive when fullback Haden Rider broke up open for a 63-yard run before being brought down on Flowery Branch's 11-yard line.

The Indians followed the long run with Chris Guthrie's 9-yard pass to Austin Gilreath, moving them to the 1-yard line. Guthrie then dove into the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.

"Obviously Flowery Branch has an outstanding football team," Lumpkin County coach Tommy Jones said. "But we think our kids played hard for four quarters and that's a good tribute to our character."

But the Falcons' offensive strength began to reveal itself on the next drive when Connor Shaw scrambled for a 51-yard break, then later scampered for a 6-yard touchdown run to give Flowery Branch a 13-7 lead.

The Falcons marched up the field again on their next drive. Shaw ran for another 36 yards and connected with receiver Rodriquez Frazier for another 15 yards. Kimbrough ended the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run, putting Flowery Branch up by another touchdown.

The Falcons added another touchdown before halftime to take a 28-7 lead when Shaw found Jamel Mitchum open in the secondary for a 75-yard touchdown. Mitchum finished the night with 103 yards on four receptions.

Lumpkin County opened the third quarter with efficient running by Haden Rider and Jake McClure, only to be stopped short. Ben Ayres booted a field goal from 25 yards out, putting the Falcons up by 18.

Despite losing quarterback Daniel Abercrombie to a leg injury during the first drive of the game, the Indians moved steadily on the ground. Rider rushed for 99 yards on 13 carries while McClure picked up 57 on the ground.

But the Falcons increased their commanding lead when Shaw broke open for a 55-yard touchdown run. Shaw had three rushes for more than 30 yards.

Flowery Branch scored the final points of the game early in the fourth quarter when Shaw and Mitchum connected from 8 yards for the tandem's second touchdown of the night.

"He's (Shaw) good at finding the open receiver," Mitchum said. "He's a great quarterback."

Flowery Branch looks to make it two in a row when they visit Creekview at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Lumpkin County plays host to East Hall at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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