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Flowery Branch gets first glimpse of live action in scrimmage with Brookwood
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2013 Scrimmages

Chestatee at East Hall
Jefferson at Morgan County

Grayson at Gainesville
Berkmar at Buford
Athens Academy at Jackson County
Lakeview Academy at Mount Pisgah
Lumpkin County at Banks County
Dawson County at Towns County
Hart County at Habersham Central

Aug. 22
White County at Union County

Aug. 23
North Hall at Salem (Va.)
Riverside Military at Hebron

SNELLVILLE — Flowery Branch head coach Chris Griffin took a lot of good things away from Wednesday night’s scrimmage against the Brookwood Broncos. He also took away some things the Falcons need to work on before their Aug. 30 season opener at Northside-Warner Robins.

The Falcons and Broncos played to a 17-17 draw during a regulation first half in the only preseason scrimmage of the season for both teams. Following a 10-minute halftime, the teams worked on third down conversions and goal-line scenarios.

The fourth quarter was played by reserves, with Brookwood scoring the lone touchdown.

“We did find a lot of good things, and of course a lot of bad things,” Griffin said. “We have some work to do defensively. It showed us what we thought we needed to see.

“Win or lose, we are still 0-0 right now and the game in two weeks is the most important to us. We just have to keep improving.”

Flowery Branch scored on three of its five offensive possessions in the first half, which saw teams start each drive at their own 20-yard line to reduce injuries on kickoff returns.

Senior quarterback Jackson McDonald completed his first 12 passes of the night, leading the Falcons to three straight scoring possessions.

McDonald was stellar on Flowery Branch’s opening six-play, 80-yard drive that took 1 minute, 16 seconds off the game clock. McDonald’s lone scoring strike of the first half capped off the drive when he connected with Davante King on a 35-yard touchdown across the middle.

McDonald led the Falcons down the field on their second offensive possession, which was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by freshman back Jeremiah Goss.

The Falcons added a field goal on their third possession.

“The first two drives we had our starters in and we went right down the field and scored. With our ones in, I felt good,” McDonald said. “Our offense ran smoothly. After that, we started to mix guys in who may or may not get playing time. We just had to see what they had and they did a good job, too.”

McDonald’s first incompletion came on the Falcons’ fourth possession, when Brookwood’s Luke LeBlanc jumped a broken screen pass, according to McDonald, and returned it 40 yards for the game-tying touchdown in the closing minutes of the first half.

Defensively, Flowery Branch struggled to stop Brookwood starting running back Josh Brown. On the Broncos’ opening drive, Brown rushed the Broncos into field goal range before the Falcons’ defense forced a field goal.

On the Broncos’ second drive, Brown scored from five yards out and cut the Falcons’ lead to 14-10.

After the brief halftime, both teams worked on third-and-long scenarios. Brookwood was 2 for 7 on third down conversions, while Flowery Branch was just 2 for 10.

In the goal line portion of the scrimmage, which saw teams start with a third down-and-goal at the three-yard line, Brookwood was stellar. The Broncos scored on 8 of their 10 possessions, bringing to question the strength of the Falcons’ defense, especially against the run.

“We’re going to address that in film tomorrow,” Griffin said of the Falcons’ run defense.

Flowery Branch was 6 of 10 in the goal-line portion.

In the fourth quarter, played by all reserve players on both teams, Brookwood outscored Flowery Branch 7-0.
High school scrimmages continue tonight when East Hall hosts Chestatee for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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