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Flowery Branch steamrolls West Hall, 55-7
Drummond scores 3 TDs as Falcons run wild in first half
West Hall running back Marquise Stephens is taken down by Flowery Branch defenders during Friday's game at Spartan Field in Oakwood. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

OAKWOOD - It took Flowery Branch less that five minutes to put the game out of reach Friday night at Spartan Field in Oakwood.

With a first-half possession time of only 4:58, the Falcons (5-1, 2-0 Region 7B-AAA) still managed to post a 42-0 lead on their way to a 55-7 win over subregion foe West Hall (3-3, 0-2).

"We played hard and played good," Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw said. "I'm proud of 'em.

"The guys were challenged, we put a lot on them this week because this was the most important game of the season right now."

Leading the way to the 42-point first half was senior running back Daniel Drummond. Drummond set a Falcons' single-game rushing record with 245 yards on seven carries and scored three touchdowns, all in the first half.

The performance was highlighted by the fact that Drummond was playing against his former team.

"It felt awesome," Drummond said. "I've been thinking about this game all week.

"I played hard and had an explosive night. It was a lot of fun."

Flowery Branch jumped on West Hall early, scoring twice in the first two minutes of the game.

On the Falcons' first play from scrimmage, Drummond ran 65 yards for his first score. Three plays later, on West Hall's ensuing possession, Flowery Branch senior defensive back Chris Lipscomb intercepted a Shunquez Stephens' pass and ran it back 35 yards for a score.

"We blew it out of the water early and were able to play a bunch of people," Shaw said. "Our secondary was challenged early in the week about their (West Hall's) pass offense. I just thought we responded tonight."

The Spartans had a chance to score on their second possession. But a field goal attempt was blocked, giving Flowery Branch the ball back.

Drummond was given the ball on the first two plays of the Falcons' drive, amassing 63 yards and taking his team to the 17-yard line. Junior Rodriquez Frazier took over from there, scoring from 10 yards out and then rushing in for the two-point conversion.

"When ‘mo' (momentum) stays on your side, we've got a chance to do what we did," Shaw said.

With the Falcons' offense clicking early, it was time for the defense to do its part, and it did.

On West Hall's next possession, senior defensive back Izaan Cross got Flowery Branch's first sack on third-and-four play to force a Spartans' punt.

The Falcons' defense racked up a school record seven sacks on the night. They also held West Hall to 15 yards rushing on 26 carries.

"We put a lot of pressure on (Stephens)," said Drummond, who also plays defensive end. "We knew if we did that we'd have a great night."

Flowery Branch scored its fourth and final touchdown of the first quarter on a 30-yard pass from Connor Shaw to Rodney Young.

Shaw finished the game 4-of-6 passing for 109 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 20 yards on two carries.

The game being virtually out of reach by the end of the first quarter didn't stop Drummond. He scored both of Flowery Branch's touchdowns in the second quarter on runs of 1 and 80 yards.

"The offensive line made the holes huge," Drummond said. "I've got to give a shout out to (offensive linemen) Ben Clark and Jared Crandall. They led the way on the offensive line for me."

At the start of the second half, West Hall had a chance to score early. After a three-and-out on its first possession, Flowery Branch muffed a punt, giving the Spartans the ball on the 40-yard line.

The Falcons defense wasn't willing to give up the shutout, however, and sacked Stephens for 11- and 12-yard losses to end the drive.

Flowery Branch got its first score of the second half on the ensuing possession when Shaw hooked up with Frazier for a 67-yard touchdown pass.

Frazier finished the game with one reception for 67 yards and a touchdown along with his touchdown run.

The Falcons' final score came with the second string offense on the field. Freshman running back Imani Cross ran for his first career touchdown on a 6-yard scamper to make the score 55-0.

West Hall avoided a shutout with 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter when Stephens hit Terrell Penland on a 45-yard touchdown pass.

Despite only getting in the end zone once, Stephens had a stellar game passing. The sophomore went 24-of-36 passing for 364 yards and a touchdown.

"Drummond was motivated. We were, too," Shaw said. "We continue to get better and better, but tonight was a huge challenge for us."

Flowery Branch returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it plays host to North Hall. West Hall next plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Johnson.


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