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Shaw sparks Falcons past Knights, 41-7
Flowery Branch cranks up offense in fourth straight victory
Johnson defender Gilberto Ezpinoza looks to take down Flowery Branch quarterback Connor Shaw in the first half of Friday's game at Falcon Field. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

FLOWERY BRANCH -- A revitalized Flowery Branch offense led the way in the Falcons' 41-7 rout of Johnson on Friday night at Falcon Field.

After a dismal one-score performance last week against Chestatee, the Flowery Branch offense amassed 163 yards rushing and 168 yards passing on its way to the victory.

The Falcons improved to 4-1, 1-0 in Region 7-AAA with their fourth straight win after a season-opening loss. The Knights fell to 1-4, 0-1.

"I really think Chestatee played their best defensive game against us that we've seen," Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw said of last week's 24-7 victory. "I don't know if our offense was that bad or they were that good but I've got to give credit to them.

"Tonight, however, we got a lot of confidence and really started clicking."

The Falcons' first scoring drive went 72 yards and lasted five plays and one minute, culminating in a 3-yard touchdown run by senior wide receiver Rodriquez Frazier.

On Flowery Branch's third drive, Frazier would show his speed, taking a Connor Shaw pitch off the right tackle 58 yards for his second score.

Those would be Frazier's only two carries of the game,
"I'm just trying to help the offense out," Frazier said. "And I got great blocking.

"We (the offense) did a good job tonight. We were prepared good by the coaches and had a good game plan."

Using Frazier and fellow wide receiver Greg Palmer in motion, the Falcons were able to throw off the Knights' defense by faking handoffs up the middle leaving the outside lanes wide open.

Palmer scored the Falcons' third touchdown on a run of 5 yards on one of those pitchouts.

"We've kind of been holding that back," Lee Shaw said. "(Palmer and Frazier) are playmakes and give us a good one-two punch."

Johnson would answer after Flowery Branch's first score thanks to a muffed punt by Flowery Branch. The Knights got the ball on the 5-yard line and capitalized in one play on a 5-yard scoring run by Tevin Arthur.

With Will Monday having missed the point after attempt that followed the Falcons' first score, the Knights took the lead on Chris Henry's PAT.

That lead lasted only one minute, 23 seconds, however, thanks to Frazier's second touchdown.

A Tim Tebow-like jump pass from Connor Shaw to Izaan Cross gave the Falcons the two-point conversion and made the score 14-7.

Flowery Branch's defense buckled down after the Knights' lone touchdown, holding them scoreless the rest of the way.

"Tonight just reaffirms the fact that defense wins big games," Lee Shaw said. "We beat a good football team that plays and practices hard. (Johnson coach) Paul Friel does a great job and has his kids playing hard."

While Frazier and Palmer got the scoring started, Connor Shaw finished it.

The junior quarterback was responsible for Flowery Branch's last three scores on a 1-yard touchdown run and touchdown passes of 30 and 11 yards.

Chris Lipscomb was the recipient of the first scoring pass; Destin Tipton received the second score.

Connor Shaw finished the game 6-of-10 passing for 131 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for one touchdown.

"A game like this is huge," Lee Shaw said. "Anytime you're where we're at and winning that's momentum. We're getting better and climbing. Hopefully we'll continue on this course and peak at the right time."

Flowery Branch returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at West Hall while Johnson plays host to Creekview at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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