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'Branch fetches Dogs
Zachary Powell is tackled by Flowery Branch defenders during the Bulldogs' 51-0 on Friday night. - photo by William Brawley

Believe the hype, folks. The Flowery Branch Falcons are that good. The Falcons came to Reid Stadium in Conyers last night and crushed the Rockdale County Bulldogs 51-0.

"We played with great effort," Flowery Branch coach Lee Shaw said. "Rockdale County isn't the kind of team you can overlook. They're young and athletic and they're going to be dangerous in the future."

The Falcons got things going from the opening kick.

Noel Padmore returned it 68 yards to the Rockdale County 22 yard line. The Falcons wasted no time taking advantage of the good field position. Quarterback Hanley Coker found Jeremy James open in the end zone of the first play to put the Falcons up 7-0 following the Leo Manzo extra point.

Rockdale County's first possession stalled after quarterback Zach Powell scrambled to recover his own fumble on a third down play, and the high powered Falcon offense returned to the field at their own 31 yard line.

Jeremy Haley got the first 27 of his 167yards on the first play and capped off a five play drive with a 12 yard touchdown run with 7:01 remaining in the quarter. This despite a pair of costly penalties, one of which nullified a touchdown pass.

Rockdale moved the ball to near midfield on its next possession after Powell connected with Demonta Graham for 14 yards, but the drive stalled after a 10 yard loss. and Flowery Branch took over at the Rockdale 41 after following a short punt that angled out of bounds.

Coker connected Michael Rozier for 25 yards, and the found Oklahoma State bound wide out C. J. Curry for 16 more and the third Flowery Branch score with 1:48 left in the quarter. Manzo added the point after and Flowery branch led 21-0

The Falcons were penalized three times on their next possession and punted, but the Flowery Branch defense intervened. Jeremy James intercepted a pass and the Falcons were back in business at the Rockdale 27.

After an incomplete pass and yet another penalty, Flowery Branch turned the ball over on downs.

"I'll have to look at the film, but most of the penalties appeared to be effort penalties," Coach Shaw said. "Just trying to make plays."

Rockdale couldn't capitalize, though, and punted.

The Falcons got back on the scored board on their next possession. After Coker scrambled for 27 yards and a first down at the Rockdale four, Haley scored the fourth Falcon touchdown with 4:47 left in the half.

Just before the end of the half with The Bulldogs trapped inside their own five, the Falcons got to Powell in the endzone for a safety.

Although Flowery Branch kicked off to start the second half, the result turned out the be nearly the same as the first half. Rockdale fumbled away the kickoff and the Bulldog defense had to take on the high-powered Falcon offense again in the shadow of its own goal posts. On the first play, Haley ran it straight up the middle to put Flowery Branch up 37-0.

Flowery Branch another score midway through the third quarter when Coker connected with Curry for 30 yards and followed that up with a 10 yard scoring strike to Jamaad Stephens. With a quarter and a half to play, the Falcons now ledt 44-0 following the Manzo point after.

Jimmy McIntyre took over for Haley and scored the final Flowery Branch touchdown from five yards out near the end of the third quarter. Lucas Arnett added the point after.