Salem couldn't convert on several key opportunities as Flowery Branch handed the home team a 35-16 loss on Friday night.
Salem (2-3, 1-2 Region 8-AAAAA) left at least six points on the field, missing on two field goals, and failed to take advantage of two Flowery Branch (3-2, 3-0) turnovers in the first half.
The Seminoles hurt themselves early, jumping offside on a fourth-and-2-yard play that extended Flowery Branch's opening drive. The Falcons thanked the home team for its generosity, finding the end zone two plays later on a 10-yard pass from Jackson McDonald to Cameron Davis with 9:55 left in the first quarter.
On Salem's ensuing possession, the Seminoles fumbled on a failed pitch from Damian Gordon to Richard Days. Flowery Branch's Quinshad Jenkins recovered the fumble on Salem's 19-yard line. From there, the Falcons needed just one play, a 19-yard run by McDonald, to go up 14-0 with 8:24 remaining in the first quarter.
Salem had its own chance to capitalize on a turnover as Damian Gordon intercepted Cameron Davis' halfback pass at Salem's 35-yard line. Salem managed to get deep into Flowery Branch territory, but couldn't convert as Kanome McIntosh missed a 30-yard field goal wide right.
Salem had its second strong chance in Falcons' territory after Flowery Branch muffed a punt, which was recovered by Seminole Michael Peck on the 20. Salem missed another field goal from 30 yards as the lead stayed at 14-0.
Flowery Branch went up by 21 after forcing Salem to turn the ball over on downs. From the Falcons' 20, Flowery Branch marched 80 yards into the end zone on a 10-yard pass from McDonald to Davante King with 17.3 seconds left in second quarter.
The Seminoles committed five penalties for 30 yards, but managed 205 yards, including 144 on the ground.
Salem finally ended the shutout on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Scott to Damian Gordon with 7:34 left in the game. Scott's two point conversion to Deshawn Dotson made it 35-8.
Salem's Ahmad Mitchell would finish off the night's scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run, which came one play after a 75-yard run, to make it 35-16, after Gordon's 2-point conversion catch with 33.2 seconds remaining.
McDonald scored five touchdowns, three in the air and two on the ground for the Falcons.
Salem travels to Clarke Central Friday looking for its first region win.