The Blue Devils (2-2, 1-1 Region 5-AA) turned the ball over twice and had an onside kick returned for a touchdown in the loss. Quarterback Trent McClure helped keep Bremen in the game with his legs, rushing for 164 yards and four touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough.
“We made mistakes. You make mistakes against good football teams, [you can’t win]. We turned the ball over early, we missed tackles and they whipped us,” Bremen coach Ricky Tolleson said. “Our kids, they play hard for us. We just have to play error-free. We’re getting there. I really believed we made some improvement. We got beat — we got beat by a good team and I don’t like that — but that’s part of the game.”
The head Blue Devil added that the next three games will be critical to the season, as Bremen will host Jordan, Kendrick and Spencer in consecutive weeks.
The Braves (3-0, 1-0), meanwhile, will look to keep on the fast track, as they play host to Kendrick (1-3, 1-1) next Friday at Staples Stadium.
Coming off its first victory of the season in Friday night’s 12-7 triumph over Paulding County, the Villa Rica High School football team and second-year Cat coach Mike Falleur get rewarded with a trip to Dallas next week to face No. 5 East Paulding (4-0). The Raiders, who shut out New Manchester, 47-0, on Friday night, have now won their past three games by a combined score of 148-0.
And though Falleur understands his ball club will be big-time underdogs in the Region 5-AAAAA affair, it’s a challenge he looks forward to during the upcoming week.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to see where we are. If we can’t get ready and fired up to go play them, then we’ll be in trouble. But I think we’re going to do what we’re capable of doing and I think it’s going to be a good football game. I mean, I’m an Arkansas fan and we lost to [University of Louisiana-Monroe]. Those kind of things happen. So that’s why you play the game — and we’re going to go play it,” Falleur said.
Stingy Red Devil ‘D’
Coming into the 2012 season, there were plenty of unknowns at Bowdon, as not only were all the skill players being replaced, but the players were multi-year starters.
The No. 9 Red Devils (4-0, 2-0) might not be lighting up the scoreboard with 40 and 50-point games like they did last year, but an average of 33 points per game will be more than enough if the defense continues to play like it did Friday night.
While the offense sputtered a couple of times in the first half — turning the ball over on the two-yard line and turning the ball over on downs inside the 10 — the Red Devil defense was all over the Chattahoochee County offense. The Panthers were not only held scoreless through the first half, but had negative-10 yards to show for it. The only Chattahoochee County score of the game came in the fourth quarter.
“I thought defensively we did a great job keeping that quarterback and tailback in containment. That was a big issue for us all week. Both of them are big play-makers, and I thought we did a great job keeping them contained and a pretty good job on their option plays. I think they only had six first downs on us the whole night and half of them came against our babies in the fourth quarter. I was real pleased defensively,” Bowdon coach Dwight Hochstetler said.
The Red Devils now return home to host Manchester (2-1, 1-0) next week as they hold the top spot in the region. The Blue Devils were off on Friday night.
Lions Learning from Loss
Through three weeks of the season, the Central High School football team was able to make the plays it needed to in order to win the game.
Against Haralson County, Douglass and Bremen, the Lions (3-2, 2-0 Region 4-AAA) had an answer offensively. Friday night at Pike County was a different story in the 7-6 setback in Zebulon.
“If there was ever a game for our program to see how little things make big things, it was this ball game. I think as we continue to build and move forward, it was a good game to learn from. Fortunately, it wasn’t a region game,” Central coach Grant Chesnut said. “It was a very frustrating game, from the standpoint that we felt we had an opportunity to win it and we just didn’t do what we needed to in key moments of the game. Which, quite honestly, has kind of been the opposite for us. When we’ve had to make plays, we’ve been able to do that. We just weren’t able to this week.”
Central gave up a long touchdown run on the first play of the game to go down 7-0 and answered with a long drive capped by a short Brandon Delaney run. But the extra point was blocked and neither team would score again in the one-point decision.
“We went out on our first drive of offense and put together a 14-play drive, executed really well and worked our way down the field about 80 yards. We were able to mix it up, throw the ball a little bit and run it. Then, after that, the problems offensively we’ve been having to battle all year with penalties and turnovers,” Chesnut said. “Ultimately, the difference in the ball game was consistency on our part.”
Through three games this season, Mt. Zion only has one win to show for its hard work, but the losses have come by a combined eight points, meaning the Eagles are keeping themselves in the game through all four quarters.
Last season, the Eagles (1-2) were 0-3 through three games and had lost by a combined score of 151-26. On Friday, against a heavily-favored Walker squad, Mt. Zion came out and played its game.
“We knew Walker was going to be one of the top three or four teams on our schedule. They’ve got a really good team this year. For our kids to go up there and play through some adversity — we had some kids get injured in the first half — had kids step up, play hard and put ourselves in a position to win at the end. We came up a little bit short, but that’s all we can ask from the kids. We’re very proud of them as a coaching staff and we’re making strides in the right direction,” MZ coach Keith Holloway said.
The first-year coach added that even in the loss, Friday’s game against Walker can build some momentum going into next week’s Region 6A-A opener against Christian Heritage.
Times-Georgian Sports Editor Corey Cusick contributed to this story.