FLOWERY BRANCH -- It's been a whirlwind fall for Flowery Branch quarterback Jackson McDonald -- and the junior believes there are plenty more thrills to come.
After taking the helm of the Falcons offense following the 2011 season, McDonald needed a little bit of time to adjust to being in charge, but after watching The Branch stumble to an 0-2 start, the signal caller has steadily improved and been a key factor in the Falcons' current eight-game win streak.
In Flowery Branch's biggest contest of the season so far, McDonald responded with his biggest performance, totaling over 350 yards of offense and four touchdowns, as the Falcons edged Gainesville 35-34 to win their first ever solo region championship.
As he has done in a number of games this season, McDonald rallied Flowery Branch from a halftime deficit in the Region 8-AAAAA title showdown, completing 20 of 28 passes for 252 yards and rushing for 100 yards, as the Falcons clinched a No. 1 seed for the state playoffs -- which begin on Friday.
For his efforts McDonald has been named the Gainesville Jaycees Player of the Week.
Access North Georgia.com sports editor Morgan Lee recently caught up with McDonald to talk about the big win over the Red Elephants, the 2012 season and what lies in store in the first round of the state playoffs.
McDonald is the first Flowery Branch junior to start at quarterback since Connor Shaw did so in 2008. So far, McDonald has passed for 1,373 yards while also rushing for 705 yards and compiling 29 total touchdowns for the ninth-ranked Falcons. He helps pace an offense that is averaging just over 32 points and just under 400 yards per game and is aided by a stout offensive line.
The quarterback will lead Flowery Branch (8-2) into the first round of the state playoffs on Friday against North Paulding (7-3). The Falcons have reached the playoffs in eight straight seasons, falling in the first round just once (2007).
Each week this football season the Jaycees will team with Jacobs Media to present a Player of the Week award. At the end of the season, the Jaycees will also present a Player of the Year award, as well as name a recipient of a $2,500 scholarship to the most deserving senior.
2012 Gainesville Jaycees Players of the Week
WEEK 1: Tyler Hubbard, quarterback, Banks County
WEEK 2: Gainesville defense
WEEK 3: Bryant Shirreffs, quarterback, Jefferson
WEEK 4: Quan Clark, running back, Chestatee
WEEK 5: North Hall offensive line
WEEK 6: Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Gainesville
WEEK 7: Daniel McCrary, quarterback, Lumpkin County
WEEK 8: Cedric Harris, running back, Johnson
WEEK 9: Will Brock, quarterback, White County
WEEK 10: Chaz Thornton, running back, Stephens County
WEEK 11: Jackson McDonald, quarterback, Flowery Branch