cloudyn.png
Sunday January 24th, 2021 7:27PM

Falcons hold off North Oconee in 2 OTs

By AccessWDUN Staff | Video by Seth Chapman
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Flowery Branch offense had been doing just fine without injured senior running back Jaizen Ellingham, who had missed most of the last three games.

But with him, well, thoughts of deep playoff runs can easily be conjured up.

Ellingham returned to the Falcons lineup Friday and showed just what is possible as he ran for 222 yards and four touchdowns, none bigger than his final score in the second overtime to lift Flowery Branch to a thrilling, and much-needed, 42-35 win over North Oconee in a huge Region 8-4A showdown at Falcons Field.

But it was the work of a tiring defense on the Titans’ final drive that preserved the win. The Falcons defense sacked North Oconee quarterback and Clemson-commit Bubba Chandler on the first play of the second OT and then forced three straight incompletions.

“That was a huge stop for us,” Flowery Branch coach Ben Hall said. “We were having trouble getting a rush on him most of the night but we did a great job on that last drive. Tremendous effort by those guys.”

Chandler still passed for 295 yards and a pair of touchdowns but the Falcons defense stifled the Titans’ ground game, holding them to just 99 yards rushing.

The work of Ellingham and Miles Ivey (68 yards rushing), balanced with the passing of quarterback David Renard, who led Class 4A in passing for most of the first half of the season, gives the Falcons the balance they want on offense. Renard was a modest 12-of-19 for 160 yards Friday but he tossed a pair of TDs in the fourth quarter, including a 50-yard bomb to Connor Larson and a 5-yard TD pass to Sal Sengson two minutes later.

But in the overtime periods, Renard scored on a 5-yard run on a do-or-die 4th-and-1 and Ellingham’s run gave them the lead.

“We felt like we had to establish the run game to keep the ball out of (Chandler’s) hands,” Hall said. “It was a gut-check for us in overtime because both our running backs were beat up. They did a great job.”

It was a crucial game for both teams. The win keeps the Falcons (4-2, 1-1 Region 8-4A) alive for a top seed in the region. Their only region loss was to No. 2 Jefferson while the Titans (2-5, 2-1 Region 8-4A) still have to take on the powerhouse Dragons. 

Next week, North Oconee plays host to an improving, and rested, East Hall group while Flowery Branch travels to Cedar Shoals, which lost 49-0 to Jefferson on Friday, in a battle for second place.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night, Sports Video
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Flowery Branch football
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Falcons hold off North Oconee in 2 OTs
The Flowery Branch offense had been doing just fine without injured senior running back Jaizen Ellingham, who had missed most of the last three games. But with him, well, thoughts of deep playoffs runs can easily be conjured up...
12:59AM ( 43 minutes ago )
FGN Week 8 wrap: Branch thriller highlights big night of region showdowns
Friday night represented the first week where the entire schedule around the northeast Georgia area was comprised of region games (except for Rabun County) and there were some huge results that will go a long way to determining some playoff implications...
12:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
Updated
Howell, Rochester lead Trojans past Lumpkin 33-10
Clark Howell and Kevin Rochester have become a fierce one-two punch for North Hall.
11:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
Updated
Sports
Softball playoffs: Buford, Commerce advance; Jefferson knocked out in Game 3
Buford staved off elimination in the Class 6A girls softball state playoffs with a tough 3-0 win over River Ridge in Game 3 of their best-of-three series on Friday afternoon at the Buford Softball Complex...
9:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
Updated
ICYMI: Week 8 previews: Playoffs on the line for several area teams; Rabun County update
Region 8-2A becomes the final region to open region play this week as 18 of the 22 northeast Georgia area teams covered by AccessWDUN are in action on Friday and Saturday...
11:40AM ( 14 hours ago )
Game of the Week: Region implications on line as Falcons, Titans set to clash
The No. 6-ranked Falcons are facing the Titans with a possible No. 2 state playoff seeding on the line tonight at Falcon Field.
8:45AM ( 16 hours ago )
High School Sports
2020 Northeast Georgia region standings
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:30AM ( 2 months from now )
FGN Week 8 wrap: Branch thriller highlights big night of region showdowns
Friday night represented the first week where the entire schedule around the northeast Georgia area was comprised of region games (except for Rabun County) and there were some huge results that will go a long way to determining some playoff implications...
Updated
12:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
Howell, Rochester lead Trojans past Lumpkin 33-10
Clark Howell and Kevin Rochester have become a fierce one-two punch for North Hall.
Updated
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:35PM ( 2 hours ago )
Dawson County smothers Gilmer in 35-0 win
Dawson County's offense was its typical explosive self, but its defense stole the show.
11:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
Union County defense holds down Banks County in 8-2A win
It was the kind of game Union County fans are not accustomed to witnessing...
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:45PM ( 2 hours ago )