Flowery Branch and Gainesville both entered Friday night’s game with 7-2 records, and just as their records were even, so too were the teams. The game came down to the finals seconds with Flowery Branch squeaking out a 35-34 come from behind win. The win snapped the Falcon’s three-game losing streak to the Red Elephants.
The scoring got started last in the first quarter when Gainesville’s Brenquez Dukes read Flowery Branch’s option play. Dukes intercepted the pitch and took it to the house to put Gainesville up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Red Elephants added to their lead early in the second quarter when Jay Gaudlock hauled in a Deshaun Watson pass for a touchdown. Later in the quarter, Flowery Branch started to find some rhythm on offense. Jackson McDonald broke off a long run to set the Falcons up in the redzone. The Falcons finished off the drive with a touchdown to bring the score to 14-7, Gainesville. On the ensuing kickoff, Flowery Branch tried an onside kick but failed to recover it. Instead, Gainesville marched down the field late in the first half. The Red Elephants capped off the drive with a trick play on 4th and goal. Quarterback Watson caught a pass for a touchdown to put Gainesville up 21-7 going into halftime.
Flowery Branch came out of the locker room fired up and ready to even the score out. They drove down the field in three plays with McDonald finishing off the drive with a long touchdown run. 21-14 Gainesville with under 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Gainesville responded immediately when Watson recorded another touchdown, this time on a run, to put the Red Elephants up 28-14 with 6 minutes to play in the third. Flowery Branch would not go away though. McDonald scored again on a 6-yard run to bring the Falcons within 7 going into the fourth quarter.
The Falcons scored again to open the fourth quarter to keep their momentum going. With 11 minutes left to play in the game, the game was all tied up at 28. Flowery Branch took the lead late in the fourth when Jamaad Stephens caught a McDonald pass to take a 35-28 lead. Later in the fourth, Gainesville scored to bring them within an extra point of tying the game. The Red Elephants decided a tie wasn’t enough as they elected to go for the 2-point conversion. The Falcons defense held strong and stopped them to hold on for a 1-point win and were awarded the Great American Rivalry Series trophy.
Flowery Branch’s quarterback Jackson McDonald was named the MVP of the game!
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- Flowery Branch vs Gainesville 2012