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Braves win homecoming game, improve to 6-1

Karson Bollhorst trying to avoid the tackle in a 28-14 win against Charleston.

By BLAKE FAITH
Staff Writer

All season long, the Braves’ defense has been formidable and in the last few weeks have been the most valuable asset to their team. Down 7-0 on homecoming game night after losing last week and losing to Charleston last year, the defense became most valuable once again when senior linebacker Tyson Evans sacked the Trojans’ quarterback for one of two times and forced the fumble that Brock Trump recovered, which helped the Braves turn around and win 28-14.

“It felt great to get revenge back against Charleston,” Evans said. “It feels awesome.”

The Braves failed to score on their first three drives of the game. The Trojans came up ahead 7-0 when Bret Spour rushed in a six-yard touchdown and Max Weber nailed the extra point.

Two more drives went by and the Trojans got the ball back with 42-yards to go. Evans came around the side and sacked Luke Bonstetter forcing the fumble up in the air that Trump recovered.

“I was just kind of thinking I have to help out our offense,” Evans said. “I have to have their backs as well as they will have ours. Every time, every opportunity I can get to do that and get to their quarterback. I go out there and seize those opportunities every time.”

A pair of personal fouls against the Braves after the play placed the Braves at the 50-yard line. After long first downs and on 2nd and 14 Makobi Adams threw a slant pass from the 48-yard line to tight-end Jc Anderson. Anderson turned on the wheels and ran in the 48-yard touchdown and Gabe Shumaker nailed the extra point to tie the game at 7-7 with 4 minutes and 20 seconds left in the first half.

“You have to be patient and wait for the ball to come your way,” Anderson said. “Sometimes you’ll be open. They don’t have to throw you the ball and that’s fine. But you just gotta wait for your turn and take advantage of the opportunities when you can.”

The Braves’ defense contained the Trojans on their next drive. The Braves offense started in the 42-yard line and drove down the field. With 3.8 seconds left in the half, on 4th down and one to go, Adams threw a short pass that went straight to a wide-open Brayden Trimble that gave the Braves a 14-7 halftime lead.

“I think the big thing is we’re seeing a unique defense playing against us,” Head coach Patrick Etherton said. “People are playing us differently than we see on film and they’re doing stuff that’s not typical and you don’t see defensively. And so part of it, when people do that, they’re giving up some things. So for us it’s trying to figure out what they’re trying to take away. And then it’s trying to figure out, okay, how do we take advantage of what they’re trying to do. Sometimes it takes a little while because we practice normal stuff during the week and then we get some junked up stuff on the weekend.”

In the second half, the Braves defense continued to contain the Trojans’ offense. The Braves offense got two more touchdowns with Adams throwing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Karson Bollhorst and Trimble getting a two-yard rushing touchdown that gave the Braves a 28-14 win.

The Braves improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Apollo Conference play. This week the Braves will face Effingham on the road with kickoff being at 7 p.m.

“We’re 6-1 and happy to be 6-1,” Coach Etherton said. “It’s hard to win football games, it’s not easy. Everybody wants to win and Charleston’s kids played hard, but we’re 6-1. Our kids have done a lot of good things to get to that point. I thought we made enough plays tonight to do it on both sides of the ball.”

Coach Etherton continued, “We will have to go back and watch the penalties and when we had a bunch of penalty yards. I didn’t know what the yard was, but we’ll see what they are and we gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown, which is never good. Our kids probably made up for it when we got the onside one back late in the game. But, we’re going to watch film and we are going to get better. . Our kids are gonna enjoy homecoming weekend and Effingham’s kids are very well coached and they’ll be ready to go.

Evans offered a similar thought to preparation when it comes to next week.

“We are just going to keep doing our thing,” Evans said. “We are going to keep trying to do our best, defend the run and make sure to maintain that line of scrimmage and just keep doing our thing.”

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