Posted: Thursday, June 5th 2014 at 7:49pm
Spring football: New-look Falcons ready for big things in 2014
By Luke Story Staff
FLOWERY BRANCH – Sometimes transition within a program can lead to good fortunes.
A fresh young group of Flowery Branch Falcons not only hope, but expect that will be the case next season on the gridiron.
“We have a lot of new coaches and young players this year. Spring was a good time for coaches and players to get to know each other. It didn’t take long for the new staff and player personnel to adopt the family mentality,” said third-year head coach of the Falcons, Chris Griffin.
When the Falcons walk onto the field next season it will be the first time in two years on the turf without highly-productive quarterback Jackson McDonald, who is now at Western Carolina, And, it will also be the first time on the field under new defensive coordinator David Wagner, former Winder-Barrow head coach.
“Youth is helping with the transition, making it almost seamless," Griffin said. "The blessing in disguise is that these kids don’t have to learn two schemes because they are young enough that they weren’t around for the previous scheme."
Currently, sophomore Jasen Johnson is the front runner to be the man under center orchestrating a traditionally vigorous Flowery Branch offense.
“Right now it is Jasen’s job to lose. He played quarterback last year on the JV team and showed a lot of promise,” Griffin said. “We have always required our QBs to manage a lot of responsibility with our highly dynamic offense and we are confident that Jasen has the ability to do just that.”
Despite a competent young quarterback, Griffin said the team will make a few adjustments on offense.
“We will play to our strengths and our strengths are our offensive line and runner backs,” he said. “We will run a lot more two running back sets, but still maintain a simple form on offense.”
A trio of running backs will make up a potent backfield for the Falcons. The team will place the ball in the hands returning starter sophomore Jeremiah Goss, along with junior Trey Wilcoxson and senior Cole Ford.
The men in the trenches clearing the way for the pungent backfield will be led by a solid trio.
Seniors Joel Ryder and Benoy Scroggs alongside junior Chewy Alvarado will be the leaders on the line.
The Falcons will once again have a talented group of receivers to spread the ball around to. Juniors Cortez Davis, Kyle King, Christian Bennett and senior Cooper Harrison will lead the charge from the wide out positions.
A change of leadership on the defensive side of the ball may energize what has historically been a dominant Flowery Branch defense.
A capable plethora of seniors and juniors will lead the way in a new defensive scheme under Wagner. Seniors Jonah Matthes, Dezmond Osborne, Zack Smith, Cole Ford and Cooper Harrison along with junior Cortez Davis will be expected to headline a fierce new style defense.
“Defensively we are going to remain fundamentally sound, we will utilize the old bend but don’t break mentality,” said Coach Griffin.
While the faces on the sideline and the faces on the field may vary from years past the goals and expectations of the 2014-2015 Falcons hold true to the traditional Branch way.
“Every year our expectation is to make a playoff run. It’s just how things are done in Flowery Branch,” Griffin said.
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