Posted: Friday, August 29th 2014 at 8:18pm
Video preview: War Eagles-Falcons tightening chin straps for showdown
By Morgan Lee Editor
GAINESVILLE -- Be warned, tonight's game at War Eagle Stadium will not be for the squeamish or faint of heart.
Indeed, fans can expect a grinding, slugfest worthy of throwback football when Flowery Branch pays a visit to Chestatee in the two teams' season-opener.
“It’s going to be a war up front all night,” Falcons senior lineman Benoy Scroggs said.
“It’s going to be a really physical battle,” War Eagles senior lineman Brett Anderson added. “We’re all amped up to hit somebody. We’re glad to get out there and take it to them.”
Thanks to attitudes like that and two teams built on powerful line play, Friday’s game could well prove a battle of attrition, with the two foes -- who haven’t played each other in five years -- attempting to pound holes in the other.
(Watch a video preview of tonight’s contest by clicking “play” in the box to the right.)
“That’s what both of our programs are built off of -- playing not too flashy but good, solid fundamental football,” said Falcons coach Chris Griffin, whose team will continue its spread attack that includes plenty of power run principals. “They base their offense on the run. Ours is a decent mix of run and pass. And defensively we’re very similar, run similar schemes. Really it will come down to who makes the fewest mistakes and who takes advantage of those mistakes.”
With a number of new faces in key positions -- each team will feature a new starting quarterback; Chestatee returns seven starters in 22 positions; Flowery Branch returns eight starters -- mixed with the fact that it is the season opener, errors could well be part and parcel of the contest.
“We’ve got two defensive-minded coaches going at each other,” Chestatee coach Bill Forman said. “(Coach Griffin) is a great coach, and he’s going to bring something we haven’t seen before.”
The War Eagles may also have something new to present in running back Marvin Rosario.
“He brings a little extra punch to our attack. He’s been a welcome member of our family,” Forman said.
Rosario could be a big part of a rushing attack that also includes returning standout A.J. Sijiye -- back from an ACL injury that robbed him of his junior season.
The Falcons, meanwhile, return leading rusher Jeremiah Goss, a sophomore, while fellow sophomore Jasen Johnson has the ability to pull the ball down and run.
“He’s an extremely fierce competitor that hates to lose,” Griffin said of Johnson. “But he needs experience. He’s still a 10th grader. He’s going to make some mistakes and have a bit of a learning curve. Our job is to put him in situations where he can be successful. He’s our guy and we’re going to go to war with him.”
Chestatee, meanwhile, is going into battle with Logan Cates, a junior.
“Logan does a great job; he’s our steady-Eddie,” Forman said. “He’s got the right temperament for quarterback, ice-water in his veins, and I love the way he comes to work every day.”
That lunchpail mentality can describe both teams, and there could be a few dented lunchpails come Friday night -- though everyone involved is just glad to have a chance to get the 2014 season going.
“There’s plenty of excitement going around,” Forman said. “It’s fun to see football back in the air.”
FLOWERY BRANCH at CHESTATEE
-- WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
-- WHERE: War Eagle Stadium, Gainesville
-- RADIO: 102.9 FM
-- FLOWERY BRANCH (0-0, 0-0 Region 8-AAAAA): Season-opener
-- HISTORY: Flowery branch leads series 6-2. The Falcons have won five straight in the series. Flowery Branch won 48-12 in 2009 and its the first meeting since then. ... Both teams are coming off playoff seasons but the War Eagles are under new direction from long-time assistant Bill Forman. Expect to see their staple bruising ground attack for ball control. ... The Falcons will still run their spread attack but look for a little more muscle on the ground game behind sophomore RB Jeremiah Goss while they break-in a new quarterback in sophomore Jasen Johnson.
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