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BREAKDOWN: Flowery Branch at Apalachee

Flowery Branch Falcons (8-AAAA)

Coach: Lee Shaw

Record: 2-0, 2-0 region

Last week: Beat Winder-Barrow 64-7

Apalachee Wildcats (8-AAAA)

Coach: Shane Davis

Record: 0-1, 0-1 region

Last week: Had a bye

If the Wildcats thought their defense was tested in their season-opening 38-35 shootout loss to Habersham Central two weeks ago, they will really have to bear down against high-flying Flowery Branch Friday night.

The fourth-ranked Falcons have combined to outscore Madison County and Winder-Barrow 120-14 in their first two outings, and averaged 487 yards of total offense, led by the arm of quarterback Kanler Coker and the legs of running back Jeremy Haley.

“We’re going to see if they’ll let us play with more than 11 players (on defense),” Apalachee coach Shane Davis joked when asked how his team will approach trying to stop Flowery Branch. “They’ve got all the tools. ... They’re good enough that on every possession, they make you balance yourself to try to stop them.”

While the Wildcats should have enough weapons of their own to try to keep pace, including the 1-2 punch of running backs Stanley Williams and Zay Henry, a defense that allowed 35 points in the opener must play better.

And it will be up to some of the few veterans like senior defensive back Jeremy Lotts to help several youngsters on the Wildcats’ defense get their minds in the right place.

“We’ve still got a lot of young guys,” Davis said. “So, I don’t know what the team’s psyche is like right now. Our mindset’s got to get to the point where it’s in the right place each week. If we can do that, wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

Last meeting: Flowery Branch won 52-35 last year

Directions to Apalachee High School: From Ga. Highway 316 east, turn right onto Patrick Mill Road. Take the first left. Go to the four-way stop sign and turn left onto Haymon Morris Road. School is on the right.