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PREVIEW: Winder-Barrow at Flowery Branch

Winder-Barrow's Austin Stewart

Winder-Barrow's Austin Stewart

WINDER-BARROW BULLDOGGS (8-AAAAA)

Coach: David Wagner

Record: 0-5, 0-3

Last week: Lost to Heritage 37-12

FLOWERY BRANCH FALCONS (8-AAAAA)

Coach: Chris Griffin

Record: 4-2, 4-0

Last week: Beat Apalachee 30-20

The Bulldoggs still haven’t broken through for their first win since week three years ago, and the prospects don’t appear to be much brighter with a trip to Flowery Branch next on the docket.

But coach David Wagner has been encouraged with what he’s seen lately in competitive losses to Salem and Heritage, and is hopeful his team can find that one spark that can turn things around.

“We just need some breaks,” Wagner said. “Every time I watch one of our films, it seems like we make mistakes and (the opponent) makes some mistakes. But their mistakes wind up going their way and our mistakes go their way.

“We’re playing hard and generating some yardage on offense and not playing terrible on defense. We just have to have all the pieces of the puzzle come together.”

The puzzle for Friday's game is simple enough — try to slow down a high-flying Falcons offense led by QB Jackson McDonald, or at least try to keep the ball away from it enough to put pressure on it.

That task will get a boost with the return of offensive lineman Austin Stewart, who has not played since being injured in the season opener against Jackson County, and whose presence could help open holes for the Bulldoggs’ running game, led by Chad Platt and Chandon Sullivan.

Last meeting: Flowery Branch won 64-7 last year

Directions to Flowery Branch High School: I-985 north to Exit 12. Turn right onto Spout Springs Road. School is 2 1/2 miles ahead on the left.