Saturday, April 1, 2023

Braves Football Runs Hot on a Four Game Win Streak

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The Braves defensive line is set for the snap of the Charleston Golden Eagles. The Braves held them to one touchdown. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift

Defensive Back Virgil Lemons and Head Coach Shane Richardson lead the team from the tunnel at the start of the Homecoming Game. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift
Devin Jones and Virgil Lemons form a heart for the camera. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift

By: Andrew Thrift, Sports Editor

Homecoming weekend was full of wins across all Braves Athletics teams, but no win that week felt as good as when the Braves beat the Charleston Golden Eagles Saturday Oct. 23. The Braves beat the Golden Eagles 21-14.

During the 1st quarter, Devin Jones forced and recovered a fumble deep in Charleston territory to set the hosts up with good field position halfway through the first quarter. The Braves put the first points on the board with a play from Josh Jones when he connected with Faheem Diaab on a 26-yard touchdown strike. Putting the Braves up six to nothing.

Charleston’s Philip Fleshman’s 4-yard run set the Golden Eagles up with a 1st-and-Goal situation at the 6-yard line. The Black & Gold forced a pair of incomplete passes though and held 6-3 running back Josh Brown to just two yards on a 2nd-down carry. Keeping the Braves on top with 14 to 8.

During halftime, the Homecoming Court was announced and the King and Queen were crowned. Drama Sutton and Camille Alston were named the 2021 Homecoming King and Queen.

After halftime, the Braves and the Golden Eagles tied the game up 14 to 14. Charleston’s Damon Mouzon returned the opening kickoff of the stanza to the 37-yard line with Guy Myers following with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Colby Cooper. Tim McCutchen’s extra-point attempt went wide left to keep the game deadlocked. A 33-yard pass from Josh Jones to Trey Dixon on 2nd-and-8 from the Braves 22-yard line moved them into Golden Eagles territory, and Dixon got his hands on a 45-yard touchdown pass from fellow wide receiver Rodney Smith. Making the score at the end of the 3rd quarter 21 to 14.

The 4th quarter had no points scored, letting the Braves beat the Golden Eagles 21 to 14.

“The whole team made plays and had fun while coming out for a in for UNCP,” said Devin Jones.

The following weekend, the Braves went to West Liberty in West Virginia to take on the Bears. Josh Jones threw for a career-best 389 yards and two touchdowns on 26-of-34 passing, including a trio of 50+-yard passes. Jones led the Braves to a 27-17 victory at the Mountain East Conference rival West Liberty on Saturday afternoon.

During the 1st quarter, the Braves scored a drive with a 57-yard touchdown pass from Josh Jones to Devin Jones. Putting the Braves up 7 to nothing.

The 2nd quarter was full of scoring plays from both sides. The Hilltoppers took over possession at the 33-yard line following the turnover, and settled for a 20-yard field goal by Owen Rozanc putting the score 7 to 3. The Braves scored immediately, stringing together a 3-play, 72-yard touchdown drive that took just 56 seconds. Joseph Early moved the visitors to midfield on a 7-yard run, then Josh Jones hit Trey Dixon on a 50-yard scoring strike seconds later. Getting the Braves up 14 to 3. The Bears’ David Gilcreast sacked Josh Jones and got the ball loose. Devon McNutt picked up the loose ball and raced 53-yards for a West Liberty touchdown. Making the score at the end of the 2nd quarter 14 to 10 Braves.

A fumble near midfield set West Liberty up in good field position, and a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jamie Diven to Isaiah Robinson capped a 3-play, 41-yard scoring drive. Putting West Liberty up 17 to 14 West Liberty.

The Braves fought hard in the 4th quarter. Josh Jones completed all three of his pass attempts for 86 yards. But it was a 1-yard touchdown by Joseph Early that polished off the possession. The Braves were now back on top 21 to 17. An interception by Sean Hill at the 39-yard line set the Braves up in a good field position, but the drive was capped by a 33-yard field from Alex Alvarado. Adding more to the Braves’ score to 24. Alvarado got yet another field goal, this time a 33-yard field goal, getting the Braves a total of 27 points to have them up 27 to 17 at the end of the 4th quarter.

The Braves take on Notre Dame at noon on November 6 during American Indian Heritage Day at Grace P. Johnson Stadium.

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