FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Baldwin exacts revenge on Putnam; Dawgs drop one in Macon
Putnam Co. – 13
Baldwin – 33
In a game with seemingly 8,000 penalty flags and 8,000 players dropping with cramps, the Braves outclassed the War Eagles at Braves Stadium.
WMAZ/Channel 13 was on hand for the first half, and here are their highlights, including a scoop-and-score touchdown by Baldwin defensive lineman Jalen King.
Baldwin sort of continued its early-season revenge tour, getting Putnam back on Friday night after losing to the War Eagles last season in Eatonton. Last week, the Braves beat Peach County 34-13 after losing to Peach 50-20 in 2022.
This is the first time since 2020 that Baldwin has started out 2-0.
Star tailback Micah Welch, a Colorado verbal commit, was relatively quiet in the first half (8 carries for 48 yards) before catching fire in the second half and finishing with more than 200 rushing yards and a pair of electrifying long touchdown runs.
Welch's 44-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter staked the Braves to a 27-0 lead, much to the delight of one of the largest home crowds at Braves Stadium since before COVID.
Despite the easy victory, Baldwin Head Coach Jesse Hicks wasn't exactly excited after the game, his displeasure centering around the Braves' 16 penalties for 145 yards. Putnam (0-1) wasn't innocent, themselves, racking up 95 penalty yards. Between the penalties and all of the players cramping, it was a three-hour football game.
"Too sloppy," Hicks said. "I'm happy we got the win, but how you win is important, too."
Baldwin finished with nearly 300 rushing yards but only completed 2-6 passes for 11 yards. Obviously, the Braves must improve their passing game as the season progresses if they want to make a deep playoff run.
Next up for Baldwin is a trip deep into south Georgia, as far south as you can go without hitting Florida, for a matchup with the reigning GHSA Class AAAAA state champions – the Ware County Gators.
"I think that it will be an awesome opportunity. The more good teams you play in August and September, the better your team will play in November," Hicks said. "We've never backed down from anybody."
Baldwin volunteer coach CB Cornett, who took Macon County to five state championship games during the 1990s, gets in some instruction on the sidelines during the first half of Friday night's game.
GMC Prep – 0
ACE Charter – 48
The Dawgs traveled to Macon to take on the Gryphons (2-0), a program now in its sixth season of football.
Here are some highlights from NBC Macon, including a nice fumble recovery and run by GMC's Jonathan Roach, as well as a rib rocking hit from senior linebacker Jesse Washington.
GMC is now 0-2 and next Friday will head across the river to take on the Brentwood Eagles in Sandersville.