FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS: Baldwin bashed on the road; JMA quarterback injured in victory


Baldwin – 0
Spalding – 34

GRIFFIN – The Braves didn't exactly set the world on fire in their first region game of the season.

Spalding went up 20-0 shortly before halftime on a remarkably flukey play. On fourth-and-goal at the Braves' 1-yard line, the Jaguars quarterback fumbled the snap, which created a scrum, and the ball eventually was kicked into the hands of a wide receiver, who subsequently ran into the corner of the endzone.

The Jaguars then added a punt return for a touchdown and an 80-yard scoring pass in the second half to add insult to injury.

The Braves are now 3-2 overall and 0-1 in GHSA Region 4-AAAA. Baldwin hasn't won a region championship since 2018 and following Friday night's game, the chances of winning one in 2023 don't look great. The Perry Panthers are the odds-on favorite in Region 4 and currently ranked No. 4 in AAAA, according to the composite poll, while Spalding entered the game ranked seventh in the state.

Baldwin now must regroup in time for next Friday night's game vs. Howard at Braves Stadium. After that is a bye week and then a road game at Perry on Oct. 13.

Brookwood Academy – 28
John Milledge – 62

It was a happy homecoming on Log Cabin Road, with one really notable exception. Junior quarterback Kolt McMichael, who'd been playing well in his first season as the starter, went down with a knee injury on the first play of the second quarter. The extent of McMichael's injury won't be known for sure until he undergoes an MRI.

Senior Solomon Burney, who transferred in from Baldwin during the off-season, came in to replace McMichael. Burney started at quarterback for the Braves for most of the 2022 season. On his first snap on Friday, Burney fumbled the snap. Bud Veal, however, had the wherewithal to pick the ball up and proceeded to run into the end zone for a touchdown.

Running back Javian Butts scored four touchdowns in the first quarter for the Trojans and another in the second.

It was a therapeutic night for JMA's offense after struggling last week against Frederica. The Trojans racked up more than 500 yards of total offense.

The Trojans will look to extend their state-record winning streak to 56 games next week on the road against Pinewood in Bellville. JMA has won eight straight games against the Patriots, including a 55-0 victory last season and a 21-0 win the 2021 state championship game over in Macon.

Region play, meanwhile, begins on Oct. 13 at home against Statford, which is shaping up to be the biggest regular-season game on Log Cabin Road in recent memory.

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