Quarterback Josh Jones rolls out to the left to attempt a pass. PN Photo/Trevon Knight
Once again multiple and ill-timed mistakes proved to be costly yet again in the Braves 34-13 loss to the Eagles of Carson Newman University on Nov. 10.
The game was a tightly contested affair through three quarters before the visiting Eagles were able to pull away in the later half of the final quarter with a pair of late touchdowns.
The game couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the home team when the kickoff unit forced and recovered a fumble on the very first play of the game, setting up the Braves’ offense already deep their opponent’s territory at the CNU 29-yard line.
However, after only being able to manage advance the ball an additional two yards, the Braves would come away with nothing to show for it as kicker Shawn Andrew would miss his first and only attempt of the afternoon wide left.This would set the precedent for what would happen time and time again for the Braves throughout this game.
Missed opportunities that came as a result of missed assignments, dropped passes, errant throws, missed blocks and momentum killing mistakes would lead to another debilitating defeat for the Braves.In what can be split into a tale of two halves, the Braves were able to move the ball with consistency in the first half and the defense was able to come up with timely stops just when the Eagles seemed to be rolling as the score was just separated by a four-point margin after two quarters.
“Obviously, when you can’t run in between the tackles and then the passing game isn’t really getting a great answer, its tough on the offensive side of the ball, said Head Coach Shane Richardson.
In the second half the night, Eagles were able to make the proper adjustments as well as counter UNCP’s adjustments after the intermission and forced multiple three and outs of the Black and Gold offense as well as find creases in the Braves defense for huge gains.
“I feel like their defense adjusted and the adjustment we was ready for it, but we wasn’t ready at the same time so in the future we just got to take advantage and make the plays we got to make at opportune times,” said running back Quadrin Williams.In the end despite just being able to convert half of their redzone positions for touchdowns, the Eagles were able to break a couple of long rushes for scores and used their second ranked option rushing offense to rack up 438 yards on the ground.
“If one guy is out of position, if one guy doesn’t really do his job the right way defending this type of offense then it can really be bad,” said Richardson.
After having to split time for the majority of the season, true freshman quarterback Josh Jones played the majority of the game under center for the Braves and after starting off completing passes early and often to multiple targets, was only able to complete just two passes in the third quarter and none in the fourth before being pulled in the team’s final drive.
“I thought he felt a little bit rushed and I thought there were some in accurate passes there and I thought we had some drops so the passing game didn’t feel good at all,” said Richardson.