North Oconee High School’s football team kept on winning last week.
The Titans hosted Flowery Branch in their third region contest of the year. They outlasted the Falcons, winning 14-7.
That victory improved North Oconee’s overall record to 4-3. This marks the first time the Titans have been above .500 during the 2021 season after beginning with a 1-3 record.
North Oconee’s win over Flowery Branch also improved the Titans to 3-0 in Region 8-AAAA contests. That is North Oconee’s best start to the region portion of its schedule since the 2014 season when it opened with a 4-0 start in region play.
The Titans are one of two teams holding undefeated records in Region 8-AAAA. The other is Jefferson, which also stands at 3-0 among region contests.
Khalil Barnes was the star of the night for North Oconee last Friday against Flowery Branch.
Barnes caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Max Wilson with about 10 minutes left in the first quarter. That score put the Titans ahead of the Falcons 7-0.
Throughout the game, Barnes caught four passes for 85 yards to go along with his early touchdown. Barnes is also a two-way player and he made his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball, too.
The junior recorded one interception and four tackles during the game.
With less than one minute remaining in the first quarter, Wilson rushed in for a 14-yard touchdown to increase the Titans’ lead to 14-0.
That score held until late in the second quarter when Flowery Branch scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, cutting the lead down to 14-7.
Defense took over from there, with neither team gaining much ground offensively. The Titans and Falcons traded punts throughout most of the game.
Barnes’ interception came with around seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and it helped North Oconee secure the victory.
The Titans are set to return to action this Friday. They will play at East Hall, which carries a 1-6 record into the contest.
Next week, North Oconee will host Cedar Shoals before traveling to Jefferson on Oct. 29. Provided North Oconee beats East Hall this week, those games will determine the Region 8-AAAA champion and the second and third seeds for the state playoffs.