While calling it a great honor to be named The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Independent Football Player of the Year, Augusta Prep fullback Nolan Brandon characteristically deflected the praise.
“It’s not really a measure of how well I did, but honestly of how well our line did,” Brandon said. “Our line blocked amazingly well this year. I couldn’t have done anything without them.”
Brandon became the first player in the school’s five-year football history – three as a varsity program – to rush for over 1,000 yards, finishing with 1,798 and 29 touchdowns.
The Cavaliers star saved his best for last in the Glory For Christ championship game against Johnson Ferry Christian Academy.
Without injured starting quarterback Nate Pylant and a hobbled running back in Kevin Huggins, Cavaliers head coach Harry Bacheller put the game on Brandon’s shoulders and he responded.
Brandon rushed 42 times for 248 yards and two touchdowns, including a season-long 86-yarder. The Cavaliers won their first state title, 28-21 in double overtime and finished the year at 11-1.
“That game – hurt,” Brandon said. “It was a very, very rough game for me. We break down at the end of every single practice with ‘family.’ I thought I knew what that meant and that game it hit me because I was running for my family. That’s the reason I kept going, I couldn’t give up on my family. I never felt closer to the guys in my life than that game.”
Bacheller noted how humble Brandon is and was thrilled that he won the award.
“It’s huge, it’s big and it’s well-deserved, he’s a great kid,” Bacheller said. “I know there’s a lot of other great players. He got it done for us, especially in the championship game.”
Brandon said the championship was a fantastic ending to a fantastic year and he will always have a place in his heart for Augusta Prep football.
“We’ve set a pretty good legacy being state champions, I’m pretty happy with that,” Brandon said. “I never thought I would go that far in football. I remember the first year coach Bacheller told us we might not win any games and then it slowly progressed.”
Brandon, who was recently named the school’s STAR Student, has a full Offer of Appointment from the United States Naval Academy.
Following his formal acceptance, he will report to Annapolis, Md. on July 1, 2014.
“I’m really hoping that I get to play at Navy, that would be awesome,” he said.