The Thomson Bulldogs lost their quarterfinal game of the GHSA Class AAA state playoffs 21-7 to the Appling County Pirates on Friday, Nov. 26.
THS Head Coach Michael Youngblood said he thought they had opportunities to win the game.
“We played well on defense, and we had some things offensively to score some points,” Youngblood said.
Youngblood added that the Bulldogs did what they needed to do in the first half, with the exception of the touchdown towards the end of the first half. Youngblood said they made a few mistakes here and there, and had some breakdowns in the second half.
Moving foward, Youngblood knows they’ll have to improve in all three phases if they want to win a state title.
“We are going to face teams that are better and we have to neutralize them,” Youngblood said.
The Bulldogs’ lone touchdown came on a pass from quarterback Tay Martin to wide receiver Ashton Perry in the second quarter. According to Youngblood, no one in particular stood out on offense.
‘We lost the battle in the trenches,” Youngblood said. “They did a good job taking away our quarterback and running backs.”
Youngblood said the defense played well in the first half, with the exception of the touchdown they allowed late in the second quarter, and they went into halftime tied at 7. Appling County added two touchdowns in the third quarter to make it 21-7, as that would be the final.
According to Youngblood, overall the season was an improvement for the Bulldogs as they went undefeated during the regular season at 9-0 and won the region title.
“This is definitely where you want to be at,” Youngblood said.
Something else that Youngblood considered an accomplishment was being able to host three home playoff games. Youngblood said he was proud of the way his team competed in every game this season. As for future plans, Youngblood said he wants to win state titles.
“I want to compete for state titles,” Youngblood said.
He added that he wants to bring state title number six back to Thomson and McDuffie County. The group of seniors this year mark Youngblood’s first full senior class.
“Got to look at the improvement,” Youngblood said. "These guys have stood the test of time, and they did everything that was asked of them.”
Each year, record wise, the senior class got better, according to Youngblood.
“Build off of their legacy,” Youngblood said.
Youngblood added that the team for next year will get a break before they start back in January preparing for the 2022 season, “It’s been a long year, and right now we are focusing on academics,” Youngblood said. Thomson will make the move to Class AA next season.