The Thomson Bulldogs opened the 2019 season with a convincing 26-0 win Monday night over the North Augusta Yellow Jackets at The Brickyard.
The game was moved to Monday after a Friday night lightning storm forced officials to postpone the game.
Thomson’s offense moved the ball with the pass and run, while the Bulldog defense held the Yellow Jackets to 108 total yards.
After Thomson fumbled on the second play of the game, the Bulldogs stopped the visitors and forced a punt.
Four plays later, two of which were passes from Tay Martin to Cerauhjalaun Williams, the last one being a 25 yard scoring pass. Conner Askew added the extra point.
The Bulldog defense allowed the Jackets a first down, but forced a punt four plays later at midfield.
Both teams traded possessions with North Augusta missing a 35-yard field goal that slid right.
Thomson got the ball with near two minutes left in the half and Williams blasted 34 yards for a score. Askew’s kick missed wide right.
Thomson’s defense came up with the big play when Williams picked off a pass at the NA 37 with :32 left in the half.
On the next play, Ashton Perry connected with Martin on a 37-yard scoring pass and John Joiner’s point after put the Bulldogs up 20-0.
Thomson’s final touchdown came near the end of the third quarter on a 15-yard run by Kay’Jun Cummings. Joiner’s extra point kick missed.
Thomson head coach Michael Youngblood said the win showed a lot of good things, but said the Dogs had to eliminate penalties and mistakes that good teams would take advantage of.
He praised the physicality on both sides of the ball, but emphasized that errors had to be fixed.
“We turned the ball over twice, once on the second play of the game and in competing for a region championship, you can’t have mistakes like that,” he said.
Defensively, the coach said the Dogs were locked in and kept the Jacket offense in front.
“We took away things they wanted to do,” said Youngblood. “I’ve got to tip my hat to the defense. The defensive coaches called a great game and let the kids make the plays they needed to make.”
Thomson’s offense rolled up 381 yards of offense, with 163 of those coming through the air.
Martin led with 87 yards rushing and 104 yards receiving. Cummings was next with 59 yards on 10 carries.
Martin completed 3-of-4 passes for 58 yards and a TD. Perry also tossed a touchdown while hitting 5-of-9 passes for 105 yards.
Both teams had problems following the rules as the Jackets were penalized 14 times for 120 yards and THS was flagged eight times for 90 yards.
Last year, the Jackets won 32-24 at North Augusta, and this year, Youngblood said the Dogs were on a much better foundation in several areas.
“I was very critical of myself coming in May 1 of last year and trying to put the team together,” the coach said.
“The quarterback came in the middle of July and you’re trying to hurry up putting systems in and building toughness.”
Youngblood said it was overwhelming with the players to rush things and it was overwhelming for the coaches.
“Now that we have been together and the kids and coaches understand what we want has paid off and we can see the results.”
The coach said many teams had gotten away from physical and went to cute things.
“Early on, we were a little too cute, but when we got to running down hill and playing our style of physical football it started wearing on the opponent,” Youngblood said.
Thomson has Friday night off to prepare to host the Golden Eagles of Eagles Landing, a team that THS bashed 54-18 last year in McDonough.