The Thomson Bulldogs came off of an open week and opened the offense convincingly in a 33-7 win over the Morgan County Bulldogs Friday night in the first region game for the two schools.
“We had time off – an extra week to prepare and to get right” said junior THS quarterback, defensive back and wide receiver Tay Martin after the game. “Then, team chaplain Bernard Grant talked to us about togetherness and its importance, about being tough, and about pride in being a Thomson Bulldog and playing in The Brickyard.”
Five different Bulldogs scored on a drizzly night at The Brickyard that went Thomson’s way in every phase of the game, giving THS a chance to play deep into their roster.
Heralding that game as the beginning of the second of three seasons, the THS Dogs are on their way in a string of six region games as they march for a region championship and beyond.
Thomson’s defense was able to neutralize a previously strong Morgan County offense, allowing only 170 yards of total offense and turning in points of its own.
Morgan County’s only score on the night came early in the fourth quarter on a 22-yard run by Jacere Cooper against mostly junior varsity players.
“We were able to smother them with our defense and take away things they wanted to do,” said Michael Youngblood, Thomson head coach. “On offense, our passing game was much better and we were able to hit open guys. We ran the ball well, but still make some mistakes, but all-in-all it was a great game for us.”
THS scored early in the first quarter on a 7-yard run by Jahkiaus Jones, who rotated at quarterback with Martin.
On the first play of the second quarter, Morgan County’s snap deep in its own territory went through the back of the end zone for a safety.
Thomson came away with points again with just under five minutes remaining in the half on a 14-yard touchdown run from Kindarius Green, who Youngblood said had been hobbled by a nagging injury.
The home team wasn’t through as Thomson’s defense held the visitors on their next possession. Morgan County’s defense played soft and Jones found Ashton Perry for a wide open score on a 58-yard pass play.
Thomson’s defense came up with the big play on Morgan County’s first drive of the second half when Kenyatta Champion scooped up a fumble and ran it in from 26 yards out.
THS wound up the scoring on a 40-yard field goal by Ben Cushman.
Green led Thomson’s 370 yards with 135 yards on 20 carries. Martin had 85 yards on nine carries.
Keshon Germany led the stingy Thomson defense with nine tackles, and Kurtis Cummings and Cervuntes Felts each recorded six tackles.
With the large margin of victory, Youngblood said Thomson still had work to do correcting the little things.
“Our surface is still a little rough,” said the coach. “If we keep sanding out to smoothness, then I feel like where we will be where we want to be to make our run.”
In that region run, the Richmond Academy Musketeers are the next opponent this Friday on Walton Way in Augusta. Both teams are 4-1 and 1-0 in Region 3-AAA.
“They have good skill people with two different quarterbacks who will direct the run and pass,” Youngblood said. “On the road is tough, and we have to make sure we do things correctly to win on the road and at home.”
Former Thomson graduate and defensive coordinator Lee Hutto heads up defensive coaching duties at Richmond Academy and Youngblood knows they will be at peak for the matchup with Hutto’s alma mater.
“They are huge up front on defense and try to smother the line and ball carriers,” said Youngblood. “I’ve coached across from him a couple of times, and I know they will try to shut us down on offense.”
No THS-ARC tickets will be sold online or at Thomson High School. Richmond Academy will be selling tickets at the gate, but there will be only 600 visitor tickets available. They will also be selling tickets at Richmond Academy Wednesday and Thursday from 4-6 p.m.