Six different Bulldogs scored TDs on homecoming Friday night as Thomson blasted the Cross Creek Razorbacks 44-0 at The Brickyard.
The THS victory paired with a 44-30 upset of previously undefeated Burke County by Baldwin County turned the upcoming Friday night THS-Burke County game into a Region 3-AAAA Championship game.
“Region championship is what this week is about,” said Thomson head football coach Michael Youngblood in the huddle meeting after the game. “We’ve got to cut out all the mistakes and make sure when we put our game plan together it means we play for four quarters. Tonight, I thought we played for three quarters. We left the (scoreless) second quarter behind.”
Thomson took the opening kickoff and two plays later, Snoop Williams scorched the turf at Luther Welsh Field for a 65-yard scoring run.
On Cross Creek’s first possession the Dogs recovered a fumble at the THS 21, and two plays later, Dylan Hobbs piled into the end zone from the 2-yard line.
After a Cross Creek punt, the Dogs ran eight plays before quarterback Tay Martin ran the ball in from 10 yards out.
The Bulldogs took a 24-0 lead to halftime after the Cross Creek quarterback couldn’t corral a bad snap and fell on the ball in the end zone for a safety late in the first quarter.
In the third quarter, Lil’Vasco Winfrey ripped off an 82-yard punt return for a score, and Skylar Davis got a Pick 6 on a 34-yard interception.
The Bulldogs’ final touchdown came on a 14-yard run by Jordan Roberts midway through the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs, 4-4 overall, had 372 yards of offense and held the visitors to 158 yards. Williams was Thomson’s leading rusher with nine carries for 118 yards. Kindarius Green was next with 72 yards on 10 carries.
The coach said the tangle with Burke is huge and the Dogs have to be focused on those four quarters.
“We didn’t even look at the Cross Creek film,” said Youngblood. “The truth of the matter is if we take care of business on Friday night, we are the region champs.”
If the Dogs win against Burke, THS will face Richmond Academy the following week to win the region title outright. If Burke County wins, and the Dogs defeat Richmond Academy on Nov. 8, the region championship will be determined by the point differential tiebreaker.
Youngblood said that the 7-2 Bears are good offensively.
“They are huge on the offensive line and they have a good group of skill players,” he said. “We are going to have to use our quickness to deal with their offensive line. They have picked up the option and when they are not throwing the ball as well, they run the option and so forth and make you play assignment football.”
The coach said Bear’s running back Leon McGee will be a strong target for the Bulldogs.
The defense is speedy, said the coach.
“They cause confusion with their speed because they are all over the place,” said Youngblood. “They will blitz off the edge and do different things, and we have to be ready for anything.”
Burke County had a right night on special teams against Baldwin, said Youngblood. “They turned the ball over three times on special teams,” he said. “We have to win the special teams game. We have to be excellent in the kicking game and force them to punt or turn the ball over and give our offense a short field, it will go a long way in us being successful.”
He said he believed the night would be a continuing of the heated rivalry. Thomson has faced Burke 35 times since 1987, winning 16 times. Last year, the Bears defeated the Bulldogs 30-28.
“Every play will matter, and it will be a playoff atmosphere,” said Youngblood. “As coaches, we are glad our team is in a position where we control our own destiny. We have to go to their house and do what we are supposed to do.”