Dogs beat Lions
Morgan beats Franklin County 50-21 at Homecoming
story by nick nunn
photos by jesse walker
midst the spectacle that is Homecoming Week, the Bulldogs took to the field last Friday for their fifth region game of the season, against the Franklin County Lions. The 50-21 victory over Franklin County makes Morgan County’s record 6-2 this season.
The band, yielding halftime to the Homecoming Court, played their show before the game began.
Captains Carter Shultz, Grayson Segrest, Jackson Beckham, and Drew McHugh made the first contact with the Lions at the 50-yard line and, after winning the coin toss, elected to defer until the second half of gameplay.
The Bulldogs didn’t give Franklin County to end its first drive on its own terms; Shultz intercepted a deflected pass on the third play of the drive, giving Morgan County the ball on the Lions’ 35-yard line.
Marquis Benton made most of the carries in the Bulldogs’ first drive, including a short rush into the endzone for the first touchdown of the night.
The Lions had to punt soon after the beginning of their second possession, and Morgan County’s second drive ended prematurely with an interception.
However, Melvin Davis intercepted a pass from the Lions on the next play, but the Dogs had a long way to go, beginning on their own 25-yard line.
Davis began the drive with the interception and he was also able to end it with a 9-yard touchdown run as the time ran out on the first quarter.
Going into the second quarter, the score was 14-0 and Franklin County was set to receive the ball.
Their drive made it all the way to their endzone, but it wasn’t one of their players, but Stewart Spence that ended up with the ball, giving the Bulldogs possession on their own 20-yard line.
Morgan County’s next touchdown came after a 66-yard completed pass from Trent Hawk to Michael Gray. The Bulldogs went for a two-point conversion after the play, and Benton was able to find his way into the endzone, bringing the score to 22-0 with five and a half minutes left in the first half.
The Bulldogs’ last chance to add points to the board in the second quarter was a field goal attempt, but Campbell Harrison’s kick missed wide left.
Morgan County didn’t ease up on the Lions in the second half, even with the 22-point lead.
Benton was able to earn two more rushing touchdowns for Morgan County in the third quarter before Franklin County scored its first touchdown of the night, making the score 36-7.
Hawk scored the last touchdown of the quarter with a 25-yard quarterback draw.
Just before the beginning of the fourth quarter, Spence was able to recover a fumble for Morgan County, but a fumble by the Bulldogs gave Franklin County the ball back in good position to score their second touchdown of the night.
In the final minutes of the game, each team was able to score once more.
Trey Chapman was able to show what he could do for the team with an outstanding 21-yard rushing play that he was able to bring back from almost being out of bounds. This carry came just a few plays before Chapman also was able to run the ball 31 yards into the endzone.
“Trey had a couple of great big runs,” said Coach Malone about Chapman. “He’s a really exciting player to watch when he’s got the ball in his hands. We’re excited about watching him continue to grow up.”
Franklin County made another touchdown a little more than a minute later with a 63-yard touchdown pass, which brought the final score to 50-21.
Morgan County’s success in overcoming Franklin County lived up to Coach Malone’s expectation for the team, even during homecoming week
“It is a testament to our kids that they were able to have fun with homecoming but not lose their minds.”
“I think we were pretty dominant. This is the second game in a row we haven’t had to punt.”
During the night, Hawk had an impressive passing game, completing six out of nine attempted passes for a total of 164 yards.
“It’s always good when you are able to successfully throw it,” said Malone, “and, to be able to successfully throw it, aside from the guys on the throwing and receiving end, you’ve got to have protection.”
“It certainly opens up the run when you’re able to throw.”
Since Franklin County was a region opponent, the win over the Lions brought the Bulldogs’ region record to 3-2. The remaining games of the season, against Hart County this week and Jackson County next week, are both region games and will be important in deciding the postseason for Morgan County.
Printed in the November 1, 2012 edition.