By Brandon Park
Bill Corry Stadium was under black out conditions last Friday night, but the Washington County Golden Hawks turned out the lights.
Last week Head Coach Bill Malone said that WACO will attempt to pound the ball up-the-gut, and that is exactly what they did, racking up 45 unanswered points, leading to a 45-0 win over the Morgan County Bulldogs. With the loss, the Dogs move to 0-3 on the season.
The opening coin toss was won by Washington and they elected to receive.
The Bulldogs defense took the field looking like they had something to prove, stopping the Hawks on their first two plays bringing up an early third down. A quarterback keeper would give the Hawks a first down, and set a trend that would last all game.
Morgan would again stop WACO on first and second down leaving another third down attempt. A hand off to WACO running back Keith Sweat resulted in a touchdown, putting Washington up 7-0 early. The Hawks would never look back.
Morgan would start their first drive from their own 20-yard-line. Morgan would start from their own 20-yard-line on all but two kickoffs.
The Bulldogs first play was halted by a false-start penalty, moving them back to the 15. A quick three-and-out would give the Hawks possession on Morgan’s 40-yard-line.
Once again, the Bulldogs defense was able to contain WACO’s running attack on first and second down, however, three consecutive third down conversions would lead to a 13 yard dash into the end zone by Montravious Gladden. WACO would lead 14-0 with only minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Morgan would begin their second drive from the 20. A first down run by Desmond Williams with 1:35 remaining in the first would give Morgan their first first-down of the game. A defensive penalty would move the ball to the 39. Three consecutive stops by WACO’s defense would end the first quarter with Morgan standing set over the ball with fourth-and-two to go.
The second quarter would begin with a decision by Morgan’s coaching staff to go for the first down. The Bulldogs were unable to move the chains when an up-the-gut blast by Williams was stopped short by the Hawks defense.
Washington would take over on Morgan’s 40 yard-line. The second play of the drive would see a WACO receiver beat Morgan’s coverage for a 40-yard bomb that ended in the end zone.
Washington 21, Morgan 0.
The ensuing kickoff would find its way out-of-bounds, putting the Dogs on their own 40. A two yard run by Ryan Glosson would be followed by a fumbled handoff exchange on the very next play. J.D. Hawkins would recover the ball 13 yards behind the line of scrimmage. A third down toss sweep to Terence Harper would be stopped for no gain, forcing the Bulldogs to punt for the second time.
Once again Morgan was able to stop WACO on their first two plays, but a fourth consecutive third down conversion would put WACO into Morgan territory. A second down, offensive holding penalty would push the Hawks back across the 50 to their own 45. Looking at second and 21, the Hawks would hand off to No. 20 who would blast through his offensive line and sprint up field 55 yards before scoring. No. 20 second score would give WACO a comfortable 28-0 lead with 7:11 left in the half.
Yet another touchback would put Morgan on their own 20. A Hawkins-to- Williams completion would be good for 18-yards and a first down, only to be upstaged by another big pass from Hawkins to Zach Sheppard that would move the Dogs to the Hawks 39. An incomplete pass, a false start and a sack of Edwards would bring up a fourth and 19. Morgan would have to punt the ball away.
WACO would take over with 3:45 left in the half. Starting with their worst field position of the game, WACO would hand the ball to No. 20, who would break another big run on third down before being tackled on Morgan’s 46. WACO would eventually score on a No. 4 39 yard scamper. Washington leads 35-0 with 1:31 left until the half.
The half would come to a close with Morgan running out the clock.
The second half kickoff went to the Bulldogs, who received the ball on their own one. Their only return of the game would net 19 yards, placing the ball on none other than the 20 yard-line. Following a five yard run by Glosson, a 15-yard defensive face mask penalty would push the Bulldogs to their 40.
Hawkins would convert for the first with a 10 yard run. Two plays later, Morgan’s drive was halted by a WACO interception. The 31-yard return would give WACO possession on Morgan’s 29.
It would take two plays for Washington to score another rushing touchdown. The PAT would give WACO a 42-0 lead with eight minutes left to play in the third.
A quick three-and-out would once again force Morgan to punt the ball back to the Hawks.
Following the punt, Washington would convert three consecutive third down conversions before being stopped on third and two at Morgan’s 20. A WACO field goal would move the score to 45-0.
An out-of-bounds kickoff put the Dogs on their 35. A defensive pass interference call at the end of the third quarter would allow for an extra play because a quarter can not end on a defensive penalty. Running the same play, Hawkins would again look for Harper deep. Unable to connect, the incomplete pass would end the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with Hawkins rushing for a first down, and a 15-yard late hit penalty would tack on 15 more yards, putting the ball on WACO’s 24. Hawkins would again scramble, this time gaining 22-yards before being stopped on Washington’s two.
A false start penalty backed the Dogs up five yards, landing them on the seven. Glosson would take a Hawkins hand off to the three yard line before being stopped four times, resulting in a turnover.
Washington began their drive with two third down conversions and two fumbles, which resulted in a fourth and long punt from their own seven.
Morgan would field the punt on their own 44 with only 2 minutes left to play. A second late hit penalty would add 15-yards to the 10-yard return, placing the Dogs on WACO’s 31. Two stops by Washington’s defense would leave Morgan with zero time left on the clock and zero points on the scoreboard.
The Bulldogs are entering an off week where they will begin preparation for their first region game against Stephens County scheduled for Friday, September 26 in Stephens County.