Dogs blast Jackson
By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County opened their region slate in fine style as they completely dominated the first half to set the tone and thrash Jackson County. The Dogs offense scored on three of their first four possessions and the defense held Jackson to one first down in the first two quarters to open up a 20-0 lead.
The Panthers mounted a brief third quarter rally on a busted play that resulted in a 66 yard run, but Morgan answered with a 55 yard touchdown reception by Terence Harper and an 81 yard drive that ended when quarterback J.D. Hawkins found Harper once again in the end zone on a fade route to settle the matter.
Head Coach Bill Malone was obviously pleased with his team’s performance. “It was nice to break a five game losing streak (dating back to last year) and get off to a good start in the region schedule. I was real proud of the defense. Coach Jenkins had a good plan and the kids carried it out very well. We were one play away from a shutout.” The coach also had praise for his offensive unit. “J.D. Hawkins did a nice job checking down to his second and third receivers and he spread the ball around to several people. When receivers know J.D. can get them the ball it helps them concentrate on running their routes correctly and at full speed.” Malone went on to praise some other individuals. “Ryan Glosson continues to run with his usual toughness and did what we’ve come to expect of him. Terrence Harper may have had a breakout game at receiver. His open field running was good and it looks like he is becoming a big play maker for us.”
Sophomore quarterback J.D. Hawkins showed poise and accuracy as he completed 12 of 20 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns. That yardage total is an unofficial school record breaking a record set by Brett Bell against Heard County in 2006. On the receiving end of six passes was senior Dominique Hall. Hall had a stellar night turning those six catches into 126 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Glosson continued his good work with 105 rushing yards on twenty four carries and touchdown runs of seven and eleven yards in the contest. Terence Harper had four receptions totaling eighty five yards and two scoring catches. Offensive coordinator John Robbins wanted to make sure credit was given where due. “We had some guys put up some good numbers tonight and it took an outstanding effort by our offensive line to put them in a position to accomplish that. It was a good effort by the entire group to get us back on track.”
While the offense was piling up 403 yards of offense (120 rushing, 283 passing), the defense was limiting Jackson County to 103 total yards of offense. Sixty six of those yards came on the Panther’s lone touchdown run off a broken play. Jackson totaled 105 rushing and minus two passing on the evening. Defensive coordinator Clint Jenkins commented on the play of his unit. “I was pleased with the overall effort. We must continue to have strong leadership from our seniors and improve each week.”
Morgan scored on its opening possession. The Dogs set up shop at Jackson County’s forty two yard line after a fine kick off return by A.J. Smith. Two pass completions to Dominique Hall got the Bulldogs to the six and Ryan Glosson ran it in from there. The PAT failed and it was 6-0 with 9:36 left in the first quarter.
Later in the opening quarter, Morgan drove seventy seven yards to up the lead to 12-0. J.D. Hawkins provided one big play in the drive with a twenty two yard scamper off an inside fake and Dominique Hall made a great catch to get Morgan to the Panther twenty one yard line. From there Terence Harper made consecutive catches, the last a twelve yard touchdown reception to make it 12-0 with two seconds left in quarter number one. The two point conversion failed.
With 7:38 remaining in the second quarter J.D. Hawkins found Dominique Hall for forty three yards and another touchdown. That drive consumed seventy yards and was keyed by a sixteen yard completion to Zach Shepherd and a seventeen yard run by Dominique Hall. Following a penalty against Jackson County the Dogs decided to go for two and converted on an option pitch to Terence Harper for a 20-0 lead.
In the third quarter Jackson County closed the gap to 20-6 but Morgan took away any notions of a comeback when J.D. Hawkins connected with wideout Terence Harper on a slant pass that Harper turned into a fifty five yard touchdown when he split the Panther secondary and outraced the defenders to the pylon. Clay Duvall kicked the extra point for a 27-6 lead.
Morgan scored its last touchdown with an eighty one yard, thirteen play drive. J.D. Hawkins found Terence Harper on a six yard fade route to make the final score 34-6.