Dogs drop final game to Oconee County
By Alvin Richardson
On the last Friday of the 2008 football season, Morgan County ended a tough year losing to neighboring Oconee County by a final score of 41-14. The Dogs will not make a post season appearance for the first time since 1995, a string of 12 consecutive years.
The Warriors led 7-0 after one quarter and scored again with 11:14 left in the second quarter to lead 13-0. A blocked punt with 1:34 left in the half led to another touchdown with 1:00 remaining and the score was 20-0 at intermission.
Oconee opened the second half with two long passes courtesy of quarterback Zach Mettenberger (committed to University of Georgia) and a short run that resulted in a 27-0 lead and basically sewed up a playoff berth for the Warriors.
Head Coach Bill Malone was grateful for some things even after a disappointing season. “I want to thank all those who came to the Oconee game and thank all those who supported us all year long. I also want to thank our seniors for four years of hard work. It was a tough year but we are planning to hit the ground running Monday to get ready for the 2009 season.”
Offensive coordinator John Robbins commented on the game and some of his players. “Ryan Glosson and Terrence Harper made some big plays in the game but dropped passes and fumbles hurt our point production.”
Robbins also pointed to some senior players that have played their last game for MCHS. “We are really going to miss kids like Ryan Glosson who was really a key leader for us. We also have big shoes to fill with the loss of seniors Phillip Stovall, Hill Biggers, Jace Jenkins, Brandon Horton, Bo Cochran, Dominique Hall and Clay Duvall. Those guys have done a fine job for us.”
Defensive coordinator Clint Jenkins was pleased with the effort of his group against one of the best quarterbacks in Georgia. “The Mettenberger kid made some great throws even when we had good coverage on his receivers. Overall the kids played really hard and I’m disappointed that it didn’t turn out the way we wanted.”
Jenkins went on to single out some good plays on the part of the defense. “Desmond Williams caused a fumble and Wesley Barrett recovered it.
Brandon Rivers had a sack and blocked a couple of kicks and Phillip Stovall had a sack as well. I thought we put some good pressure on the quarterback and we changed our coverage a lot but he (Mettenberger) was still able to find his receivers.”
Oconee County got most of their yardage through the air (190 out of 272) in the contest.
On their second possession of the game, Oconee County took over at their own 46 and drove to the Morgan 40-yard line. From there a screen pass went the distance and the Warriors posted a 7-0 lead with 5:52 left in quarter number one.
Morgan County grounded out one first down on their next possession and punted to Oconee.
Starting at their 46, the Warriors drove to Morgan’s seven yard line and hit a seven yard slant route for another score. Rivers blocked the PAT but Oconee led 13-0 with 11:14 left in the second period.
Oconee got going on another drive that stalled at Morgan’s 37-yard line and the Warriors lined up to attempt a 52 yard field goal. Again, Rivers broke through to block the attempt and turn Oconee away.
It looked like the Dogs would go into half time down only 13-0, but a blocked punt with 1:34 left in the second quarter turned into a lethal blow as the Warriors took advantage and scored with one minute left in the half to hold a 20-0 lead.
Oconee surrendered two fumbles in the first half but the Dogs could not take advantage of either miscue.
One their opening possession of the second half, Oconee County put the game out of reach with two long strikes through the air and finished off the drive with a one yard run to extend their lead to 27-0 with 10:21 left in the third quarter.
Morgan didn’t quit and was able to put together two scoring drives in the second half. Following Antwon Carter’s fine kick off return to the 45, the Bulldogs put together a 55 yard drive to post their first score of the night. The key play of the drive was a 40 yard pass from Harper to Horton to the Oconee two yard line. From there, Glosson took it over the goal line to make the score 27-6 with 7:44 left in the contest.
That bit of momentum was quickly relinquished when Oconee County took the ensuing kick off and returned in 90 yards for a score and a 34-6 lead at the 7:27 mark of quarter number three.
The Dogs responded once more with an 80 yard drive that had several key plays. Harper carried twice for 18 yards, Hall had a 10 yard run, Glosson ran for nine on the option pitch and from the eight yard line Phillip Stovall went in for the touchdown from his fullback position to make the score 34-12.
Oconee County scored once more on a four yard touchdown pass at the end of a 64 yard drive to post the final score of 41-14.
Offensively, Morgan generated 272 yards on offense with 142 coming through the air and 130 on the ground. Leading rushers for the game were Glosson with 58 yards on 16 carries and Harper with 37 yards on six carries. Hall chipped in 17 yards rushing and Terrence Heard added in another 12.
In the passing game, J.D. Hawkins completed seven of 12 for 81 yards and Harper was good on three of six passes for 61 yards.
The leading receivers were Hall with two catches for 36 yards, Glosson with three catches for 16 and Bo Cochran with two snags for 15. Horton caught one ball for 39 yards and Caleb Duvall had a catch for 20 in the game.