Dogs lose a heartbreaker

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By Alvin Richardson

It was a wild and wooly night in Watkinsville and the fans who witnessed it saw a great high school football game. When the dust settled Oconee County had survived to keep their unbeaten season going by the slimmest of margins Friday night when they kicked a forty six yard field goal as time expired to nip Morgan County by a final score of 33-31. With 4:55 left in the contest the Warriors punched in a touchdown to take a 30-21 lead and it looked as if the Dogs were done for the evening. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The Bulldogs got themselves right back in the game with a lighting quick drive that took only five plays, covered sixty nine yards and most importantly took only forty seven seconds to complete. The touchdown came on a seven yard fade route from Brantley Frost to Quincey Jones. Andrew Bishop’s extra point trimmed the margin to 30-28 with 4:08 left in the final period. Morgan County’s defense then gave the Dogs a chance to win the game by stopping a fourth and one gamble by Oconee County at the Warrior forty six yard line with 1:54 to play. From there MCHS got a fourteen yard gain when Frost found Jailyn Ingram on a curl route and then narrowly missed a touchdown when Sam Couch nearly made a diving catch in the end zone. Two plays later Morgan had advance to the Oconee twenty eight and Coach Bill Malone sent senior place-kicker Andrew Bishop out to try a forty five yard field goal. With forty six seconds left Bishop responded with the biggest kick of his life as he nailed it right between the pipes for a 31-30 lead and what looked to be a miracle win for the Dogs. Unfortunately the Warriors came up with their own miracle. Oconee quarterback Zeb Noland converted two passes that covered thirty six yards and on the last of those two receptions his receiver was able to get out of bounds at the Morgan County twenty nine with just three ticks left on the clock. The Warriors then sent their field goal unit on and they responded with a forty six yard kick that just made it over the crossbar for the winning points. “I really hurt for our kids.  I hope we’ll be able to glean some positives out of this gut wrenching loss.  I was really proud of that fourth and one stop, Frost’s clutch pass to Ingram (to help get close to field goal range), Jesse Brooks’ run (that got them in field goal range)  and Bishop’s kick.  Those plays showed that we didn’t ever give up.  We’ll see Friday night where we are – if we can learn from the past and put it behind us,” said Head Coach Bill Malone. Offensive coordinator John Robbins said after the game, “I’m very proud of the way our group competed. There is no doubt that we missed several opportunities to put Oconee away but we played well enough to win. I’m especially proud of our offensive line who did an unbelievable job in pass protection.” Oconee County jumped out to a ten point lead in the first eight minutes of the game but Morgan whittled away at that lead by going in eighty yards on nine plays to make it 10-7. Brantley Frost and Jailyn Ingram hooked up twice on that drive. The first one was a curl route that was good for seventeen yards and the second was a pass to the sideline. On that play Ingram snared the ball, evaded a tackler, and sprinted to the end zone for a forty five yard catch and run. The Dogs took the lead after the Bulldog defensive unit forced a three and out. The offense saddled up and moved fifty seven yards in six plays for a go-ahead score. That drive was keyed by a Maclane Zant scamper that covered twenty yards and culminated when Sam Couch made a diving catch in the end zone on a pass from Brantley Frost that was good for eighteen yards. Bishop’s PAT made it 14-10 with 8:16 left in the second quarter. Oconee County came roaring back and snatched the lead again with a nice sixty one yard drive and scored with 2:38 left in the half but the fireworks weren’t yet over in the second quarter because the Dogs bolted eighty yards in just a little less than two minutes. The key play was a pass over the middle to Jesse Brooks that was good for fifty nine yards to the Oconee County nineteen. Aided by a pass interference call Morgan found the end zone with forty six seconds left in the half on a four yard run by Malik Chapman to take a 21-17 lead. The crazy half still wasn’t over. The Warriors hit a wheel route for twenty five yards and on the final play of the second quarter Noland found a receiver in the middle of the field and he scooted all the way to pay dirt to give Oconee a 24-21 lead at the intermission. Neither team managed to score in the third quarter but the Warriors added a touchdown at the 4:55 mark of the fourth period (missed the PAT) setting up the ending heroics by both offensive units and both of their field goal teams. Statistically the game was a virtual draw. Morgan put up 248 yards through the air and added ninety two more on the ground for a total of 340 and Oconee posted 176 yards rushing and 151 through the air for 327 total yards. Defensively Morgan County was led by Case Segrest who had nine tackle, four assists, and one tackle for loss. He got plenty of help from Tremon Moore (six tackles, three assists, one tackle for loss), Quinn Williams (four tackles, seven assists, one tackle for loss), and Zach Howe (three tackles, nine assists). Keandre Williams also turned in a solid performance with four tackles and six assists). On offense the Dogs were led by Brantley Frost’s passing (thirteen of twenty five for 248 yards and three touchdowns), the running of Jesse Brooks (forty five yards on eleven carries), and the receiving of Jailyn Ingram (five catches for 105 yards and one touchdown). Malik Chapman only carried the ball three times but scored a touchdown on one of them. Region 8AAA Report Standings Team Region Record Overall Record Next Week Jefferson 4-0 8-0 Off Hart County 3-0 7-0 at Oconee County Oconee County 3-0 7-0 Hart County Elbert County 1-2 4-3 at Morgan County Morgan County 1-2 3-4 Elbert County East Jackson 0-4 1-7 Jackson County Jackson County 0-4 1-7 at East Jackson Last Week’s Scores Oconee County 33 – Morgan County 31 Hart County 43 – Jackson County 7 Jefferson 63 – East Jackson 0 Elbert County – DNP Noland converted two passes that covered thirty six yards and on the last of those two receptions his receiver was able to get out of bounds at the Morgan County twenty nine with just three ticks left on the clock. The Warriors then sent their field goal unit on and they responded with a forty six yard kick that just made it over the crossbar for the winning points. “I really hurt for our kids.  I hope we’ll be able to glean some positives out of this gut wrenching loss.  I was really proud of that fourth and one stop, Frost’s clutch pass to Ingram (to help get close to field goal range), Jesse Brooks’ run (that got them in field goal range) and Bishop’s kick.  Those plays showed that we didn’t ever give up.  We’ll see Friday night where we are – if we can learn from the past and put it behind us,” said Head Coach Bill Malone. Offensive coordinator John Robbins said after the game, “I’m very proud of the way our group competed. There is no doubt that we missed several opportunities to put Oconee away but we played well enough to win. I’m especially proud of our offensive line who did an unbelievable job in pass protection.” Oconee County jumped out to a ten point lead in the first eight minutes of the game but Morgan whittled away at that lead by going in eighty yards on nine plays to make it 10-7. Brantley Frost and Jailyn Ingram hooked up twice on that drive. The first one was a curl route that was good for seventeen yards and the second was a pass to the sideline. On that play Ingram snared the ball, evaded a tackler, and sprinted to the end zone for a forty five yard catch and run. The Dogs took the lead after the Bulldog defensive unit forced a three and out. The offense saddled up and moved fifty seven yards in six plays for a go-ahead score. That drive was keyed by a Maclane Zant scamper that covered twenty yards and culminated when Sam Couch made a diving catch in the end zone on a pass from Brantley Frost that was good for eighteen yards. Bishop’s PAT made it 14-10 with 8:16 left in the second quarter. Oconee County came roaring back and snatched the lead again with a nice sixty one yard drive and scored with 2:38 left in the half but the fireworks weren’t yet over in the second quarter because the Dogs bolted eighty yards in just a little less than two minutes. The key play was a pass over the middle to Jesse Brooks that was good for fifty nine yards to the Oconee County nineteen. Aided by a pass interference call Morgan found the end zone with forty six seconds left in the half on a four yard run by Malik Chapman to take a 21-17 lead. The crazy half still wasn’t over. The Warriors hit a wheel route for twenty five yards and on the final play of the second quarter Noland found a receiver in the middle of the field and he scooted all the way to pay dirt to give Oconee a 24-21 lead at the intermission. Neither team managed to score in the third quarter but the Warriors added a touchdown at the 4:55 mark of the fourth period (missed the PAT) setting up the ending heroics by both offensive units and both of their field goal teams. Statistically the game was a virtual draw. Morgan put up 248 yards through the air and added ninety two more on the ground for a total of 340 and Oconee posted 176 yards rushing and 151 through the air for 327 total yards. Defensively Morgan County was led by Case Segrest who had nine tackle, four assists, and one tackle for loss. He got plenty of help from Tremon Moore (six tackles, three assists, one tackle for loss), Quinn Williams (four tackles, seven assists, one tackle for loss), and Zach Howe (three tackles, nine assists). Keandre Williams also turned in a solid performance with four tackles and six assists). On offense the Dogs were led by Brantley Frost’s passing (thirteen of twenty five for 248 yards and three touchdowns), the running of Jesse Brooks (forty five yards on eleven carries), and the receiving of Jailyn Ingram (five catches for 105 yards and one touchdown). Malik Chapman only carried the ball three times but scored a touchdown on one of them.

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