By Alvin Richardson
The Greene County Tigers snapped a seven game losing streak to Morgan County last Friday night with a 13-12 victory over the Bulldogs. In a game played at Bill Corry Stadium the Tigers scored two fourth quarter touchdowns on runs of 67 and 68 yards by Devin Wynn and then held off Morgan County down the stretch for their first win since 2007 when quarterback Josh Nesbitt let the Tigers to a 41-7 victory.
Head Coach Bill Malone noted a few things about the game and said, “I was really proud of the defensive effort. Those guys fought hard and kept us in the game.” Another factor in the game according to Malone was Morgan’s starting field position in the first half. “We were backed up the entire first half and even though we are geared to grind out long drives it was a tough way to start with a lot of new offensive lineman” he said. Malone also talked about the second half on offense and said, “We played a lot better in the second half and got a good effort but there was too much miscommunication in the line.” He continued, “We need for the backs to trust that their lineman will begin opening holes and hit those holes – we bounced too many runs outside instead of running the play where it was intended to go.” Malone also talked about some of the outstanding performers on the night and singled out Michael Rhodes for his long-snapping, Trent Folds for his solid punting (34.1), Richard Brooks and Keandre Williams for their work on both sides of the ball and M.J. Webb for his defensive effort.
As Malone noted, Morgan’s defensive unit turned in a solid performance. Greene’s offense tallied 249 total yards (243 rushing and 6 passing) on the night with 135 of those yards coming on the two big running plays. Outside of those two runs the Bulldogs limited the Tigers to 108 yards on the ground and just four first downs. M.J. Webb, Richard Brooks and Quinn Williams led the defensive effort and Jody McAlister came up with an interception to halt a Greene County drive.
Keandre Williams was selected as the Rayle EMC Lineman of the Week based on his excellent two-way play. Williams had a tackle and eight assists on defense and had a good outing in his first start on the offensive line.
The Morgan County ground attack was led by Richard Brooks who tallied 99 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns, Trey Patterson who completed eight passes for 79 yards and Blake Nelson who caught six balls for 81 yards.
After a scoreless first half Greene County took their opening possession of the third quarter and drove all the way to Morgan’s 27 before being pushed backwards and eventually punting. Jordan Huff returned that punt 23 yards to the Bulldog 28 but the Dogs went three and out. On the ensuing punt the Tigers fumbled and Dalton Cole pounced on it at the Tiger 25. From there Quin Williams gained five yards and Richard Brooks popped through on a trap for 16 more to make it first and goal at the four yard line. On the next play Morgan County’s offensive line bullied the Greene County front and Brooks pushed over for the game’s first touchdown. On the extra point try Morgan County went into a swinging gate formation and lateraled the ball in an attempt for two points but the play went awry leaving the score at 6-0 with 4:01 left in the third quarter.
The teams swapped punts in the final minutes of the third period but on the third play of quarter number four Devin Wynn squirted through the middle, broke to the sideline and outran the Bulldog secondary for six points. Greene’s PAT was true and with 10:50 left in the contest Greene had its first lead at 7-6.
Morgan made a first down on their ensuing series but wound up punting. Freshman Trent Folds kicked to the Tiger 35 and on second down Wynn found running room once more and burst 68 yards for his second touchdown of the quarter. Morgan County’s M.J. Webb came through with a big play when he blocked the PAT but the Tigers led 13-6 with 6:37 left to play.
Down a touchdown Morgan County put together their best drive of the night. Starting at their 32 the Bulldogs marched 68 yards in nine plays for their second touchdown of the evening. The Dogs ground out a first down and then converted a fourth and three from midfield to give them a fresh set of downs at the Tiger 46. After a running play netted just one yard, quarterback Trey Patterson made a nice play fake and fired a 39 yard strike to Blake Nelson at the Greene County six yard line. On the next play Richard Brooks rumbled over for six points with 2:35 left in the contest to close the gap to 13-12 but the PAT flew wide left and Greene maintained their slender advantage.
The Bulldogs went to an onside kick that was recovered by the Tigers at midfield. With time running out the Morgan County defense denied Greene County on a third and inches play and forced a punt to give them one more possession. Patterson hooked up with Blake Nelson on three completions and Patterson scrambled for 16 more to reach the Greene County 39 but Morgan couldn’t get any closer and fell to their rivals for the first time since 2007.
The loss puts Morgan County at 0-1 for the season and the Bulldogs will host North Oconee Friday night at Bill Corry Stadium. Game time is 7:30.