By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County hits the road again this week to take on old Lake Country rival Putnam County. The two teams will kick it off for the 51st time since 1948 including four games (1948-1951) between Morgan County and old Eatonton High School. The Bulldogs hold a sizeable advantage in the all-time series with a record of 32-17-1 but Putnam County won last year’s tilt by a score of 13-10 and thus the Dogs have a bone to pick with the War Eagles.
Statistically Morgan is averaging 11.7 points per game on offense and the defense is surrendering 15.6 per game. Putnam County’s offense has scored an average of just 5.7 points per outing and the War Eagle defense has given up an average of 13.7 in their three losses.
Over the last five contests Morgan holds a 3-2 advantage and since 2002 the Bulldogs lead the series 9-3 but things of that nature mean virtually nothing in a rivalry game. Putnam County is off to a rocky start in 2016 having dropped their first three games to Warren County (14-0), Hancock Central (14-7), and Greene County (13-10). The loss to Greene was particularly excruciating as the Tigers scored on a late bomb to come from behind and win that contest.
Putnam is coached by Kyle Gourley who is in his fourth season at the helm. In his tenure the War Eagles are 12-22 (including this years’ games) and made it to the state playoffs in 2015 posting a 7-3 regular season record (including wins over Morgan County and Oconee County) before losing to Class AA state runner-up Fitzgerald in the first round 51-15 and winding up 7-4. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons Putnam will be competing in tough Region 8AA which includes favorites and Elbert County and Rabun County.
Morgan County is 1-2 on the young season with a win over North Oconee and losses to Greene County and Oconee County. Friday night’s game will be played at War Eagle Stadium in Eatonton and game time is 7:30.