By R. Alan Richardson
The Bulldogs put up a big score against long-time rival Putnam County 35-14 this past Friday by flexing their muscles in the running game to put the War Eagles away early. Bill Malone’s squad scored 27 first half points and coasted to the win in the second half.
Morgan took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards in nine plays to set the tone for the night. Quinn Williams was big on the drive as was Malik Chapman with runs of 22 and 16 yards on a trap and a dive that put the Dogs down to the Putnam 11. Chapman finished the drive off with two runs of four and seven yards to give Morgan a 6-0 lead with 8:00 remaining in the first quarter. The two-point try for the extra point was no good.
Morgan then tried an onside kick that Putnam recovered. Putnam fumbled on third down that Lamarcus Stokes recovered and the Bulldogs were in business on their own 41 with 6:37 remaining in the first. The Dogs again ran roughshod over the War Eagle defense scoring with 3:32 left in the first quarter. Runs by Chapman, Richard Brooks, Jordan Huff, and a beautiful 14 yard pass from quarterback Trey Patterson to Blake Nelson led to another touchdown for the Dogs. The conversion was again no good and the Bulldogs led 12-0.
Putnam received the ensuing kickoff, but after a drive to the 29 gave up the ball on downs. Morgan again took advantage of a short field taking the ball into the end zone after only four plays. On third and thirteen from the Putnam 22, Patterson threw a strike to Nelson for the third score of the night in the left corner of the end zone to make it 18-0. Morgan went 0-3 for PAT’s at this point when Patterson had to scramble for the extra point, but was tackled in the backfield.
The Dog defense was stout on the next possession when Williams intercepted a screen pass and rumbled to the Putnam four-yard line. It only took one play for Brooks to tack on the fourth touchdown of the half and it was 24-0. The PAT was again no good.
The final score of the half for Morgan County came on a Tristan Sewell 26-yard field goal with 7:12 remaining in the second quarter. Putnam did answer late in the half with a touchdown of their own with 2:48 left before intermission on a sweep. The PAT was good and the Dogs went to the locker room leading 27-7.
Putnam was forced to punt on the opening possession of the second half and the Dogs took it straight down the field to the Putnam nine before trying a 24 yard field goal that was wide left. The Eagles followed that up on a drive that went nowhere. There was a bad snap that gave the Dogs a golden opportunity on the Putnam nine. It only took one play for Chapman to take it to the house for the 34-7 lead. The two-point conversion was good as quarterback Patterson took it in on the keeper with 3:15 to go in the third stanza to take a 28 point lead. That was all she wrote.
The fourth quarter saw a lot of substitutions for the Dogs as the second unit got some valuable experience and playing time. Putnam tacked on another score with only 1:16 remaining in the game. The pass covered 15 yards. The PAT was good giving us a final score of 35-14.
Offensive coordinator John Robbins commented, “A 17 yard loss on a field goal attempt and a couple of penalties on some big completions skewed our offensive numbers a bit, but the bottom line is we were able to physically dominate Putnam. We will eradicate the friendly fire that slowed us down last Friday night as we prepare this week for a very good Lamar County team.”
Coach Bill Malone talked about the win, “We are now 2-2 so it was really good to see our boys happy in the locker room and on the bus. I think we learned that we have the potential to have a special season and I know we recognize that this year is flying by. We’re almost to the halfway point and these boys are looking for this to be a season to remember. It was great to get Malik back and I thought Keandre played a super game on defense.”