By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County’s Bulldogs are slowly but surely putting together a solid season. After their 28-0 road win over Monroe Area Friday night the Dogs have a four game winning streak and stand atop Region 8AAA with a 2-0 slate in region play and an overall record of 5-2. In the game against Monroe’s Purple Hurricanes Morgan County ripped off a quick touchdown drive on their first possession and added another score in the second period for a 13-0 halftime edge then removed all doubt with two more touchdowns in the final period.
The Bulldog defensive unit came up big again, pitching their second shutout of the season and lowering their average of points per game allowed to 9.6. That average puts the Dogs at the top in Class AAA as of last Friday’s game. Senior defensive end M.J. Webb continued his stellar play by leading the Dogs with seven tackles, five assists and a tackle for loss, senior linebacker Malik Chapman also came through with a fine game and finished with six tackles, six assists and two tackles for loss, and senior defensive lineman Keandre Williams turned in another solid performance by posting four tackles, six assists and recovering a fumble.
Morgan’s offense was led by Malik Chapman who rushed for 101 yards on 11 carries, by Richard Brooks who tallied 60 yards on 13 tries and by Trey Patterson who rushed for 23 yards and passed for 42 more. The Bulldog offense banged out 194 rushing yards on the night and finished with 236 yards in total offense.
Head Coach Bill Malone was of course pleased that his squad posted a win but less than happy with other aspects of the game and said, “After we scored that quick touchdown it just seemed like our energy level went down – like we thought we could just cruise from there. Monroe hung tough and we didn’t respond like we should have. We talked about that at halftime and things went a little better in the last two quarters.”
Morgan County bolted out of the gate with a lightning quick drive that took just five plays and two minutes off the clock. After a short kickoff was returned by M.J. Webb to the 48 the Dogs went to work. Richard Brooks ripped off 19 yards in two plays, Malik Chapman then took a couple of turns that netted 27 more yards and Jordan Huff did the honors from six yards out for the TD. Tristan Sewell booted the PAT and Morgan led 7-0 with 10:01 left in the opening quarter.
That would have been enough because Monroe Area wouldn’t have scored had they played all night.
The Canes went three and out on their first possession and the Dogs came marching down the field once more. They drove to Monroe’s 23 keyed by a 20 yard completion from quarterback Trey Patterson to Quin Williams who had shaken free on a skinny post route. Two plays later Malik Chapman scooted nine more yards to the 22 but the Bulldogs lost a yard over the next three plays and had to settle for a 40 yard field goal attempt from Tristan Sewell. That kick was wide left and the Dogs came away empty.
Javis Benford came up with an interception to stop Monroe on the ensuing possession and following the takeaway Morgan played the field position game. That turned out to be a good strategy as the Dogs wound up on the Hurricane 23 yard line following a punt from the end zone and a nice return by Jordan Huff. Six plays later Morgan had their second six-pointer of the night. Richard Brooks ran the ball four straight times and advanced the ball to Monroe’s nine yard line. On second and goal from the seven quarterback Trey Patterson drove into the middle, got behind a great push from the Morgan County offensive line and got all the way to the two. On the next play Richard Brooks rammed it over. A high snap spoiled the PAT but Morgan led 13-0 with 6:52 left in the first half.
Monroe Area came up with their only scoring threat of the night late in the second quarter after their quarterback got loose and picked up 51 yards to the Bulldog 30. The Canes got as far as the Morgan 15 but failed to convert a 32 yard field goal with just eight seconds left before halftime. They would not threaten again.
After a scoreless third quarter the Dogs salted this one away. Morgan’s defense forced Monroe to punt from their 15 and that kick netted just 20 yards giving the Bulldogs prime field position at the 35. The Bulldogs punched out a first down and then Jordan Huff went wide for nine yards to the 10. Three plays later the Dogs faced a fourth and one and Trey Patterson went for it on a quarterback sneak. He got behind a big surge from his offensive line and scored Morgan’s third touchdown of the evening. On the initial try for two points Monroe was penalized for roughing the passer and after the penalty was assessed Richard Brooks crashed in for the score to make it 21-0 with 6:57 remaining in the contest.
Monroe fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Lamarcus Stokes pounced on it at the 35 but two plays later Morgan was intercepted in the end zone. The Hurricanes wound up punting to mid-field after another empty possession and Morgan moved in for the kill. After a first down moved Morgan to the Monroe Area 39 Malik Chapman darted all the way to pay dirt for the game’s final touchdown. Tristan Sewell’s PAT was true and with 3:06 left in the contest Morgan County made it 28-0 and had another win in the books.
MCHS has to go on the road again this week to take on the Hart County Bulldogs in a key Region 8AAA contest at Pete Herndon Stadium in Hartwell. Game time is 7:30.