By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County hits the road again this week to take on the Hart County Bulldogs. The orange clad Bulldogs hold the edge in the all-time series by a tally of 13-10 but those numbers go all the way back to 1936 when the schools were known as Hartwell High and Madison High. In the era since 1948 Hart holds an advantage of 11-9. Morgan County dominated the series from 1959 through 1971 by winning seven consecutive games but beginning when the two teams next met (1996) Hart County has had their way with our Bulldogs by coming away victorious nine of ten times. Morgan’s lone win over that stretch was a 35-8 win at Pete Herndon Stadium in 2012.
This year’s game is a key region matchup. Although Hart has had a tough season thus far (1-6) that lone win was within the region and thus the Bulldogs of Hartwell are squarely in the hunt for the region championship. If Morgan is to capture their first region title since 2003 they will have to overcome their demons versus the Orange Nation.
The 1-6 record that Hart County brings into this game is deceiving. They lost a game to Elbert by forfeit and then fell to Eagles Landing Christian (undefeated and ranked 1st in Class A), Class AAAA Stephens County (6-1) and Class AAAA Blessed Trinity (6-2) to account for the majority of their losses. Don’t let the record fool you – Hart County will be ready to play.
The Bulldogs from Hartwell are coached by former Clemson great William DeVane who has posted a career record of 98-48-1 in 13 seasons as a head coach. DeVane has made stops at Clarke Central, Greene County and Hart County. In his previous stint at Hart from 1998 thru 2000 DeVane put together a three season run in which his Dogs posted a record of 38-3 – that’s not a misprint. They went 12-1, 14-1, and 12-1 in consecutive seasons and came within an eyelash of the state title in 1999 falling to Cartersville 27-21 in the state finals.
Morgan County will need every bit of support they can muster when they travel to Hartwell Friday night. Game time is 7:30.