By Alvin Richardson
Fans of Morgan County football were treated to a historic season as the 2016 Bulldogs won the 10th region title in school history and the first since 2003. MCHS finished the campaign with a record of 8-3 which was their best since 2012. Additionally the Dogs put together a seven game winning streak which was their longest in 13 years and made a clean sweep in Region 8AAA with a perfect 5-0 record. Head Coach Bill Malone completed his 10th season as head coach which is the third longest tenure in Morgan County history behind Wayne Bradshaw and Kenny Moore who each headed the program for 13 years. Malone’s record is 56-50 over his tenure with five trips to the playoffs.
Here is a summary of the 2016 games:
Greene County at Morgan County / August 26th / Greene 13 – Morgan 12
The two old rivals went at it for the 60th time in a series which is virtually even. After a scoreless first half Morgan County took a 6-0 third quarter lead but the Tigers won this one on two long runs from Devin Wynn in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 13-12 win. Richard Brooks scored both Morgan’s touchdowns and tallied 99 yards on 20 carries and Trey Patterson completed eight passes for 79 yards. South Carolina commit M.J. Webb led the Bulldog defense with 3 tackles and 13 assists and Quin Williams added 5 tackles and five assists.
North Oconee at Morgan County / September 2nd / Morgan 23 – N. Oconee 13
Morgan got their first win of the season over North Oconee a Class 4A school that the Bulldogs had never beaten. MCHS scored on their first play from scrimmage, a 55 yard halfback pass from Blake Nelson to Lamarcus Stokes and went on to take a 13-10 halftime lead. The Bulldog defensive unit and then limited the Titans to just a field goal in the second half while the offense posted 10 points of their own for the win. Richard Brooks and Quin Williams scored a touchdown each and Williams also led the way on defense with 7 tackles and 2 assists.
Morgan County at Oconee County / September 9th / Oconee 21 – Morgan 0
Morgan suffered their only shutout of the season against Class 4A Oconee County and the Warriors hit the Bulldogs with two big plays and a solid drive in the first half to take a 21-0 lead. The teams fought to a 0-0 tie in the second half but Morgan fell to 1-2 on the season. Oconee would go on to a 7-4 season and make the playoffs before losing to Northwest Whitfield in the first round. The Bulldogs were led by M.J. Webb and Keandre Williams on defense. Webb finished with 6 tackles and 7 assists and Williams tallied 7 tackles and 7 assists. Trey Patterson completed 9 passes for 86 yards and Jordan Huff and Richard Brooks led the ground game with 66 and 65 yards respectively.
Morgan County at Putnam County / September 16th / Morgan 35 – Putnam 14
The Bulldogs began their seven game winning streak at Eatonton and beat their rivals for the tenth time in the last thirteen tries with a convincing 35-14 victory. This one was never in doubt as the Bulldogs ran out to 27-7 halftime lead and cruised home for the win. Malik Chapman, back from an injury, made his presence known with a 7 yard touchdown in the first quarter and Richard Brooks scored from 13 yards out for the second score. Trey Patterson fired a 24 yard TD pass to Blake Nelson for the third score and Brooks made it 24-0 with a 4 yard run. The Dogs led 24-0 with 9:33 left in the second quarter and a lead that would never be in jeopardy.
Lamar County at Morgan County / September 23rd / Morgan 14 – Lamar 0
In their final game before region play began the Bulldogs whitewashed Lamar County 14-0 and the Bulldog defensive unit held the Trojans to just 49 total yards in the process. M.J. Webb, Jordan Huff and Malik Chapman led the defense with 11, 8 and 8 tackles respectively. The offense scored twice in the first half on touchdown runs from Richard Brooks and Jordan Huff and that was plenty on this night. Malik Chapman led all rushers with 74 yards on just 11 carries and Brooks added 60 more to help the cause. The win upped Morgan’s record to 3-2 on the season.
East Jackson at Morgan County / September 30th / Morgan 42 – E. Jackson 6
Morgan opened their region 8AAA schedule with a bang. The Bulldogs scored 42 unanswered points in the first half and won handily in this one. The Dogs got two rushing touchdowns from Jordan Huff and one more from Malik Chapman. They added two more through the air as Trey Patterson connected with Cornelius Patterson on one and Lamarcus Stokes on another. The defense also got into the act when Stokes returned an interception for a score in the second quarter to make it 42-0 with 4:51 left in the period. East Jackson couldn’t put much of a dent in the Morgan defensive unit and finished the night with just 59 total yards. Lamarcus Stokes led the way with that interception, Keandre Williams and Jordan Huff were the leading tackler finishing with 9 and 7 respectively.
Morgan County at Monroe Area / October 14th / Morgan 28 – Monroe 0
The Bulldogs improved their region mark to 2-0 and their season record to 5-2 with their fourth win in a row and second shutout of the season. Morgan County’s defense once again played a key role and limited the Purple Hurricanes to just 106 total yards. M.J. Webb, Keandre Williams, Tre Davis and Jordan Huff led that unit. Webb was in on 12 tackles, Williams had 10, Davis had 7, and Huff finished with 9. Offensively Morgan put two touchdowns on the board in the first half and polished things off with two more in the fourth quarter, all on the ground. Richard Brooks, Jordan Huff, Trey Patterson and Malik Chapman each scored and Chapman led all rushers with 101 yards on 11 tries.
Morgan County at Hart County / October 21st / Morgan 46 – Hart 14
Morgan County easily bested old nemesis Hart County for just the second time in eleven tries for their fifth win in a row on the season. The victory kept the Bulldogs perfect in region play at 3-0 and ran their overall record to 6-2. This one was over by halftime with MCHS leading 25-0. The Dogs tacked on 21 more points in the second half and Hart managed just 95 total yards on the night. Leading the offensive parade were Richard Brooks with 124 yards and three touchdowns, Malik Chapman with 100 yards and two scores and Jayson Fryzel with 52 yards and a touchdown. M.J. Webb had a monster night with 14 tackles five of which were for loss. He got plenty of help from Keandre Williams (5 tackles), Quin Williams (5 tackles) and Jordan Huff (7 tackles).
Morgan County at Franklin County / October 28th / Morgan 38 – Franklin 13
In another key region contest Franklin County actually led 7-3 with 4:22 left in the first quarter but it was all Morgan after that. The Dogs surged back to take a 17-7 lead by intermission and then outscored the Lions 21-6 in the final two quarters to go home with the win. Malik Chapman had a big night with 178 yards and two touchdowns and Jordan Huff came up big as well by scoring twice and tallying 150 yards. Trey Patterson threw a scoring pass to Blake Nelson that covered 36 yards and Tristan Sewell booted a 33 yard field goal. Javis Benford came through with 11 tackles, Jody McAllister recorded 10, Jordan Huff finished with 10 tackles and Keandre Williams chipped in 9 more. Morgan County recorded their sixth consecutive win and kept their region record perfect at 4-0. The win coupled with Jackson County’s loss to East Jackson gave Morgan the region title.
Jackson County at Morgan County / November 4th / Morgan 33 – Jackson 14
With the region title already in hand the Bulldogs needed to win to keep the momentum they had built during the season. The Dogs got off to a quick start and led 14-0 with 2:34 left in the first quarter but the Panthers showed a little grit and tied the score before halftime but they couldn’t sustain it. Morgan scored 19 unanswered points in the final half and won going away to give them seven wins in a row. Morgan rushed for 298 yards and passed for 79 more and limited Jackson County to just 70 yards on the ground and 94 through the air. Malik Chapman had another stellar night by rushing for 175 yards on 23 carries and scoring three TD’s. Trey Patterson completed five passes for 79 yards and the defense got solid performances from several players. Javis Benford, Jody McAllister, Keandre Williams, Quin Williams and M.J. Webb all played key roles in the win. Benford and McAllister led all tacklers with 8 each.
Bremen at Morgan County / November 11th / Bremen 24 – Morgan 21
The Blue Devils of Bremen came in at 6-4 and stole a game at Bill Corry Stadium to end Morgan County’s season. The Bulldogs broke out of the gate and posted a 14-0 lead but late in the first half a fumble gave Bremen a short field and they cashed it in to cut the margin in half. On Morgan’s first two possessions of the second half the Bulldogs suffered an interception return for a TD and a fumble recovery and return for another score. That big momentum shift gave Bremen a 21-14 lead with 8:16 left in the third period. Bremen added a field goal with just 2:19 left in the game for a 24-14 lead but Morgan wasn’t through. Trey Patterson hit Lamarcus Stokes for an 81 yard touchdown to make it 24-21 with 2:05 remaining to give the Dogs hope. Morgan nearly picked off the onside kick but eventually forced Bremen to punt and the Blue Devil snapper fired the ball over his kickers head to give Morgan County one more chance but the rally was snuffed out after four passes fell incomplete and the Dogs ended their season with a 24-21 gut-wrenching loss.