By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County thumped Lake Country rival Putnam County for the fifth time in the past six encounters with a combination of big plays on offense and a defense that completely throttled the War Eagles. Playing at Bill Corry Stadium the Bulldogs bolted out to a 27-0 halftime lead and tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter to build a 41-0 advantage before calling off the Dogs midway through the third period. Morgan outgained Putnam 402 to 135 on the night.
The Bulldog defense was dominant in this contest and Putnam had a difficult time making it into Morgan County territory. Over the first three quarters of play the War Eagles ventured past the fifty yard line just twice, and neither one of those incursions got past the 40. One of those trips into MCHS territory was the result of an opening on-sides kick that Putnam recovered just inside Morgan County territory. For those first three quarters the War Eagles managed just a little over one yard per rush and completed one pass for minus one yard.
Senior Jamario Pritchett had a field day on defense for the Bulldogs. The senior defensive lineman wound up with three solo tackles, nine assists, five tackles for loss, four quarterback hits and 3.5 sacks. Tre Davis was around the ball all night as well totaling a tackle, seven assists and three tackles for loss.
On the offensive side senior quarterback Trey Patterson continued his stellar season totaling 297 yards through the air with four touchdown passes and Jordan Huff along with Anthony Cooper each turned in excellent performances. Huff had four catches for 99 yards and a touchdown and Cooper finished the night with two catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
In the first half Morgan scored on a three yard run from Jordan Huff, a 14 yard pass from Trey Patterson to Huff, a 31 yard pass from Patterson to Brandon Smith and a 49 yard bomb from Patterson to Anthony Cooper as time expired in the second quarter. They led 27-0 at that point and polished off the night with a three yard run by Rambo Rambus and 44 yard pass from Patterson to Tuke Robinson to make it 41-0 with 4:30 left in the third quarter. At that point the hay was in the barn.
Putnam began the night with a successful onside kick and, unfortunately for the visitors, it was their only highlight of the night. Morgan’s defense promptly snuffed out any hopes for the War Eagles to jump on top with a three-and-out. After an exchange of punts Morgan County gained possession at the Putnam 47 and four plays later they were in the end zone. The big play of that drive was a dive play that Rambo Rambus turned into a 26 yard gain. Putnam was tagged with a personal foul to boot and the Dogs wound up inside the 10 yard line. Three plays later Jordan Huff pounded over out of a Wildcat formation. The PAT was blocked and Morgan led 6-0 with 6:41 left in the opening period.
Putnam had to punt from their eight yard line on the ensuing possession and Morgan wound up with prime field position at the War Eagle 36. The Dogs picked up a first down at the 23 but then faced a fourth and one at the 14 yard line. That turned out to be no problem as senior quarterback Trey Patterson found Jordan Huff in the flat for a touchdown. Andrew Watkins added the PAT for a 13-0 lead with 1:45 left in the first period.
The War Eagles managed a first down on their next series but still had to punt and after an exchange of punts Morgan had a possession that began at their 30 yard line. On the first play Patterson fired a dart to Jordan Huff on a short post route and Huff turned it into a 41 yard gain to the Putnam 31. Three incomplete passes later the Bulldogs were faced with a fourth and 10 but it didn’t matter. Patterson found Brandon Smith on a corner route and Smith pranced in untouched for Morgan’s third touchdown of the night. Watkins punched the PAT through and with 6:57 left in the second quarter Morgan led 20-0.
Late in the half Putnam came upwith their best offensive sequence of the night when they put together two first downs and reached their 48. Morgan called two time outs over that drive in order to get the ball back once more, but after Putnam was forced to punt the Dogs had only 25 seconds left on the clock and were at their own 11 yard line. On the first play Patterson threw a strike to Anthony Cooper on a post route good for 48 yards to the Putnam 41. Two plays later Morgan had third and ten from midfield and just three seconds left before halftime. On the last play before intermission Patterson found Cooper open down the right sideline, dropped it right in the bucket and Cooper scored from 49 yards out as time expired. Finn Williams was true on the extra point and Morgan led 27-0 as the teams went to their locker rooms.
That last second pass had pretty much sealed Putnam’s fate but Morgan added two more scores for good measure in the third quarter. On their first possession of the period Trey Patterson pulled the ball off a dive play and scooted 18 yards. He followed that up with a 35 yard pass to Jordan Huff that went all the way to Putnam’s three yard line and Rambo Rambus squirted through the War Eagle defense for the touchdown on the next play to make it 34-0 with 9:30 remaining in the period.
Morgan’s final score came with 4:30 left in the third quarter. Patterson found Taylor Knight down the left sideline for 28 yards to the Putnam 34. Two plays later Patterson connected with Tuke Robinson who shook loose on a corner route. Robinson made the catch, eluded the last defender and hit pay dirt. After Watkins drilled the PAT it was 41-0 and from that point it was a running clock. Putnam scored with 5:50 remaining in the contest to avert the shutout but Morgan came away with their third win in four outings.
The Bulldogs will travel to Lamar County in Barnesville, Georgia for their final non-region contest.