With a second consecutive region title in their grasp the Morgan County Bulldogs quickly dispatched Franklin County last Friday night by scoring 42 unanswered points in the first half and limiting the Lions to a paltry pair of first downs. The Dogs laid siege to the Franklin County end zone by scoring on their first six possessions and ended up on the one yard line as time expired in the first half when Head Coach Bill Malone refused to pile on the helpless Lions.
Meanwhile the Bulldog defensive unit forced four straight three-and-outs and pitched a shutout through two quarters. After Franklin County finally managed a first down with six minutes left in the half, Bralon Hill quickly killed their buzz by intercepting a pass at mid-field and the Bulldogs quickly found pay dirt again to post their sixth touchdown and the region title was in the bag.
Defensively the Bulldogs were led by Tre Davis, Jayson Fryzell, Tre’mon Moore and Cole Freeman. Davis and Fryzell each had three tackles for loss, Moore made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and Freeman added another tackle for loss. Bralon Hill had an interception.
Offensively Trey Patterson threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns and Rambo Rambus ran for 92 yards on 13 tries. Brandon Smith caught two touchdown passes and Anthony Cooper finished with two catches for 59 yards and a score.
It didn’t take long to get this party started. Franklin County kicked off and Morgan’s offense didn’t waste much time. They steamrolled 78 yards in seven plays highlighted by a 44 yard gain from Jordan Huff on a jet sweep. The touchdown came on a Patterson to Cooper fade pass in the end zone and when Carlos Hernandez thumped the PAT through it was 7-0 with just a little over two minutes elapsed.
Following the kickoff Franklin County lost three yards in three plays and had to punt and the Bulldog offense struck quickly. On second down Patterson threw a dart to Brandon Smith on a slant route and after juking one defender Smith sailed 48 yards to the end zone. Hernandez tacked on the extra point to make it 14-0 at the 9:38 mark.
The Lions went three and out again, in what would become an all-too-familiar theme in the first half. This time the Bulldog offensive unit struck on first down as Patterson hit Cooper down the sideline for 49 yards to the 10 yard line. The Dogs lost two yards on a run and then Patterson kept for nine yards to the three yard line. On the next play he found Brandon Smith in the flat for Smith’s second TD reception of the night. This time Andrew Watkins did the honors on the extra point to make it 21-0 with 3:42 left in the opening period.
You guessed it – another three-and-out. Franklin punted to Morgan’s 46 and the Bulldog offense went tearing down the field once more. Patterson hit Smith on a screen for 13 and Tuke Robinson went wide for 21 yards. Two plays later Patterson hit Jordan Huff for 10 yards on a curl route to put Morgan County at the 10 yard line. Patterson got nine of those on a sweep and on the first play of the second quarter Jordan Huff waltzed over out of the Wild Dog formation for Morgan County’s fourth touchdown of the night. Watkins again added the point to make it 28-0.
The same pattern continued with the Lions gaining four yards in three plays and punting. This time the Bulldogs set up shop at the Franklin 42 due to a short kick and away they went again. Rambo Rambus picked up 27 yards on two nice runs and Tre’mon Moore found eight more yards on a nifty scamper. Donovan Nelson polished off the drive with a seven yard scoring run, Andrew Watkins drilled the PAT and the Dogs led 35-0 with 8:48 left in the half. At that point the region championship celebration unofficially commenced.
But Morgan wasn’t quite through. Franklin County picked up their initial first down of the half on the next possession but Bralon Hill nipped that little bit of momentum in the bud with an interception at the Franklin County 47. The Dogs nearly scored on first down when Trey Patterson hooked up with Tuke Robinson on a post pattern for 42 yards to the five. Robinson took it over on the next play when he scooted wide for six points. Watkins continued his excellent kicking with another PAT to make it 42-0 with 5:57 left before intermission.
By then the cannon (that fires after every Morgan County score) had just about run out of bullets.
The Lions picked up a first down on their next series but wound up punting to the Bulldog 42 with 2:49 left in the half. Morgan came flying down the field once more using Rambo Rambus in the ground game. Trey Patterson finally gave Rambus a little relief and ran a keeper to the one yard line with just seconds to go but in an act of good sportsmanship Head Coach Bill Malone elected not to call time out in order to score again and time expired in the first half with Morgan leading 42-0.
The second half was played with a running clock and Morgan’s coaching staff got a good look at some younger players who got extended playing time. Franklin County outscored the Bulldogs 17-0 over the final two periods and the Bulldogs left with a 42-17 victory and their second straight region title in the bag.
The Bulldogs will go on the road to face Jackson County in the regular season finale Friday night in Jefferson. Game time is 7:30.