The Morgan County Bulldogs put the finishing touch on their regular season with a workmanlike 31-12 win over tenacious region foe Jackson County. The Bulldogs won for the ninth time in ten outings but the Panthers made the Dogs work for this win on Senior Night at Jackson County High School.
The Bulldogs actually fell behind in the first quarter. Morgan opened the scoring with a 22 yard field goal from Andrew Watkins following an interception by Tuke Robinson that he returned to the Panther 12 yard line. On the ensuing kickoff the Panther return man bolted 99 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. The PAT was wide to leave Morgan trailing 6-3 with 8:15 left in the first period but the Dogs rallied from there to post two touchdowns before halftime and then go on to ice the game with two more scores in the second half while shutting out the Jackson County offense over the final two quarters of play.
Morgan was clinging to a slim 17-12 lead as the second half opened but Jordan Huff came up with an interception on the second play from scrimmage and returned it to the Bulldog 43. From there Morgan put together a 57 yard, nine play drive that ended when Rambo Rambus bowled over from two yards out. Along the way the Bulldogs got big plays from Trey Patterson, Tuke Robinson and Taylor Knight. Patterson hit Robinson for 14 yards on a curl route and two plays later found Knight on a slant that was good for 18 yards to the two yard line. Rambus scored on the next snap and with the PAT from Watkins Morgan padded its lead to 24-12 with 8:53 left in the third quarter.
Late in the third period Jackson County put together a nice drive that started at their 17 and reached the Morgan 17. Three plays later they faced a fourth and five from the 12 yard line but Jordan Huff made a clutch play by breaking up a pass in the end zone to avert the threat as the third quarter ended. Morgan punched out to the 46 but an interception killed that possession. Jackson County returned the favor three plays later when Jordan Huff came up with his second interception of the night at the Panther 29. The Bulldogs then turned to Rambo Rambus and Tre’mon Moore on the ground to bleed the clock and the pair responded to cover 29 yards in five plays. Moore finished off the drive with a 16 yard burst off tackle to up the lead to 31-12 with 2:45 left in the contest and put the game out of reach.
After the Bulldogs fell behind 6-3 in the opening quarter they responded with a pair of touchdowns. The first one came after a mishandled snap on a punt by Jackson County that put the Dogs in business at the Panther 17. An intentional grounding penalty pushed Morgan back to the 32 but they overcame it when Patterson found Anthony Cooper on a post route for 21 yards. Two plays later Patterson went to Cooper again, this time on a back-shoulder throw in the end zone that was good for three yards and six points and Morgan led 10-3.
The Dogs made it 17-6 early in the second period on a wide-receiver screen to Anthony Cooper. Cooper hauled in the quick pass, got solid blocking on the outside and raced 69 yards to make it 17-6 with 11:01 left in the half. Jackson County however responded with their only scoring drive of the night by going 48 yards in six plays to make it 17-12 at the half.
Jordan Huff led the defense for Morgan with two interceptions, three tackles, eight assists and a broken up pass. He got plenty of help from Tre Davis (6 tackles, 6 assists), Tre’mon Moore (5 tackles, 5 assists, one tackle for loss), Jayson Fryzell (2 tackles, 6 assists, one tackle for loss) and Cole Freeman (2 tackles, 6 assists, one tackle for loss).
Offensively the Bulldogs were led by Rambo Rambus who finished the night with 107 yards rushing and a TD, by Trey Patterson who threw for 198 yards and two TD’s, and by Anthony Cooper who had three receptions for 94 yards and two TD’s.
Morgan County will host East Hall in the state playoffs this Friday night at Bill Corry Stadium. Game time is 7:30. A preview of that game can be found in a separate article.