By Alvin Richardson
In a bizarre football opener Morgan County went on the road twice and that is not a misprint. They traveled to Loganville once on Friday night and then finished the final two quarters on Saturday morning in Loganville after officials ruled that a lightning storm 31 miles away constituted a dangerous situation. The particulars of that seemingly illogical decision are discussed in another part of this sports page.
Nonetheless it was an entertaining two days of football.
The coaching staff weighed in on the game and Head coach Bill Malone noted, “I sure was proud of the effort our guys played with. I loved that everybody on the team was angry about the horrible decision to postpone the game. We wanted to play and it showed in the locker room and on the field Saturday morning.” Malone continued, “We got better because of this game and we answered my biggest question which was how much heart do we have?” Malone also had some kind words for the officials group that does MCHS games and said, “I want to thank the Northeast Georgia Officials Association for calling our games this season. No matter how many mistakes we think they might make we should consider ourselves fortunate that we don’t have another Gwinnett County crew calling a game on our schedule.”
Offensive coordinator Wade Woodall also noted his group’s growth and said, “I was proud of the way our guys responded in the second half on Saturday. They could have easily let the previous half’s performance linger but our players came out with the attitude that they had something to prove. We made some huge strides in the last two quarters and have a lot of things to be proud of. We still need to clean up a few things but I like where we are.”
Defensive coordinator Brett Bell also had some thoughts on the game and said, “Although we didn’t come away with a win I found out a lot about this team Saturday. We showed a ton of heart and fight in the game. To be honest I feel that we were the most physical team. Our defensive line led by seniors K.J. Wyatt and David Williams shut down Loganville’s rushing attack. We forced two interceptions and Jordan Huff returned one for a touchdown. It just seemed like our slow start was too much to overcome. We are really looking forward to playing rival Greene County in front of the Bulldog Nation on Friday night.”
Loganville led 7-0 at the 7:43 mark of quarter number one when they victimized the Bulldogs on the game’s second series. The Red Devil quarterback scrambled on a fourth and seven play from the Morgan County 29 and completed a pass to the three yard line then punched it over on the next play. It looked like things were quickly going downhill when the Devils recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and drove to the MCHS one yard line. Facing a fourth down Loganville opted for a dive up the gut but Morgan’s defensive front stuffed it to stave off a two touchdown deficit.
Morgan drove to midfield but had to punt and Loganville responded with another scrambling play from their quarterback. On third and 11 from the Red Devil 41 he eluded the rush and threw up a prayer that found his receiver among a tangle of players resulting in a 59 yard touchdown. The PAT was no good to leave the score at 13-0 with 10:48 remaining in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs got on the board courtesy of a 59 yard drive that reached the Loganville 14. A big chunk of that real estate came on a 44 yard pass from Trent Folds to Denver Laughlin. The march stalled at the 14 and Finn Williams came on to boot a 31 yard field goal through the uprights to make it 13-3 with 5:17 left in the half and that’s the way things stood at intermission.
It was not a normal intermission.
The teams came out to warm up prior to the third quarter but were sent back in by the officials when lightning showed up in the night sky south of town. Even though radar showed it to be a distant storm, the officiating crew decided (after much debate with athletic directors and coaches) that the game would not continue and the decision was made to resume it at 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
So on to day two of the game, which as things turned out had to be one of the longest high school football games in history, play resumed.
With Loganville leading 13-3 the Bulldogs needed to make a move but it was the Red Devils who struck first. They returned the opening kickoff to Morgan’s 27 and six plays later scored on a 13 yard corner route. K.J. Wyatt blocked the PAT but Loganville had opened up a commanding 19-3 lead with 9:27 left in the third period.
But then Morgan County rallied.
Two minutes later Loganville was in possession at their 17 yard line when a pass was tipped and Jordan Huff picked it off and walked into the end zone. Morgan County went for two and Trent Folds found Huff in the corner of the end zone to cut the deficit to 19-11 with 7:32 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldog defensive unit then provided a three-and-out series and Loganville punted to the Morgan County 49. On the first play Folds hit a streaking Boone Bruce for 51 yards and six points and followed that up with a crossing route in the end zone to Jordan Huff for two more points. That made it 19-19 with 5:11 left in what was a wild and wooly third quarter.
The Red Devils responded with another good kickoff return past midfield but wound up with a third and four at the Bulldog 39 yard line. Loganville opted for a short pass over the middle and a Morgan defender broke on it and nearly tipped it away but the ball wound up in a receiver’s hands and he carried it to the two yard line. Loganville scored on a scrambling toss that covered those two yards and a successful PAT made it 26-19 with 3:36 left in the third stanza.
Keirreon Farley returned the ensuing kickoff nearly to midfield and the Bulldogs were poised to rally again. They drove to Loganville’s 33 and on fourth down Trent Folds fired a pass into the end zone toward an open Jordan Huff. A Red Devil defender tackled Huff before the ball arrived but there was no call and the potential tying touchdown was lost.
Late in the same crazy third quarter defensive end K.J. Wyatt picked off a Red Devil pass and returned it 20 yards to the Loganville 15. From there The Dogs picked up a first down but had to settle for a 23 yard field goal attempt. A bad snap spoiled the try and Loganville still led 26-19 with 10:19 left in the contest.
The teams swapped possessions for much of the final quarter but with 4:36 left Loganville picked off a deep pass just short of midfield and returned it for a touchdown. The PAT bounced off the goal post but the Red Devils led 32-19 and time was growing short.
Morgan County began their next possession at the 32 yard line and the Trent Folds / Jordan Huff duo went to work. Folds rolled left and found Huff for 16 quick yards. Three plays later Folds went to Huff again and this one was good for 34 yards to the Loganville 21. The duo hooked up once more on a 16 yard out route to the five yard line and two plays later they polished it off with a five yard touchdown pass.
But there was a holding call.
So on the next play from the 24 yard line (holding is from the spot of the foul) they just did it again for a 24 yard touchdown.
But there was a holding call.
That put Morgan all the way back to the 43 yard line and two plays later an interception ended the Bulldog’s hopes as they fell by a final score of 32-19.
There were plenty of good performances from the young Bulldog squad on both sides of the ball. On defense K.J. Wyatt had a solo tackle, 7 assists, a pair of tackles for loss and blocked two PAT’s. Junior D.J. Jones finished with 5 solos, 10 assists and a tackle for loss. Jordan Huff came through with three solos, 7 assists, a tackle for loss and an interception for a touchdown.
On the offensive side Trent Folds completed 17 of 40 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown and Jordan Huff caught 8 of those balls for 151 yards. Boone Bruce had a touchdown catch for 51 yards and Denver Laughlin had a reception that covered 44 yards. Kobridgette Lumpkin rushed 12 times for 43 yards to lead the ground game and Seth Robertson had two carries for 15 yards.
Morgan County plays its home opener this Friday night at Bill Corry Stadium against old rival Greene County. Game time is 7:30.
Morgan County vs Loganville Score by Quarters
Morgan Co. 0 3 16 0 19
Loganville 7 6 13 6 32
Morgan County vs Loganville Yardage Stats
Morgan Co. 64 265 329
Loganville 68 276 344
Morgan County vs Loganville Key Offensive Stats
Passing Comp. / Att. Yards Touchdowns
Trent Folds 17 / 40 265 1
Rushing Attempts Yards Per Carry TD’s
Kobridgette Lumpkin 12 43 3.6 0
Seth Robertson 2 15 7.5 0
Receiving Receptions Yards Per Catch TD’s
Jordan Huff 8 151 18.9 0
Denver Laughlin 1 44 44.0 0
Boone Bruce 1 51 51.0 1
Kobridgette Lumpkin 5 15 3.0 0
Kicking PAT’s FG’s Total Pts.
Finn Williams 0/0 1 / 2 (31 yds.) 3
Morgan County vs Loganville Key Defensive Stats
Player Solos Assists TFL Int. PBU Sacks Other
K.J. Wyatt 1 7 2 0 0 0 2 Bl. PAT
D.J. Jones 5 10 1 0 0 0
Noah Brown 5 6 0 0 0 0
Jordan Huff 3 7 1 1(TD) 0 0