By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County’s Bulldogs used an early 80 yard touchdown pass from Trent Folds to Seth Robertson and a 95 yard kickoff return from Kobridgette Lumpkin in the second half to help subdue a much improved Greene County team this past Friday night at Bill Corry Stadium. In addition to those two big plays Morgan’s defense came up with some key stops against a sharp Tiger offense. Jordan Huff picked off a pass in the end zone in the first quarter after Morgan had fumbled deep in their own territory to stop a threat and K.J. Wyatt blew up a fourth and two from the Morgan County seven yard line in the third quarter to halt another drive. Wyatt later came up with a critical interception on an attempted screen pass at the Bulldog 16 yard line in the fourth quarter to keep Greene out of the end zone and maintain Morgan County’s slim lead. All three were key plays in the contest and helped insure that Morgan would maintain control of the series that they have dominated since 2007. Over that span MCHS has defeated their rival eight times in nine tries.
So there’s the good news. There was also some bad. According to Head Coach Bill Malone the Bulldogs may have lost stalwart K.J. Wyatt for the season. On that topic Malone said, “K.J. has been a really big presence in our locker room and has played a huge part in our recent success. We’ll continue to pray for a speedy recovery and will certainly miss his presence at practice and in games.”
As for the Greene game Malone noted, “I thought our kids played hard again. We are definitely better than we were a couple of weeks ago in our scrimmage vs Jeff Davis. We are looking for weekly growth and we’re seeing it.”
Defensive coordinator Brett Bell also had some praise for his unit. “I was extremely proud of our effort. We had some huge stops and big plays in a great rivalry game. It just seemed like our guys wanted it just a little more than Greene did. In modern football when you only give up nine points against a spread offense with a quality quarterback, you have to feel good about it.” Bell went on, “I can’t say enough about K.J. Wyatt and his play the past two weeks. To me he made the difference in the game with that interception and blowing up that fourth down play. K.J. is a great young man who we have always been able to count on.” Bell also heaped praise on senior David Williams (two sacks and multiple quarterback pressures) along with D.J. Jones and Denver Laughlin who both were around the ball all night.
The Tigers controlled the early going with a long drive that covered 77 yards on 15 plays and took nearly six minutes off the clock. Greene had to settle for a 26 yard field goal attempt after Seth Robertson broke up a third down pass in the end zone. The field goal was good and Greene led 3-0 at the 6:17 mark of quarter number one.
Morgan retaliated swiftly. On the ensuing possession Trent Folds found Seth Robertson on a corner route and Robertson took the pass in stride and outran the Greene County safety to the end zone. Senior placekicker Finn Williams booted the PAT and Morgan County took a 7-3 lead with 5:17 left in the opening period.
It looked like this one might be a track meet but the defenses both settled in and though both offenses moved the ball, neither could dent the scoreboard and the second period was scoreless leaving the Bulldogs with a 7-3 lead at intermission.
Midway through the third quarter Morgan County had an opportunity. Greene went into punt formation but the punter kicked it into his protection man’s rear end and the Bulldogs had prime field position at the Tiger 21. It looked like the Bulldogs would score after Folds completed a pass to the five but a penalty negated the play and MCHS had to settle for a 41 yard field goal attempt from Finn Williams. The kick was blocked by Greene and returned to the Morgan County 32 on a play that could have changed the complexion of the game but K.J. Wyatt made a fourth down stop at the seven to avert that threat.
The Bulldogs couldn’t move and had to punt from their end zone on the ensuing series and Greene County wound up with possession at the Bulldog 41. The Tigers drove to Morgan County’s 11 and on fourth and seven Greene’s quarterback sprinted out right and found a man open in the end zone for a touchdown. David Williams broke through to block the extra point but Greene County led 9-7 with 11:44 left in the game.
That lead didn’t last long either. On the ensuing kickoff sophomore Kobridgette Lumpkin gathered in the ball at the five yard line, started up the middle then broke toward the home sideline. He found daylight there and outraced all the Tiger pursuers to the end zone. Williams was true on the PAT and the Bulldogs reclaimed the lead at 14-9 with 11:27 to go in the fourth quarter.
On the next series Greene County quickly drove 64 yards in just four plays to the Bulldog 16 but K.J. Wyatt outfoxed the Tiger quarterback and picked off an attempted screen pass to end the threat.
The Bulldogs then had a chance to put this one away. On third and ten Trent Folds found Bruce Boone on a fly route that was good for 75 yards to Greene County’s eight yard line. With a chance to seal the game Morgan went wide and fumbled with Greene recovering at the 15 yard line with 8:58 to go.
The Tigers had a couple more possession but never got closer than midfield as Morgan’s defense wouldn’t fold and the Bulldogs came away with a 14-9 win to give them a 1-1 record in the young campaign.
Morgan County plays at home this week against Walnut Grove. Game time is 7:30.
Morgan County vs Greene County Score by Quarters
Greene County 3 0 0 6 9
Morgan County 7 0 0 7 14
Morgan County vs Greene County Yardage Stats
Greene County 82 225 307
Morgan County 68 253 321
Morgan County vs Greene County Key Offensive Stats
Passing Comp. / Att. Yards TD’s
Trent Folds 10 / 21 253 1
Rushing Attempts Yards Avg. / Carry TD’s
Kobridgette Lumpkin 7 33 4.7 0
Keirreon Farley 3 21 7.0 0
Justin Hubbard 11 14 1.3 0
Receiving Receptions Yards Per Catch TD’s
Seth Robertson 3 106 35.3 1
Boone Bruce 2 85 42.5 0
Denver Laughlin 2 22 11.0 0
Kobridgette Lumpkin 2 20 10.0 0
Keirreon Farley 2 20 10.0 0
Kicking PAT’s FG’s Total Points
Finn Williams 2 of 2 0-1 (blocked) 2
Morgan County vs Greene County Key Defensive Stats
Player Solos Assists TFL Sack Int. PBU Other
David Williams 4 5 2 2 0 0 QBH (6)
Denver Laughlin 7 4 2 0 0 1
Jitavius Peters 1 2 0 0 0 0 QBH (4)
Cole Freeman 3 7 1 0 0 0
Jordan Huff 1 4 1 0 1 0 QBH (2)
D.J. Jones 3 7 1 0 0 0
K.J. Wyatt 1 2 1 0 1 0 QBH (1)
Note: David Williams also recorded a blocked PAT / PBU = Pass broken up / QBH = Quarterback hit