By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County’s Bulldogs came blazing out of the gate last Friday night, scoring 20 first quarter points on their way to a key Region 8AAA win over Jackson County’s Panthers. Led by Seth Robertson, Trent Folds and Denver Laughlin, Morgan scored on their first three possessions of the night to run out to a 20-0 advantage. That lead held up all night but Jackson County managed to make it a one score game when they scored a touchdown 20-14 with 5:52 left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs countered with a clutch 11 play drive that covered 61 yards, ate up over four critical minutes off the clock, and ended when Seth Robertson burst eight yards through the heart of Jackson County’s defense to make it 26-14 with 2:09 left in the game. The victory evened Morgan’s region record at 1-1 and upped their overall mark to 2-4 on the season.
A pleased Coach Bill Malone noted, “I’m so proud of our guys for playing all four quarters with a lot of heart. Our defense did a great job of holding them to seven points after I got greedy right before halftime. I was super excited about our 10 play drive that ended in Seth Robertson’s third touchdown of the night to put it out of reach.”
Morgan County was led on defense by junior linebacker Cole Freeman. Freeman played perhaps the best game of his career accounting for six tackles, 14 assists and three tackles for loss. He got plenty of help from Denver Laughlin (10 total tackles and an interception) and D.J. Jones (10 total tackles).
Offensively the Bulldogs got significant contributions from Robertson, (79 rushing yards, 19 receiving yards and three touchdowns) and Trent Folds (six of 10 passing for 90 yards and two touchdowns).
Junior Seth Robertson accounted for the first two scores of the night. On the second play from scrimmage Robertson went wide, found some room and darted 72 yards to pay dirt. Finn Williams added the PAT for a 7-0 lead. The Bulldog defensive unit held Jackson County to two yards on their first two plays and on third down Denver Laughlin picked off a pass and returned it to the Panther 21 yard line. On third down Trent Folds flipped a flair pass to Robertson and he scored his second touchdown in less than two minutes of play. All of a sudden it was 14-0 with 9:49 left in the opening period.
But the Dogs weren’t through. The Morgan County defensive unit quickly produced a three-and-out and a short punt gave the Bulldogs their third possession of the night at the Jackson County 38. On first down Folds fired a strike to Laughlin and the sophomore romped in untouched. The PAT was wide left but the Bulldogs led 20-0 with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
After that initial onslaught by Morgan the game settled into a defensive battle. Jackson County started to make a little headway with their throwback single wing offense. They put together a nice drive that reached the Bulldog five yard line but a bad snap stalled the march, a fourth down pass into the end zone fell incomplete and the Dogs took over on downs.
After Morgan punted out of the hole, Jackson County took over at midfield and worked their way to the Morgan 27 as the half was winding down. At that critical point Seth Robertson stepped up big again when he intercepted a pass at the goal line and returned it to the 41 with just 32 seconds left until intermission. Folds dropped back on the first play to throw deep but was stripped and a Panther player alertly scooped it up and scored with just eight seconds left in the half to make it 20-7 and give Jackson some hope.
The Panthers cut the lead to six points on a seven play drive late in the third quarter but that was as close as they came. The teams traded punts until the Bulldogs came up with a possession at their 39 yard line with 6:09 left in the contest. From there they put together a ten play drive that sealed the win. A pass interference call gave Morgan one first down and sophomore running back Kobridgette Lumpkin reeled off an 11 yard run for another. Two plays later Keirreon Farley went wide for 13 more and followed that up with a 12 yard burst up the middle to get Morgan to the Jackson County 10 yard line. On third down Robertson shot eight yards up the gut for his third touchdown of the night and the Bulldogs closed the door on a key region win.
Morgan County will go on the road next Friday to face the Franklin County Lions in another important region game. That game will be played Ed Bryant Stadium in Carnesville and game time is 7:30.
Morgan County vs Jackson County Score by Quarters
Jackson County 0 7 7 0 14
Morgan County 20 0 0 6 26
Morgan County vs Jackson County Yardage Totals
Jackson County 220 3 223
Morgan County 137 90 227
Morgan County vs Jackson County Key Defensive Stats
Player Solos Assists TFL Int. QBP Other
Cole Freeman 6 14 3 0 0 0
Denver Laughlin 4 6 2 1 0 0
D.J. Jones 4 6 2 0 0 0
Jitavius Peters 1 7 2 0 0 0
Kevin Pearson 4 2 1 0 0 QBP (3) / PBU
Zan Mohone 3 6 0 0 0 0
Seth Robertson 1 2 1 1 0 QBP
Note: TFL = Tackle for loss / QBP = Quarterback pressure / PBU = Pass broken up / Int. = Interception
Morgan County vs Jackson County Key Offensive Stats
Passing Att. / Comp. Yards TD’s
Trent Folds 10 / 6 90 2
Rushing Att. Yards Yards / Carry TD’s
Seth Robertson 3 79 26.3 2
Keirreon Farley 11 30 2.7 0
Receiving Receptions Yards Yards / Catch TD’s
Denver Laughlin 1 38 38.0 1
Bruce Boone 2 22 11.0 0
Seth Robertson 2 19 9.5 1
Keirreon Farley 1 11 11.0 0
Finn Williams 2 / 3
Region 8AAA Standings
Team Region Record Overall Record
Monroe Area 2-0 6-0
Jefferson 2-0 5-1
Hart County 1-0 2-3
Morgan County 1-1 2-4
Jackson County 0-2 2-4
Franklin County 0-1 1-4
East Jackson 0-2 1-5
Scores From Region 8AAA
Morgan County 26 Jackson County 14
Jefferson 17 Franklin County 10
Monroe Area 62 East Jackson 0
Hart County (Off)