By R. Alvin Richardson
On a cool, blustery night at Pete Herndon Stadium Morgan County rallied from a two touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter and ultimately fought their way to a 35-34 overtime win over the Hart County Bulldogs to give Morgan the region’s third seed. With the victory Morgan County will enter the state playoffs and go up against Region 5AAA second seeded Lovett next Friday night in Atlanta.
A proud Bill Malone said, “The most telling thing I can say about our kids is that they have never given up. Even through difficult losses to Oconee, Monroe and Jefferson they didn’t give up and they never gave up when we were down 14 points tonight.” Malone added, “I’m very proud of our coaches and their preparation and our kids’ tenacity. Forget about the 5-5 record, these boys have won a lot more than that.”
Hart County scored on a 33 yard run as the third quarter ended to give them what looked like an insurmountable 28-14 lead going into the final stanza but Bill Malone’s young puppies would not give up. On the ensuing series the Dogs faced a third and ten at their 35 when they came up with a play that changed the momentum. Quarterback Trent Folds went back to pass, was rushed and had to scramble. He then fired a deep ball down the left sideline and junior receiver Seth Robertson somehow came down with it before going out of bounds at the Hart 30. Three plays later Morgan faced a critical fourth and eight and Folds found Jordan Huff on a curl route for 11 yards to the 17. On the next snap Folds completed a quick screen to Robertson who darted into the end zone and Morgan had closed the gap to 28-21 with 10:07 left in the contest.
The Dogs kept their momentum going on the next series when the Bulldog defensive line hurried Hart’s quarterback and Zan Mohone came down with an interception to put Morgan in business at the Hart County 37. Two plays later the Dogs faced a third and 13 when Folds went to work again. The junior quarterback scrambled, fired a pass into the end zone and Seth Robertson made a leaping circus catch for Morgan’s second touchdown in the space of three minutes. Finn Williams, who was good on all five of his PAT’s in the game, booted the tying point to make it 28-28 with 7:09 left in the game.
With their lead gone Hart County fought back and drove to Morgan’s 21 yard line but a 38 yard field goal fell short in the face of a stiff wind and the game remained tied with 2:57 left in regulation.
The Dogs put together two first downs on their next series but wound up punting and Folds came through with a good one to the Hart 14 yard line. From there the orange-clad Bulldogs drove to the 43 but time ran out and the game went into overtime.
Hart County won the toss and elected to go on defense. Starting at the 15 yard line (per high school overtime rules) Morgan scored on their third play. Keirreon Farley picked up four yards on first down, Seth Robertson got nine on a quick screen and Chris Walls caught a pass from Folds for the touchdown. Williams booted the all-important extra point and Morgan had its first lead of the night at 35-28.
Hart then went on offense and swept wide on second down for a touchdown to make it 35-34. They decided to go for a two-point conversion and the win. On the conversion attempt Hart’s quarterback threw a pass over the middle but Cole Freeman and Jordan Huff were there to knock it down and the Morgan County sideline erupted with joy as the Bulldogs came away with a 35-34 win.
Hart County began the night with a long kickoff return and scored on their third play from scrimmage to take a 7-0 lead at the 10:23 mark of the opening quarter. Morgan County tied things up after Hart fumbled a punt and Seth Robertson came up with it at the four. Two plays later Jordan Huff went over from three yards out to make it 7-7 with 7:53 left in the first period.
The orange and black Bulldogs went back on top early in the second quarter when they put together an 80 yard drive and scored on a three yard run to make it 14-7 with 10:32 left in the half. They then padded their lead with a 55 yard drive that ended with an 18 yard pass to make it 21-7 at the 5:08 mark of the second period but the Bulldogs came through with a score before intermission that kept them within striking distance. They put together a 65 yard drive that was capped off by Keirreon Farley’s six yard run with 3:03 left in the half. That march was keyed by a 16 yard run from Kobridgette Lumpkin and a beautiful corner route that went from Folds to Jordan Huff covering 38 yards to the Hart County six as Morgan cut the lead to 21-14 before halftime.
Morgan County was led on offense by Trent Folds who completed 14 of 25 passes for 206 yards and three touchdowns, by Kobridgette Lumpkin who rushed for 46 yards and by Seth Robertson who snagged six passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively the Dogs got a big performance from Cole Freeman who finished the game with six tackles and 11 assists. Morgan also got solid efforts on the defensive side from Denver Laughlin, Jordan Huff and David Williams.
Morgan County vs Hart County Score by Quarters
Morgan Co. 7 7 0 14 7 35
Hart Co. 7 14 7 7 6 34
Morgan County vs Hart County Yardage Totals
Morgan Co. 112 206 318
Hart Co. 279 143 422
Morgan County Key Offensive Stats
Rushing Yards Carries Yds. / Carry TD’s
Kobridgette Lumpkin 46 11 4.2 0
Keirreon Farley 23 4 5.8 1
Seth Robertson 19 3 6.3 0
Jordan Huff 6 6 1.0 1
Passing Comp. Att. Yards TD’s
Trent Folds 14 25 206 3
Receiving Rec. Yards Yds. / Rec. TD’s
Seth Robertson 6 138 23.0 2
Jordan Huff 4 59 14.8 0
Chris Walls 1 2 2.0 1
Kicking PAT’s FG’s
Finn Williams 5 X 5 0-1 (44 yds)
Morgan County Key Defensive Stats
Name Tackles Assists TFL Int. Sack Other
Cole Freeman 6 11 0 0 0 0
Jordan Huff 5 1 1 0 1 PBU / QBP
David Williams 4 4 2 0 0 QBP (2)
Denver Laughlin 6 4 0 0 0 0
Zan Mohone 2 2 1 1 0 0
Derrance Nash 2 4 0 0 0 0
Note: PBU = Pass broken up / QBP = Quarterback pressure
Final Standings Region 8AAA
Team Region Overall
Monroe Area 6-0 10-0
Jefferson 5-1 8-2
Morgan Co 4-2 5-5
Hart Co. 3-3 4-6
Franklin Co. 2-4 3-7
Jackson Co. 1-5 3-7
East Jackson 0-6 1-9
Region 8AAA First Round State Playoffs
Pace Academy at Monroe Area
Westminster at Jefferson
Morgan County at Lovett
Hart County at Cedar Grove