Young Dogs grew up in 2018 season

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The Morgan County High School football squad finished up their 2018 season this past week when they were eliminated by Lovett in the first round of the state playoffs. It was a re-building year for the Dogs as they were coming off back-to-back region titles in 2016 and 2017 and lost 25 seniors after the 2017 campaign. This season’s squad had only 14 seniors with just nine who saw significant playing time.  Of those nine K.J. Wyatt and Brett Edwards were injured for a substantial portion of the season.

The good news is that most of the playing time went to underclassmen so the Bulldogs will have a much more experienced team when the 2019 season rolls around.  Added to that will be some talented freshmen and sophomores from a successful B-team that will be a plus in Morgan County’s football fortunes.

The 2018 season saw the Bulldogs post a 5-6 overall record and a record of 4-2 in Region 8AAA which was good for a third place finish behind region champ Monroe Area and runner-up Jefferson.

Offensively the Bulldogs finished the season scoring an average of 21 points per game and the defense surrendered 25.3 points per outing.  By comparison both those numbers were off from the region championship years of 2016 and 2017.  In 2016 the Dogs went 8-3 and averaged 26.6 points of offense and gave up 12.0 points per game.  In 2017 Morgan posted a record of 9-2, scored 35.3 points per game and surrendered 18.6 points per outing.

This year’s leaders on offense were junior quarterback Trent Folds (who completed 50 percent of his passes while accounting for 1784 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air), senior receiver Jordan Huff (who caught 40 passes for 739 yards and six touchdowns), and sophomore running back Kobridgette Lumpkin (who rushed for 386 yards and three TD’s.)

On defense the Bulldogs were led by junior linebacker Cole Freeman (who finished with 119 total tackles and 10 tackles for loss), sophomore defensive back Denver Laughlin (who had 75 total tackles six tackles for loss and three interceptions), senior defensive lineman David Williams (who had 67 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks), senior nickel back Jordan Huff (48 total tackles, six tackles for loss and two interceptions), and junior cornerback Seth Robertson (who finished with 38 total tackles, three interceptions and seven broken up passes).  The complete individual statistics are available on a separate table in this article.

Game by game review

Game 1

Morgan lost their opener to Class AAAA Loganville 32-19 when a pseudo-lightning storm delayed the second half until the following Saturday morning. Trent Folds threw for 265 yards, Jordan Huff caught eight passes for 151 yards and D.J. Jones had 15 total tackles.  Loganville beat seventh ranked Southwest DeKalb in the first round of the state playoffs.

Game 2

The Bulldogs defeated rival Greene County 14-9 for their eighth win in the last nine games over the Tigers.  Folds threw for 253 yards, Seth Robertson caught three passes for 103 yards and Cole Freeman led all tacklers with 10 on the night.  Greene County is playing in the Class A quarterfinals this Friday.

Game 3

Morgan lost to Class AAAA Walnut Grove 34-31 (overtime) in the only game all season that the Dogs let slip away from them.  Morgan led 21-14 at halftime but had to score on the final play of regulation to force overtime. Finn Williams kicked a field goal on Morgan’s possession but on fourth and one Walnut Grove found the end zone for the win.  Kobridgette Lumpkin rushed for 58 yards, Folds threw for 195 and Huff accounted for 130 receiving yards.  Donovan Caswell had 12 tackles to lead the defense.

Game 4

For the third time in four games Morgan played a Class AAAA school.  They lost 20-0 to Oconee County on a night when the Warrior defense was in command all night long and Morgan’s offense finished with just 39 yards. Cole Freeman led all tacklers with 14.

Game 5

Morgan opened their region schedule with Monroe Area (who would be the region champ) and took a 39-0 loss.  The Purple Hurricanes were led by one of the state’s leading rushers in Chandler Byron and the Canes are playing in the state quarterfinals Friday night at Pierce County.  The Bulldogs managed just 114 total yards in this one and were simply outmanned as Monroe got revenge for a 2017 loss to Morgan County that spoiled their bid for a perfect season.

Game 6

Morgan evened their region record at 1-1 with a 26-14 win over Jackson County as Folds threw for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Seth Robertson ran for 79 yards and two scores. Cole Freeman had a big night with 20 total tackles including three tackles for loss.

Game 7

The Dogs had another great night on offense with a 40-21 win over Franklin County.  This one was never close as Folds fired four TD passes and totaled 233 yards, Kobridgette Lumpkin rushed for 71 yards and a TD and Jordan Huff tallied two TD’s on three receptions and 96 yards.  Chris Walls led the defensive effort with four tackles, two for loss and a sack. That win gave Morgan a 2-1 region record.

Game 8

Morgan fell to eighth ranked Jefferson 35-14 on a night when Folds threw for 284 yards but the offense couldn’t take advantage of several red zone opportunities.  Jefferson would finish second in the region race. Jordan Huff had five receptions for 127 yards and Cole Freeman along with Denver Laughlin led the defensive effort. Freeman had 13 tackles and Laughlin finished with 10 tackles and an interception.

Game 9

The Bulldogs blew out East Jackson 45-0 and this one was over early.  Trent Folds threw for 140 yards and three touchdowns, Richard Hubbard ran for 57 yards and a score and Jordan Huff along with Denver Laughlin caught touchdown passes. David Williams and Cole Freeman led all tacklers with four apiece. That win set up a showdown with Hart County for the third seed.

Game 10

In the most dramatic game of the season Morgan County rallied from a 14 point deficit in the final quarter to post a 35-34 overtime win at Hart County.  The Bulldogs tied it up at 28-28 on a leaping grab by Seth Robertson in the end zone and Chris Walls put Morgan up with a TD catch in overtime.  Hart scored a touchdown on their possession and decided to go for the win with a two point conversion try.  Cole Freeman and Jordan Huff batted down the pass and Morgan had their biggest win of the season and the region’s third seed.  Cole Freeman continued his stellar season with 17 tackles, Trent Folds threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns and Seth Robertson finished with 138 receiving yards and two scores.

Game 11

Lovett dominated the Bulldogs in the opening round of the state playoffs and came away with a 40-7 win.  The Dogs never got anything going against a rugged Lion defense and ended with just 91 yards of total offense.  Lovett led 21-0 at halftime and 24-0 in the third quarter.  Morgan’s only score came on a 45 yard touchdown strike from Folds to Huff to make it 24-7 but that was all the Dogs could muster and their season came to an end.  Cole Freeman was the outstanding player on defense with 16 tackles.

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