By Alvin Richardson
The Morgan County Bulldogs kick off their 2019 campaign with a scrimmage against the Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets on Friday, August 9th at Bill Corry Stadium. The scrimmage begins at 7:30. Coach Bill Malone’s squad posted an overall record of 5-6 and a region mark of 4-2 in 2018 placing third in Region 8AAA. They lost in the first round of the state playoffs to Lovett. The Dogs won back to back region titles in 2016 and 2017 the first time that had happened since 2002-2003. Malone begins his 13th season in the top spot which puts him in a tie with Kenny Moore and Wayne Bradshaw as the most seasons as head coach at Morgan County. Malone has posted a record of 70-58 (.547) with seven appearances in the state playoffs.
Jeff Davis High School is located in Hazelhurst, and the Yellow Jackets, coached by Lance Helton, posted a 7-4 record in 2018 and came in third in Region 2AA. They lost in the opening round of the state playoffs to Dodge County by a score of 39-21. That was their first appearance in the playoffs since 2001.
Morgan County will once again feature an air attack led by senior quarterback Trent Folds. Folds is coming off a season in which he threw for over 2,000 yards and put himself on the college recruiting radar. The MCHS offensive coordinator is Wade Woodall who begins his third season at that post. His unit averaged 35.2 points per game in 2017 and 21.0 points per outing in 2018.
Defensively Morgan County will be under the tutelage of Brett Bell who begins his third year at that post. Bell, a former Bulldog standout, coached a 2017 unit that allowed 18.6 points per game and a 2018 unit that gave up 25.2 points per outing but that group was full of underclassmen who gained a wealth of experience in 2018 and should be much improved this year.
According to Bell the team has several goals they would like to accomplish Friday night. He noted, “We want our guys to play with energy and physicality. Jeff Davis is an opponent with a strong running game featuring a veteran offensive line and a star fullback. We have challenged our players to play with relentless effort and attack this offense head on. There are no shortcuts against this type of offense. It’s just good old fashioned smash mouth football.”