By Alvin Richardson
Morgan County and Jeff Davis High School (Hazelhurst) competed in the campaign’s opening scrimmage this past Friday night at Bill Corry Stadium. The teams played their front line personnel in the first half and the Bulldogs sneaked past the Yellow Jackets 14-13 in those two periods. In the second half, played by the second units and B-teams with a running clock and no kicking game, Morgan came out on top 12-2.
Head coach Bill Malone was particularly pleased with the turnout and said, “I really want to thank the community for coming to the scrimmage. That’s the biggest crowd I’ve seen for a pre-season scrimmage and it really gave our kids a lift. I also want to give a shout out to our student section. Having them closer to us made the game exciting and gave us a game-like atmosphere.”
The Bulldogs opened up with a 70 yard drive that took less than two minutes to complete. Quentin Proby and Seth Robertson led the ground game on that march and senior quarterback Trent Folds completed a 35 yard pass to Denver Laughlin to help set Morgan up at the Jeff Davis 19. From there Folds found Austin Knight in the back corner of the end zone for six points. Bennett Ianelli nailed the PAT and Morgan County led 7-0 with 10:38 left in the opening quarter.
The Bulldog defensive unit did not allow Jeff Davis a single yard on their opening possession and Morgan managed a pair of first downs on their second possession before giving the ball up. Jeff Davis responded with a trap play that covered 45 yards and knotted the score at 7-7 with 4:17 left in the first period.
The Dogs put together another nice drive of 64 yards but a fumble at the Yellow Jacket six kept them out of the end zone. On that series Quentin Proby continued his solid performance with runs of six and 34 yards and Folds hit Al Edwards in the flat for a nice gain. On that play Edwards ran over a defender, squirted to the Jeff Davis six and fumbled to end the drive.
Jeff Davis got their ground game going and plodded their way with short gains to the Morgan County 15. From there they kicked a 32 yard field goal to take their first lead at 10-7 with 6:57 left in the half.
The Bulldogs responded quickly. Seth Robertson plucked an inside slant throw from Folds and turned it into a 30 yard gain. Proby gained 12 yards on two tries and then popped through the middle and darted to the Jeff Davis one yard line. Proby finished off the drive with a one yard plunge and Ianelli’s extra point made it 14-10 with 5:14 left before intermission.
The Yellow Jackets put their steady ground game back on display and pounded out five first downs. They reached the Bulldog 20 yard line but the next three plays netted them minus two yards. The Jacket kicker then booted a 39 yard field goal with just 21 seconds left in the second quarter and the score stood 14-13 as the half ended.
In the third quarter Morgan County backup quarterback Pratt Spivey hit Rogers Clark on a beautiful fade route that covered 13 yards to give the Bulldogs a 20 – 13 advantage. A bad snap deep in their own territory cost Morgan two points later in the quarter to make it 20-15 but Jacere Cooper found the end zone on a one yard dive to make it 26-15 and ended the scoring.
Defensively Morgan was led by senior linebacker Cole Freeman who finished with nine total tackles (solos plus assists). Denver Laughlin came through with eight tackles, Key Malone had seven tackles, D.J. Jones added five tackles and a quarterback pressure and Seth Robertson finished with two tackles and three broken up passes.
Unofficially Trent Fold completed 9 of 13 passes for 134 yards and a TD and Quinton Proby led the rushing attack with 92 yards on nine carries and a touchdown. The receiving corps was led by Seth Robertson with two catches for 37 yards, Denver Laughlin one catch for 34 yards, Austin Knight one catch for 19 yards and a TD and Al Edwards who finished with a pair of grabs for 19 yards.
Morgan County opens the regular season with a home game against Class AAAAA Loganville on August 23rd. Game time is 7:30. For more photos, see page B3.