By R. Alan Richardson
Despite trailing by 12 points with only 1:40 remaining in the third period, the Morgan County Middle School football team forced the Putnam County War Eagles into overtime only to see their comeback bid fall short. This one would be a shootout that would come down to extra football and the fireworks started early and often for both squads. Talan Fuller connected with Zach Moore for three touchdown passes on the day, but it wouldn’t be quite enough to pull off the victory.
The young Dogs came storming out of the gate to take a 14-0 lead early with only 4:16 remaining in the first period. Morgan scored on a jet sweep by Jayden Dorsey who scampered 16 yards with 6:22 showing on the clock and Tyler Smith made good on the ensuing PAT to run out to a 7-0 lead. Two minutes later, quarterback Fuller hit wideout Moore on a 25 yard strike for their second score of the afternoon. Smith was again good on the kick and the Bulldogs looked like they would run away with this one early as they took the 14-0 advantage.
The visiting Eagles weren’t about to lay down in this long-standing rivalry as they answered with nine points of their own on a safety and touchdown followed by the extra point. This would be the standard for the evening. Morgan still held a slim 14-9 lead with 2:02 still to play in quarter one.
It didn’t take long for Putnam to score again. On first and 10 from their own 22, MOCO’s ball carrier lost control of the ball as a Putnam defender wrestled the ball from the upright runner and ran it in for a touchdown. The score tied the contest at 14-14 with 1:43. After they tacked on the two-point conversion, it was a 16-14 advantage for the Eagles.
The crazy first quarter finally ended, but the pyrotechnics would continue in this one. Two touchdowns were scored on three plays during the second period. Morgan’s Dorsey returned a punt to the Putnam six yard line and David Betrand took it in from the one with 3:42 remaining in the half. The point after was good to give the good guys the lead again at 21-16, but Putnam returned the kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown of their own. Touché. The scoreboard showed 24-21 after the two-point conversion was successful.
As the half expired, Morgan had a drive going, but a PC interception gave them possession on their 27. On third and 11, Putnam’s halfback raced 76 yards on a sweep as time expired. The War Eagles took a 10-point 31-21 lead into intermission. (I told you this one was wild).
The second half was a little quiet until late in the third period when Putnam got their second safety of the evening to push the lead to 33-21. It was time for the Dogs to make a run. And they did just that. In the opening moments of period four, the recurring theme of Fuller to Moore resulted in a 70 yard romp to close the gap to 33-27. The PAT was blocked. Morgan got the ball back late in the quarter and sliced Putnam’s defense on an eight-play 65 yard drive that resulted in another score. The pass tied the game 33-all as Fuller again hit Moore on a seven yard TD pass with mere seconds remaining. However, a poor snap gave the defense time to block the potentially winning kick and it was on to overtime.
Putnam took first possession in the overtime period and scored on second and 10 on a sweep around the right side. After the two-point conversion connected, Putnam led 41-33. Morgan was unable to score on their possession going four-and-out to give the War Eagles the win in dramatic fashion.
This week the MCMS Dogs will travel to Social Circle for a road game with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m.