By Alvin Richardson
Since 2016 either Morgan County or Monroe Area have been Region 8AAA champs so the matchup last Friday night at Bill Corry Stadium was a big one. The Bulldogs of Coach Bill Malone passed that test with a solid 27-17 win over the Purple Hurricanes on Homecoming Night in front of a raucous crowd. It was the first region game of the campaign and the Bulldogs played well on both sides of the ball to get the win.
Head Coach Bill Malone was well pleased with the outcome and noted after the game, “I was really proud of the way our coaches put practice together over the past couple of weeks. We did a lot of hitting during the off week that toughened us up and it paid off tonight.”
Offensive coordinator Wade Woodall was particularly happy about the MCHS ground game which was effective most of the night. “First of all you have to give credit to the offensive line. Those guys controlled the line of scrimmage and made it possible for us to run the ball.” Morgan’s offensive line is manned by Gavyn Lewis (T), Jerrell Brown (G), Chance Reid (C), Donovan Caswell (G), Criston Foster (T), J.P. Pritchett (T) and Key Malone (G). Woodall also went on to mention some other personnel and said, “It was good to get Trent back (QB Trent Folds who had been injured the past couple of weeks) and we got good running from Kobridgette Lumpkin (159 yards) and Quinton Proby (52 yards). We also had some key plays made by several receivers. Jerrit Wyatt, Seth Robertson and Denver Laughlin all had big catches in the game.”
On the defensive side Coach Brett Bell echoed some of Malone’s thoughts concerning tough practices and good effort. He said, “It was good for the players to see that all that hard work paid off.” He added, “Our front four (Cris Foster, Donovan Caswell, Chris Walls and Jarrell Brown) stopped Monroe’s running game pretty good and got good pressure on the quarterback when we needed to.” He also noted that linebackers Cole Freeman and Key Malone played well and pointed out interceptions from Zan Mahone and Al Edwards were big as well.
Morgan County fell behind 3-0 when Monroe put together a nice drive to open the game. They drove to the Bulldog 19 and kicked a 36 yard field goal to open the scoring but Morgan quickly retaliated. The Dogs romped 75 yards in nine plays on their first possession to take the lead. That drive was keyed by the running of Kobridgette Lumpkin. Lumpkin ran seven times for 70 yards on that march and polished it off with a two yard run for six points. Bennett Ianelli added the PAT and Morgan led 7-3 with 4:45 left in the opening period.
Both defensive units stiffened on the ensuing possessions and forced punts but with 1:50 left in the first quarter Monroe Area came up with an interception at the Morgan eight yard line and three plays later were in the end zone for a 10-7 lead.
Once again the Bulldogs struck back. It started on the kickoff when Seth Robertson darted all the way to Monroe’s 39 with a nifty return. Three plays later Trent Folds hit Denver Laughlin on a slant that was good for 28 yards and a touchdown at the 11:07 mark of the second quarter. With the extra point Morgan led 14-10 and they would never trail again.
For the next eight minutes the teams traded blows but neither drew blood. With 2:41 left in the half Zan Mohone came up with a key interception that gave Morgan County the ball at midfield. Lumpkin bounced outside for 16 yards and Seth Robertson added 10 more on a reverse as the Dogs moved to the Hurricane 11 yard line. On third and six Quinton Proby ran a counter play through the heart of Monroe’s defense and scored standing up. Ianelli’s PAT made it 21-10 with 45 seconds left in the half and that’s the way things stood at intermission.
Monroe made a run at the Dogs in the third quarter. They scored on a 13 yard screen pass with 5:12 left in the period to trim the lead to 21-17 and kept the momentum until Morgan delivered a dagger early in the fourth period. With 10:40 left Trent Folds fired a deep pass down the middle to Seth Robertson. Robertson wrestled the ball away from a Hurricane defender and waltzed into the end zone for an 88 yard touchdown. The PAT was wide but Morgan led 27-17.
The Bulldog defensive unit forced a punt on Monroe’s ensuing possession and the MCHS offensive line took it from there. With Lumpkin and Proby providing consistent ground gains Morgan County started at their 23 with 9:42 left and put together a grinding drive that ate up the clock. They kept the ball for 13 plays and ran off over six minutes of clock to seal the win.
Criston Foster led the defensive effort with a big night that included six tackles, three assists, three tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. Offensively the Dogs were led by Kobridgette Lumpkin who had 29 totes for 159 yards and a TD. Trent Folds passed for 212 yards and two scores and Seth Robertson caught two passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.
The win puts Morgan County at 4-1 for the season and 1-0 in region play. The Dogs take on Jackson County October 4th in Jefferson. Game time is 7:30.
Morgan County vs Monroe Area Score by Quarters
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Monroe Area 10 0 7 0 17
Morgan County 7 14 0 6 27
Morgan County vs Monroe Area Yardage Totals
Rushing Passing Total
Monroe Area 86 104 190
Morgan County 221 212 433
Morgan County vs Monroe Area Key Defensive Stats
Player Solos Assists TFL FF Int. Sack Other
Criston Foster 6 4 3 0 0 2 QBP
Chris Walls 3 1 2 0 0 1.5 QBP
Zan Mohone 1 1 1 1 1 0
Cole Freeman 2 3 0 0 0 0 QBP (3)
D.J. Jones 3 0 1 0 0 0 QBP
Seth Robertson 3 2 0 0 0 0
Key Malone 2 2 0 0 0 0
Al Edwards 1 0 0 0 1 0
Morgan County vs Monroe Area Key Offensive Stats
Passing Comp. / Att. Yards TD’s
Trent Folds 13 / 21 212 2
Rushing Att. Yards Yards / Carry TD’s
Kobridgette Lumpkin 29 159 5.4 1
Quinton Proby 9 52 5.8 1
Receiving Receptions Yards Yards / Catch TD’s
Seth Robertson 2 98 49.0 1
Jerrit Wyatt 3 64 21.3 0
Denver Laughlin 2 36 18.0 1
Kicking PAT’s FG’s
Bennett Ianelli 3 of 4 0 / 0
Scores of Interest
Jefferson 70 East Jackson 6
Hart Co. 56 Jackson Co. 13
Greene Co. 49 GMC 9
North Oconee 59 Walnut Grove 7
St. Pius 23 Loganville 6
Region 8AAA Standings
Team Region Overall State Ranking
Hart Co. 1-0 5-0 3rd
Jefferson 1-0 3-1 9th
Morgan Co. 1-0 4-1
Monroe Area 0-1 3-2
East Jackson 0-1 3-2
Jackson Co. 0-1 2-3
Franklin Co. 0-0 0-3