By Alvin Richardson
For two quarters Morgan County played the eighth ranked Appling County Pirates off their feet. In a game played in Baxley, Georgia the Bulldogs fell behind in the first quarter 7-0 but with 5:33 left in the half Rogers Clark ignited the Dogs by blocking a punt and Jamarrion Lewis scooped it up and scored to tie the game at 7-7. The Pirates responded with a 50 yard drive to go up 13-7 at intermission but Morgan went to the locker room having played a stellar half of football.
That good feeling was quickly squashed on the first play of the second half when Appling’s tailback went wide right, found the sideline and scored on a 70 yard run. From there on it was downhill for the Bulldogs who gave ground stubbornly on the scoreboard.
The Pirates scored twice in the third frame and their second touchdown came with 7:35 left in the period to make the score 28-7. At that point it looked like Morgan didn’t have much left in their tank but the Dogs didn’t go quietly. They gamely put together their only scoring drive of the night on the ensuing possession. That march covered 87 yards and was highlighted by a 25 yard touchdown pass from Pratt Spivey to Al Edwards. Spivey made a beautiful throw down the sideline and Edwards went up over a defender to high-point the catch. That touchdown was set up by some nifty runs from Kobridgette Hyman as well as a key pass from Spivey to Denver Laughlin. A bad snap spoiled the PAT but Morgan had cut the lead to 28-13 with 7:10 left in the final quarter.
Unfortunately that was their last gasp. Appling countered with a 95 yard drive to make it 35-13 with 3:45 to go and then tacked on their final score on a scoop and score of a fumble when Morgan was in desperation mode.
The Bulldog defensive unit was led by Denver Laughlin, Jamarrion Lewis, Elijah Reynolds, Jarrell Brown and Criston Foster. Laughlin had five tackles, and a tackle for loss, Lewis had a pair of tackles and a pair of assists in addition to his touchdown off the blocked punt. Reynolds was the leading tackler with seven along with a tackle for loss, Brown came through with six tackles and Foster chipped in with three tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack.
It should also be noted that Bulldog punter Nolan Harris came through with a splendid performance. Harris averaged 40 yards on seven kicks and pinned Appling at the five and the twelve yard lines on two of his punts.
Offensively Morgan was led by Kobridgette Hyman, Pratt Spivey, Al Edwards and Denver Laughlin. Hyman rushed for 82 yards, Spivey completed seven passes for 58 yards and a touchdown, Edwards caught four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown and Laughlin snagged two passes for 24 yards.
Morgan County finished their season with a record of 6-5.