Dogs Win • MCHS Football
The Morgan County Bulldogs won their season opener against the Monticello Hurricanes 34-6 last Friday at Bill Corry Stadium.
The fans filled the stands as the sun started to go down, revealing the blue moon as it rose higher and higher over the field throughout the night. Before the game Sarah Jones was crowned Miss Football 2012 out of a selection of 14 senior girls. Moments later, the Bulldogs rushed the field, signaling the beginning of the 2012 season.
Morgan County won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball at the beginning of the first quarter. The first offensive drive was marked with impressive gains. Michael Gray and Marquis Benton had back-to-back carries for 18 yards each. Quarterback Trent Hawk’s first completion of the night to Melvin Davis added another 12-yard gain to the first series.
A successful field goal at the end of the first drive put the first points of the game on the board for Morgan County.
Head Coach Bill Malone commented on Morgan County’s luck with kickers in the past and present. “We’ve been very fortunate here for years and years to have a steady kicker, including Campbell Harrison this year.”
Monticello’s first drive, on the other hand, was less successful, and Monticello was forced to punt. During the entire night the Hurricanes’ offense would have their hands full because of the Dogs’ defense.
Malone cited their defense’s success against Monticello. “Monticello only had one first down against our varsity defense. Our defense was so suffocating that Monticello didn’t quite have time to get themselves on track.”
Morgan County started with good field position, on their own 49-yard line. A nine-play drive culminating in a 23-yard carry by Andrew Couch yielded the Bulldog’s first touchdown of the game, and the extra point brought the score to 10-0.
As the final seconds of the first quarter ran down, Monticello was left with a fourth-and-six situation and had to kick off to Morgan County at the beginning of the second quarter.
The Dogs’ next successful drive was their second of the second quarter. Morgan County started on Monticello’s 40-yard line because of a short punt by the Hurricanes followed by an offsides penalty against Monticello. A 14-yard carry by Armoni Warren set the Bulldogs well on their way to the endzone, which they would reach seven plays later. A missed extra point attempt after the touchdown left the score at 16-0.
Another unsuccessful Monticello possession and the resulting punt sent the ball back to the Bulldogs on their own 27-yard line. However, the Dogs didn’t stay in their own territory for very long. Gray advanced 50 yards downfield in the first carry of the drive. Nevertheless, the Bulldogs were not able to score again before time ran out in the second quarter, keeping the halftime score at 16-0.
The Hurricanes received the ball to start off the third quarter but were unable to capitalize on the possession.
Morgan County started their next campaign again with a good field advantage. Even though two back-to-back penalties had the Bulldogs at a second-and-23 early in the possession, they were able to convert the first down and bring the ball into the end zone to score their third touchdown. The score was 22-0 after a missed extra point opportunity.
The Bulldogs’ kickoff to Monticello left them at their own nine-yard line because of a penalty on the play. When the Hurricanes attempted to punt from their own 13-yard line four plays later, the punt was blocked by Tevin Waller. The ball rolled out of the back of Monticello’s endzone, giving Morgan County two more points because of the safety.
The Bulldogs scored easily a few plays after Monticello’s kickoff when Austin Ross caught a 30-yard pass from Hawk for the fourth touchdown of the game for the Dogs. A good extra point brought the score to 31-0.
Monticello’s next drive brought the game into the fourth quarter, but they didn’t keep the ball for long, and Morgan County got the ball back on its own 47-yard line.
In spite of Andre Peterson’s 30-yard carry during Morgan County’s penultimate drive, the Hurricanes were able to hold the Dogs to a field goal, making the score 0-34.
Monticello finally scored during their last drive of the game, but missed their extra point, and the game ended after a couple of more plays from the Bulldogs, making the final score of the game 34-6.
The progress that the team made between the scrimmage game almost three weeks ago and the game against Monticello last week impressed Coach Malone. “The game went well.”
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen as much improvement in a set of backs as I’ve seen in ours right now. Coach Peaster and Coach Robbins did an awesome job in instilling in these guys not only an excellent work ethic but also confidence.”
The Bulldogs’ game this Friday will be an away game against the Greene County Tigers. It promises to be an exciting game against a well-known rival.