By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer
The Morgan County Middle School (MCMS) football team lost their Piedmont Athletic Conference (PAC) game against the Youth Middle School Warriors on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The 7-8 loss ended the 2013 season for the Dogs, who had remained undefeated through the regular season.
Morgan County was set to receive the ball to begin their matchup against Youth, but Youth was able to successfully execute an onside kick, beginning the first offensive drive of the game on the Dogs’ 46-yard line.
Youth advanced to the 19-yard line, but Quin Williams capitalized on a Warrior fumble to give the Dogs the ball for the first time in the game.
Morgan County wasn’t able to advance far enough for a first down of their first drive, but the Dogs’ defense was in top shape; Zack Smith and Demacion Normon sacked Youth’s quarterback for an 11-yard loss on the first play of the Warriors’ drive, and Hunter Christian picked up Youth’s second fumble of the game on their 46-yard line for a Morgan County possession.
During the Dogs’ next drive, quarterback Trey Patterson threw a long pass from the Youth 46-yard line to Brandon Smith, who looked like he would be able to score on the play, but he fumbled at the 5-yard line, turning the ball over to Youth.
Fired up by the near-touchdown, the Dogs stopped Youth from making a first down and took over in Youth’s territory for their next drive.
Patterson fired a 30-yard pass Anthony Cooper near the end zone on a fourth down play, and Cooper made an outstanding, one-handed catch to give the Dogs the ball on the 1-yard line. Patterson himself brought the ball into the end zone on the next play for the first touchdown of the game.
Deyondray White kicked the point after attempt to make the score 7-0 with only a little more than a minute remaining in the first half of the game.
White then attempted an onside kick for Morgan County and was even the first to get to the ball for another Bulldog possession.
The third quarter passed without either team scoring, but only 23 seconds into the fourth quarter, Youth earned their first touchdown of the game on a 10-yard carry.
Knowing that a single point might make create a win in this close game, Youth went for a two-point conversion and made it, giving the Warriors the lead at 8-7.
The Dogs were able to put together an eight-play drive, advancing to the 16-yard line, but the drive ended on a fourth down play at the 16-yard line that caused a turnover on downs.
Youth let the clock run down until only 19 seconds remained in the game, and the Dogs weren’t able to make serious headway during the final seconds of the game.
After their win, Youth will go on to play in the PAC championship game next Wednesday.
“I think the teams were even,” said MCMS Head Football Coach Stacy Webb. “I am proud of our players. We did have a good season.”