By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

Before Morgan County’s game against the East Jackson Eagles last Friday, Morgan County High School (MCHS) Head Football Coach Bill Malone hoped that the team would be able to get back on track after back-to-back losses against North Oconee and Elbert County.

In Malone’s eyes, the 38-19 win over East Jackson was only a qualified victory, and, although the Dogs feel good to have another win under their belt, Malone thinks that the team has a way to go in order to get back to top form.

Malone noted that the problem of incurring penalties “reared its ugly head” during the East Jackson game, but he acknowledged that the distraction of homecoming week may have had an effect on the teams ability to concentrate throughout the game.

Offensively, the Dogs had some rough edges, such as the fumbled kickoff return at the beginning of the game, but those should be worn down by practice in the coming weeks.

Coach Malone said that the defense’s performance in stopping East Jackson’s running game was the best he could remember, and Malone applauded their efforts in the locker room at halftime.

Trent Hawk got his first playing time at quarterback since his injury during the Oconee County game.

Malone said that they kept him in the game in a limited capacity for his first game back, but that he “knew [Hawk] wanted to play more than he did.”

With Franklin County as the next target, the Bulldogs should have ample opportunity to continue turning over a new leaf; Franklin County’s overall record this season is 0-7.

“They are struggling,” said Coach Malone, who doesn’t discount Franklin’s ability for an upset.

Like East Jackson last week, Franklin is hungry to do whatever it can to get a game in the win column.

“They’re dying to win a game,” said Malone, and Malone expects Franklin to take advantage of its position any way it can.

The Dogs will continue their typical game plan offensively against Franklin – “remaining within ourselves” as Coach Malone put it, but the defense will have to make slight changes to deal with the “different scheme” that Franklin presents offensively.

After Franklin this Friday night, the Dogs face their fiercest region rival remaining in the season, the Hart County Bulldogs, who remain undefeated so far this year.

“They’re going to bring a good football team,” said Malone of Hart, who has the “meat of their schedule” at the end of the year with consecutive games against Morgan, Elbert, and North Oconee.

Come out to Carnesville this Friday night to see the MCHS Bulldogs take on the Franklin County Lions beginning at 7:30.