Leila Dycus Staff Writer
The rainy afternoon didn’t stop the Morgan County High School football team from playing their scrimmage against Apalachee Friday night, Aug. 8. Scrimmages are meant to be learning experiences for the team before the regular season begins and Friday night’s game fit the bill. The Bulldogs hit the field at 7 p.m. for their first scrimmage of the school year.
It wasn’t the first time that the team has faced opponents this year, but it was the fans’ first real chance to see the team in action. “I was proud of the attitude our guys had going up against a school with a classification bigger than us,” said Head Football Coach Bill Malone. Malone and Apalachee’s Coach Shane Davis are really good friends, so Friday night’s match-up was a fun experience for both of the coaches. Apalachee is an AAAAA ranked school.
Fans might have noticed something different about Friday night’s scrimmage from any other football game. Apalachee was not ready to work on their special teams. In order to accommodate their wishes the scrimmage went off special teams. This means that instead of punting after a turn over on downs the teams’ simply switched sides. Over the past couple of weeks Coach Malone has expressed how well the Bulldog special teams have been doing. Fans will have to wait a little longer to see these valuable parts of the team in action. Friday night’s game was a learning experience for the Bulldogs and their coaches.
The game taught the coaches that they still have a long way to go to correct communication of the plays and alignment. Coach Malone said that they would begin working on this during this week’s practices. Another thing that the coaches saw during Friday night’s scrimmage was that they need to start faster on offense and control the ball more.
The goal would be for them to have more than one three and out because it puts way too much pressure on the defense. The Bulldog defense proved Friday night that they were up for the extra pressure put on them. They came out strong stopping the Apalachee offense over and over.
The tight defense allowed the Bulldogs to win the game. Morgan County went on to defeat Apalachee 7 to 0. Another note taken from Friday night’s game was that turnovers hurt them. It’s something that Coach Malone plans to work on before the regular season arrives. What wasn’t lacking on Friday was community support.
Despite the rain, supporters came out ready to cheer on the Dogs. “Our kids are excited about our schemes and I am very proud of the shut out posted by our defense,” said Malone. Spectators were not disappointed in the night’s atmosphere. The Morgan County Varsity cheerleaders lead the crowd in the familiar cheers and chants. Little cheerleaders watched their idols repeating every line and motion.
Although the band was not there to perform the cannon boomed with the touchdown made. “These kids are fun to watch play; they represent themselves and their families well,” said Malone. “We have a bunch of good guys on the team and I think folks will enjoy cheering them on.”
This Friday, August 15, the Morgan County Bulldogs will host Athens Christian Academy in another scrimmage. The season officially begins on August 29 with a game against Jones County. Much like Apalachee, Jones County is a division AAAAA team that is excited about their new coach. If you missed last week’s scrimmage make sure to come out this week to catch the Bulldogs in action.