Marquis Benton rushes. Photo by Josiah Connelly

Marquis Benton rushes. Photo by Josiah Connelly

MCHS Bulldogs vs. Franklin County Lions Friday, 7:30 p.m., 6570 Highway 145, Carnesville

By Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Bulldogs beat region opponent, the East Jackson Eagles, 38-19 last Friday night at the MCHS Homecoming game. Morgan County’s record now stands at 5-2, with a region record of 2-2. Next week, the Dogs will take on the Franklin County Lions on the road. The Lions have yet to win a game this season (0-7).

The Dogs were set up to receive the ball to begin the game, but a fumble on the kickoff return gave East Jackson the ball on the Morgan County 32-yard line.

Morgan County forced a turnover on downs on the fourth play of the Eagles’ drive, and Marquis Benton carried the ball 51 yards on the first play of the Dogs’ drive to the East Jackson 24-yard line.

Benton scored two plays later with an 11-yard gain and earned the two-point conversion for the Dogs after the touchdown.

Ahead 8-0, the Bulldogs punted back to the Eagles and, again, were able to hold them from gaining significant territory on the drive.

The Dogs’ next drive ended prematurely when an East Jackson player picked off a pass by Trent Hawk, who returned during the game to share the quarterback duties with Brantley Frost.

The Eagles were able to cover 76 in two plays during their next drive for the first East Jackson touchdown of the game. East Jackson then attempted a two-point play to tie the game but couldn’t make it into the end zone.

On their next drive, the Dogs fumbled the ball on their 47-yard line and East Jackson recovered, but, on the next play, Trey Chapman sacked the Eagles’ quarterback, forcing a fumble, which Benton recovered to return the ball to the Dogs.

After a seven-play drive, Benton scored his second touchdown of the night with a single second left in the first quarter. Andrew Bishop kicked the extra point, which brought the score to 15-6 in Morgan County’s favor.

East Jackson and Morgan County traded possessions for most of the second quarter, but the Eagles scored on a 46-yard pass with a little less than five minutes remaining in the half. East Jackson made the extra point but remained behind the Dogs 13-15.

In the last minute of the second quarter, Bishop kicked a field goal for the Dogs from the nine-yard line, boosting Morgan County’s lead to 18-13 just before halftime.

Morgan County’s offense enjoyed a boost of activity during the third quarter, scoring two touchdowns within three minutes of each other.

The first touchdown was the culmination of a 10-play drive, which ended with a four-yard carry by Benton into the end zone; the second touchdown came from a single play, a 55-yard carry by Chapman, which put the Dogs ahead of the Eagles 32-13.

Morgan County’s final touchdown of the night was Benton’s fourth, leaving him one touchdown shy of tying Morgan County’s record career rushing touchdowns. Cameron Kiplinger, who played for Morgan County from 2002 to 2005, currently holds the record of 38 touchdowns.

East Jackson’s final touchdown was a result of a Morgan County fumble, which an Eagle was able to pick up and carry more than 60-yards for a touchdown.

Maintaining a 38-19 lead, the Dogs were able to control the ball for the majority of the time remaining in the game, and East Jackson’s sole possession after their last touchdown lasted only one play. The Eagles fumbled the ball, which was retrieved by the Dogs, with only a minute left in the game.

This Friday, the Bulldogs are going to try to continue their winning streak against the Franklin County Lions, who are 0-7 this year. The Dogs will be traveling to Franklin County for the game, which will be the Lions’ homecoming game.

Click here for more photos of the MCHS-East Jackson football game.