Bulldogs bash Jefferson Co.
FAYETTE – “This is just what we needed.” Those were the wordsFranklin County standout linebacker James Hunt told the team afterFriday night’s hard-fought 32-6 victory over archrival JeffersonCounty. The Bulldogs had just been through one of the mostdifficult weeks of their playing careers, after last week’s 14-7loss to North Pike and untimely death of assistant coach JohnnyMonroe’s father.
After two mid-week team meetings, the Dawgs came into JeffersonCounty’s homecoming more than ready to put the hurt on theTigers.
“We had to do some things different tonight,” said Bulldogsophomore defensive end Donald Ray Smith. “We had to get this winand we did what ever it took to get it.”
Smith used a six tackle, three sack and one punt block night toset the tone on defense. He and several Bulldogs defenders inurednumerous Tiger players with a display of awesome hits and severalhelmet shaking licks.
“We brought the heat to them tonight,” said Bulldog defensiveback Cliff Herring. “We had to win this game after last week’s lossto North Pike”
Herring, a 6-0, 170-pound senior, brought his own source of heatto the Tigers with 11 tackles and one sack. But, despite his andSmith’s outstanding showing, the night itself belonged to Hunt whopunished the Tigers on defense with eight tackles and twodeflections. On offense, he destroyed them with 196 yards rushingand three touchdowns.
“I just wanted my shot,” said Hunt. “I’ve always wanted to playfullback and tonight I made the most of it.”
Hunt (6-3, 215) let everyone know early about his thoughts ofrunning the ball with a powerful momentum, turning a two-yardplunge that set the tempo for the rest of the game.
“After that first touchdown, I started feeling good,” addedHunt. “I like running the ball and whenever I get the chance Iproduce.”
Hunt produced another of his TD runs late in the second quarteron third and goal from three yards out. The Dawgs would add Jon(Skeet) Hickingbottom’s two-point special and the Dawgs went intohalftime leading 20-6. The Tigers only score came in the secondquarter at the 6:38 mark when senior fullback Lee Morgan rambledfive yards untouched.
The Tiger (1-5, 1-2) looked to be in scoring position again asthe third quarter began. The Tigers employed a draw play thatconfused the Dawgs and single handily gained Morgan 68 yards on twoplays. Morgan’s long runs gave the Tigers a solid scoring chance atthe Dawgs eight. However, penalties sent the Tigers back to theDawgs 28 on after two holding plays.
When the Tigers finally faced a clean first down, the Bulldogdefense was waiting with senior Tommie Smith. Smith, known to manyin Jefferson County as a nightmare because of last year’s 10carries for 211 yards and three touchdowns., caused damage again byintercepting a Londell Eanoch pass returning it 47 yards to theBulldog 23.
Instead of scoring, the Dawgs shot themselves in the foot byfumbling the ball on the Jefferson 18-yard line. As the fourthquarter began, a cold, damp rain regain to fall on the sandy andbumpy Jefferson County field. The rain didn’t cause the Dawgs toslow down but instead speeded up. Sophomore Cecil Kinziejump-started the Dawgs soggy rush from 12 yards with anotherBulldog score. Three minutes later, Hunt would add his last scoreof the night on a four-yard touchdown.
“This was a great team effort tonight,” said Bulldog head coachMichael Goff after the game. “Our defense really rose to theoccasion. And our offense played well to. We’ve got to keep it upbecause next week’s game against Hazlehurst is going to be a bigon.”
Goff’s Dawgs will be hosting the strong and swift HazlehurstIndians for a key Region 7-3A contest Friday night at 7:30 p.m.