It was the second scrimmage match up between two legendary local coaches and their storied football programs in as many years. And this year yielded a similar result to last year.
Thomson defeated Lincoln County 14-0 in the pre-season practice game Friday night at the Brickyard behind a large offensive line and a stingy defense. Last year, Thomson put away the Red Devils 20-7.
Thomson Quarterback Anthony "Pooh" Erwin gets ready to turn the corner in the final quarter of the scrimmage.
But the play from neither year was perfect. The Thomson coaching staff was pleased with the outcome from last week's game, but they have looked at footage and made adjustments at practice.
"It's always good when you keep other teams from scoring," said Thomson Defensive Coordinator John Barnett. "We made a few mistakes. We had an opportunity to set the offense up with a couple of turnovers, and we didn't capitalize. ‚Ä¶I certainly think the kids gave a good effort, and it's certainly something to build on."
The Bulldogs drew first blood at the end of the first nine-minute quarter. After converting on three straight fourth down chances, Thomson had the ball on the two yard line.
A quarterback keeper from Anthony "Pooh" Erwin on first down went wide to the left side and into the end zone for the score with 0:13 remaining in the quarter. Clay Dent tacked on the extra point to take a 7-0 lead.
Erwin had a hand in the second score for the Bulldogs which came with 3:46 left in the game. After marching down to the eight yard line behind the rush attack of Erwin, LaBrandon Hudson and Orlando Johnson, Erwin found Ocstabian Bailey in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
"I thought overall they did good to be out there by themselves," said Head Coach Luther Welsh. "It's the first time this year that they were out there by themselves. ‚Ä¶We made some mistakes in the offensive line, but that's what this game is for."
Erwin, who led all rushers in the game with 70 yards on 11 carries, said while there's room for improvement, he's still thankful for his offensive line that includes three players over 300 lbs.
"We're alright. We've got to improve," Erwin said. "The line, we missed a couple of blocks, but it's going to be there."
Thomson's next scrimmage is tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in the Brickyard against Screven County. Coach Welsh will not only play against his old team, but he will face his old protž©gž©e on the sidelines.
Screven County Coach Mark Daniel played and coached under Coach Welsh, and he learned more than his share of winning techniques under his old mentor.
"You know he's going to try to beat us, and he's going to probably change some things normally that he doesn't do to try to trick us a little bit," Coach Welsh said. "It's good to play them, and it's good to play someone who's as good a coach as he is."