Thomson defeated Screven County 13-0 in a scrimmage Friday night in Sylvania. The 36-minute encounter saw the Bulldogs plagued by four lost fumbles and one interception and other mistakes that kept the team's first unit from scoring.
"We did not play as well as we did against Lincoln County," said Thomson Coach Luther Welsh. "We made way too many mistakes, maybe the familiarity with Screven affected our enthusiasm, or maybe we just ain't as good as we think."
The Bulldogs' best offensive showing of the night came in the first 6:42 of the scrimmage. THS ground out a 14 play, 51-yard drive that ended on a fourth down sack at the Screven 16-yard line. The rest of the contest produced mostly short drives that ended in turnovers.
A two-yard touchdown run by LaBrandon Hudson and Vincent Scott's PAT kick gave the Dogs their first points with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Anthony Erwin capped the scoring with a 23-yard scamper in the fourth quarter. The PAT was missed, leaving the final score 13-0.
Defensive coordinator John Barnett said that despite the shutout, his first group on defense played flat.
"We can blame the long ride or the sauna for dressing quarters if we want excuses, but the first defense was flat," Coach Barnett said. "The number twos were okay, but our top group has to get better."
Evidence supporting Coach Barnett's claim of a lackluster defense could be two blown coverages on deep passes by the Gamecocks. The bright side for Thomson was that the Screven County quarterback badly missed wide-open receivers on both plays.
"We're all on the same page on what we're doing, so we need to just keep working hard," said THS Quarterback Dan Ivey.
Defensive end Rico Murray echoed Ivey's sentiments.
"We can't be satisfied with close scrimmages," said the senior. "We've got to improve our game every day at practice."
Murray and halfback Clifton Belton both sustained injuries in the scrimmage. Murray suffered a strained neck, and Belton left in the second quarter with shoulder damage. Both injuries could lead to missed practice and playing time, pending a doctor's diagnosis.
The Bulldogs are already suffering from significant injuries, most notably a bad foot on senior offensive tackle Scott Jenkins and tight end Arcephus Jones' recovery from overheating several weeks ago.