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Thomson Bulldogs fall just short of Burke Bears

ths_football2

Thomson's Matt Smith hones in on the Burke County quarterback.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
Thomson added its first game to the loss category Friday night against Burke County. The Bears came out on top on the scoreboard in a 24-21 game, even though the Bulldogs led in every other statistic.

Luther Welsh said the loss stung just a little more than others have. It was the Dogs' first region loss since Nov. 16, 2001, when they lost to Statesboro 28-24.

"It hurts any time you lose," he said. "I thought we could win, and that makes it worse."

Burke County's Marcus Washington was a thorn in the Bulldogs' side. The offensive and defensive star for the Bears led Burke County in the upset at the Brickyard, the first for his fellow seniors.

"I've been playing for the Burke County Bears for four years, and never have we won a game in the Brickyard," Washington said. The last time Burke County beat Thomson was 2000.

On paper, both team's defensive units should have been the stars, but it was the offenses' time to shine. Not being able to hold the Bears' offense back didn't leave a good taste in the mouth of THS Defensive Coordinator John Barnett.

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Quarterback Dan Ivey unleashes a pass over a Burke County defender.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
"We performed poorly because we aren't focused and disciplined.ŬI am, needless to say, disappointed and embarrassed by our performance," he said. "We can only hope that we regain the focus and determination with which we played in the first two games.ŬIf not, the problems we had Friday night will continue."

Burke County threw out a trick play and scored on their first down of the game. Quarterback Daniel Fowler dumped the ball to Jamarius Walden who tossed it down field to Dustin Golden for a nearly 60-yard touchdown.

The score put the Bears up 7-0 in the first two and half minutes of the game, creating panic for Thomson players. The Dogs answered quickly with a 39-yard Dan Ivey touchdown pass to Damion Burnett on third and five during the Bulldogs' ensuing drive.

Both teams traded touchdowns throughout the rest of the first half, but Washington gained 70 of his 123 yards with a touchdown run in the final minutes of the first half. The score gave the Bears a 21-14 lead at halftime.

The difference proved to be a Burke County field goal late in the third quarter. Bears' Kicker Julius Patterson put one through the uprights from 32 yards out to take a 24-14 lead.

Thomson scored in the fourth quarter after Ivey scrambled 28 yards to the Burke County 1-yard line. The ensuing touchdown was all Thomson could muster, giving the Bears the three-point win.

ths_football4

Thomson's Dan Ivey surges through a pack against Burke County.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
"We finally got (the offense), and didn't get both sides of the football together," Coach Welsh said.

Tomorrow Thomson plays a team that has defeated Burke County. Coach Welsh said that win will loom large for the Razorbacks.

"They'll play their best game all year," he said.

Cross Creek's quarterback-wide receiver connection is one to watch for the Thomson defense, according to Coach Welsh. The Razorbacks also have a balanced attack with a go-to fullback.

Coach Welsh also said the Cross Creek defense is bigger than Thomson, but that the Bulldogs have them on speed, which will help them overcome the size difference.



Web posted on Thursday, September 16, 2004


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