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Thomson weathers way to 7-7 tie against Jefferson County

It wasn't supposed to end the way it did.

There was supposed to be a winner - a clear winner in the game between the Thomson High Bulldogs and Jefferson County Warriors last Friday night at the Jefferson County High football field near Louisville.

But Mother Nature had her hand in the outcome.

And the two teams settled for a 7-7 tie, as officials halted the game with a little more than four minutes to play in the third quarter, because of heavy rain. The game was one of many throughout Georgia and South Carolina that was either shortened by weather conditions or postponed until the next day, like the game between Lincoln County and Washington-Wilkes.

"We're all disappointed because we weren't able to finish out the game," said Thomson Head Coach Luther Welsh. "It's the first time that rain has ever done that to me in a game. The tie isn't a win, and it isn't a loss. I suppose we can be happy about that."

First half statistics heavily favored the Warriors and not the Bulldogs.

Prior to the game, much had been mentioned about just what it would mean to the Jefferson County Warriors' football team, should they beat Thomson's Bulldogs. Jefferson County has never beaten Thomson.

Coach Welsh believes it gave the Warriors a psychological lift.

"They were much higher than we were for the game," Coach Welsh said. "Their kids were so high on the idea of beating us. They actually shocked our kids by the way they played us in the first half."

In previous games between the two teams, the game had been overwhelmingly won by Thomson.

Not so this year.

"Overall, we didn't play good," Coach said during an interview on Monday, nearly two and a days after digesting what had happened in the game against Jefferson County. "Thomson football should be better than what we showed last Friday night in Jefferson County."

The veteran coach, now in his 51st career season and regarded as one of Georgia's most respected legendary head mentors, accepts blame for his Thomson team's play in the game against Jefferson County.

"I'm the head coach," Coach Welsh said. "I accept the blame. I thought we were prepared to play them. We weren't, even though I thought we had a good week of practice. Our jobs as coaches is to get it done. We're all expected to get those kids up and have them playing in the right position in order to perform. It's left up to the kids after that."

Offensively, the Bulldogs play was sluggish. One of the reasons was James Bonner wasn't up to par. He hyper-extended a leg, hampering his running ability in the game against Jefferson County. Brian McNair, who plays cornerback, saw limited action because of a pulled hamstring.

As a result, Carlton Martin, the Thomson safety, had to play both ways.

The Bulldogs also were without Nathaniel Jones, a senior, who was dismissed from the team because of an on-campus altercation.


Thomson 7

Jefferson County 7

Star of the game: Mother Nature.

Play of the game: The game was plagued by bad weather - heavy rain and bursts of lightning. Rain started the final delay late in the third quarter.

Up next: Thomson has an open date this Friday night before taking to the road to Augusta in two weeks to battle the Hephzibah Rebels in the Bulldogs' first region contest.

Web posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007

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