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Thomson puts up 46 points against Harlem

HARLEM, Ga. - New Thomson receiver Kyle Franklin wasn't used to watching a majority of the snaps during a football game from the sidelines on his old team in Louisiana. But he showed Friday at Harlem that he can come in and change the game in an instant.

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Thomson's Kyle Franklin - playing in his first game as a Bulldog - wrestles with two Harlem defenders.

Thomson seemed stalled with third and 10 on the Harlem 46 with just under 4:00 remaining before halftime and the score knotted at 7. Then quarterback Jerrell McNair lobbed a bomb to the Boothville-Venice High School transfer for the 46-yard score.

The touchdown put Thomson up 13-7 at the half, and the black and gold Bulldogs never looked back. The Thomson defense stifled Harlem for the rest of the game while the offense scored five more times in the second half on the way to a 46-7 win.

"Nothing like that really ever happened to me," Franklin said of the touchdown reception. "He made a wonderful throw. I just ran under it, and I was able to catch it."

Both the offense and defense were firing on all cylinders in the game, something that Thomson Coach Luther Welsh said hasn't happened at the same time all season.

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Thomson's LaBrandon Hudson grinds ahead during the third quarter of Thomson's 46-7 victory Friday night in Harlem.

"I always thought they were capable; it was whether or not they made up their mind," Coach ++Welsh said. "They've been after it, and they've undoubtedly improved. They played like they're supposed to play, and I'm proud of them."

On the game's first drive McNair and fullback LaBrandon Hudson powered the offense to the Harlem 8 in five plays. Then Hudson powered for two consecutive 4-yard runs to put Thomson (5-1) up 7-0 with 9:28 left in the first quarter.

Harlem (3-3) answered after a 39-yard interception return by Esau Hatchett put the ball on the Thomson 31-yard line with over 8:00 left before halftime. Six plays later, running back Gabe Greer found an open quarterback Brendan Gray on the 12-yard flea flicker for the touchdown with 6:15 left.

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Thomson's Tobias Kendrick stops Harlem Quarterback Brendan Gray Friday night.

On Thomson's first drive of the third quarter, halfback Anthony "Pooh" Erwin broke a 43-yard run to the Harlem 7-yard line. Hudson pounded through the Harlem defense on the next play to put Thomson up 20-7.

Thomson found the end zone three times in the fourth quarter as Harlem's two-way players were worn out. One of those touchdowns came on a 63-yard run from corner back / running back Orlando Johnson with 3:08 left in the game.

The final Thomson score came after Harlem lost a fumble on its own 26-yard line. Erwin rambled 18 yards for the score with 1:03 to go. Welsh said the inability to put both offense and defense together before the Harlem game was difficult for him and the team.

"We made less mistakes than we've been making, and I think the kids wanted to do good," he said. "So that's all they've heard for two months now, and they probably got tired of hearing it."

Thomson racked up 468 yards rushing on 51 carries. McNair also went 4-7 passing with 106 yards through the air. Two Thomson backs posted 100-yard games. Erwin had 128 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and Hudson carried the ball 18 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

The defense held Harlem to 76 yards on 34 carries. The red and black Bulldogs also went 4-7 passing but were held to 21 yards, leaving their total offensive output just under 100 yards for the game.

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Thomson Quarterback Jerrell McNair tries to pull away from Harlem's Caleb Crosby.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
Tomorrow, Hephzibah comes to the Brickyard for Thomson's homecoming. Hephzibah has a record of 1-4 so far this season losing to Laney, Benedictine, Jefferson County and Richmond Academy. The Rebels' one win came against AA opponent Josey.

Last year, the Rebels fell to Thomson in Hephzibah 35-0 on their way to a 4-6 season.

MIRROR REPLAY

Thomson 46, Harlem 7

Star of the game: Halfback / Quarterback Anthony "Pooh" Erwin averaged 14.2 yards per carry, 9 rushes for 128 yards and one touchdown.

Play of the game: With the game tied at 7, Jerrell McNair hit receiver Kyle Franklin for a 46-yard touchdown pass down the sideline that gave Thomson a lead that it continued to build in the second half.

Up next: Thomson (5-1, 4-0) plays host to Hephzibah (1-4, 0-3) for homecoming. Game time is 7:30 p.m.


092305THSHarlem4.jpg

Thomson's Rodney Reeves lifts Kyle Franklin while celebrating Franklin's second quarter touchdown during Thomson's 46-7 victory Friday night in Harlem.
Photo by Jason B. Smith



Web posted on Thursday, September 29, 2005











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