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Top Dogs: Thomson wins big at Brickyard

If what Anthony Erwin wanted to do Friday night against Harlem was set the tone early, he did more than succeed. The sophomore running back took his first handoff of the night 64 yards for a Thomson touchdown on the Bulldogs' first drive of the game.

THSHarlem1.jpg

Harlem defenders chase down Thomson's Demarcus Wilson.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
And they didn't look back from there. Thomson (5-1, 2-0) rode 399 yards rushing on 42 carries to a 35-7 trouncing of the fellow Bulldogs of Harlem (2-4, 0-2) in a Region 3N-AAA match up at the Brickyard Friday night.

"Offensively we did some good things. We improved somewhat in the offensive line," said Thomson Head Coach Luther Welsh.

Harlem had trouble holding on to the ball all night, losing four of five fumbles. Three of those resulted in Thomson scoring drives.

Thomson held a 21-0 lead at halftime, holding Harlem to 56 yards of offense in the first half. The red and black was able to more than double that yardage output during the second half, rushing for 118 yards.

That didn't stop Thomson's march, though. The black and gold Bulldogs scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 35-0 lead into the fourth quarter.

"When our kids made up their mind to get it done, they did it. So that's real gratifying," Coach Welsh said.

Harlem's lone touchdown came with 0:12 left in the game against the Thomson JV defense. Quarterback Brendan Gray trotted the 20 yards himself for the score, ending the Thomson defense's hopes for a shutout.

Defensive Coordinator John Barnett said the game experience for the younger players and keeping his starters healthy was more important than holding Harlem scoreless.

The offense wasn't as fortunate in the injury department. Erwin went out with a sprained ankle late in the third quarter, and senior Running Back Clifton Belton separated his shoulder midway through the second quarter.

THSHarlem2.jpg

Thomson's Demarcus Wilson gets a little push from Thomson Quarterback Dan Ivey.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
Although Brian Hobbs is cleared to make his return to the backfield against Hephzibah (3-2, 1-0) this Friday, Coach Welsh said not playing since Aug. 6 will affect Hobbs' timing. Sophomore Fullback LaBrandon Hudson will be moved to running back to fill one of the open spots for this week.

"We're down to the last people now. We can't do any more. If they go down, I guess we'll have to just play some ninth graders," Coach Welsh said.

The Hephzibah offense, with a strong backfield, has averaged 19 points a game this season. Opponents have averaged only 9.6 points against a Rebel defense that has two shutouts on the books.



Web posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004


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