Classic sports movies have nothing on Thomson football. Envision a legendary coach delivering an inspirational talk to his team, and his team responding.
Thomson's Luther Welsh filled the legendary coach's role Monday, lecturing his team about inconsistent play and finishing off opponents. His Bulldogs listened.
Thomson's Tim McCord falls in behind his blocker, Pat Finnerty.
Photo by Kristopher Wells
"It got our eyes and ears," quarterback Dan Ivey said. "Coach is a legend. If you don't want to listen to him, you don't want to win."
Thomson showed its will to win Friday night. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs scored on their first three possessions en route to a 35-0 thrashing of Hephzibah.
Clifton Belton led Thomson's rushing attack with 114 yards on 9 carries with a touchdown. The Bulldogs (6-1, 3-0) ran 52 times for 369 yards and stayed unblemished in Region 3-AAA North.
After failing to find an offensive rhythm in its first four games, Thomson righted the ship. The Bulldogs chewed up Cross Creek and Harlem, coming into Hephzibah full steam ahead.
Thomson was its old dominant self on both sides of the ball.
It controlled the time of possession and also limited the Rebels (3-3, 1-1) to three first downs and 46 yards of total offense.
"We played by far, our best game because of the fire and intensity we displayed from start to finish," said Defensive Coordinator John Barnett.›"I'm quite›pleased."
Coach Welsh said he's seen a dramatic improvement since a 24-21 home loss to Burke County on Sept. 10.
"I'm sure the loss helped us," he said. "We've worked harder. Sometimes a loss is a good thing."
Thomson's Clifton Belton slips past a Hephzibah defender.
Photo by Kristopher Wells
Thomson showed no sign of losing to the Rebels from the get-go. The Bulldogs opened the game in the shadow of their own end zone and stormed downfield to the Hephzibah 11-yard-line on 12 consecutive running plays.
After a delay of game penalty, the Bulldogs faced a third-and-14 -- and they had the Rebels right where they wanted. Ivey dropped back to pass, lobbed a duck into the end zone as he was hit and found a wide-open Herman Smith for the score.
"They were playing us up on the line of the scrimmage," Coach Welsh said. "We had to pass the ball."
Tim McCord added to the lead with a 12-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Three minutes later, Belton blasted through a hole and rambled 66 yards to extend the Bulldogs's advantage to 21-0.
A struggling Richmond Academy team is Thomson's next opponent. The Musketeers (1-5, 1-1) have only scored 23 points in their first six games of the season while opponents have racked up 121 against them.
ARC's lone win was a 9-0 showing against Harlem on Sept 17.
The Musketeers' had last week off, but their previous game was a 28-0 loss to Hephzibah.›