SAVANNAH, Ga. - Thomson didn't touch the ball much in the first half Friday night against Benedictine.
It didn't have to.
The fourth-ranked Bulldogs rushed for 221 yards and scored three touchdowns on just 10 carries in the opening 24 minutes to take a 41-7 victory over Benedictine in a Region 3-AAA game at Memorial Stadium.
The start of the game was delayed 45 minutes by lightning, but Thomson didn't take too long to score. LaBrandon Hudson scored on runs of 80 and 63 yards in the first half, while Anthony "Pooh" Erwin scored on a 51-yard run to lead Thomson (5-0) to a 20-7 halftime lead.
Benedictine ran 30 plays in the first half and dominated the time of possession, 19 ½ minutes to just 4 ½ minutes for Thomson. But the Cadets (1-4) rushed for only 76 yards on 27 carries with their only touchdown coming on a 1-yard run by John Williams in the second quarter.
"We didn't line up and tackle the way we needed to tackle,'' Cadets coach Bob Herndon said. "We hit them a couple of times, but they just broke (the tackle)."
Hudson, who had 148 yards on just four carries in the first half, added another touchdown in the third quarter on a 3-yard run. He finished with a season-high 188 yards on 11 carries.
The Bulldogs wound up with 10 first downs and 377 yards rushing on 32 carries.
Benedictine, which was coming off a 47-12 victory over Butler last week, posted 12 first downs and 155 yards rushing on 44 carries.
Thomson went three-and-out on its first possession following the opening kickoff. Benedictine then moved 35 yards in 14 plays to the Bulldogs' 22. But the drive stalled and Patrick Kinsella was short on a 39-yard field goal attempt.
The Bulldogs took over on the 20, and Hudson went off right tackle for 80 yards for a 6-0 lead with 2:16 left in the first quarter after the extra point was missed.
Benedictine's Caleb Collins returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards to the Thomson 47. The Cadets drove 47 yards in 12 plays to go ahead 7-6, capped by Williams' 1-yard run with 7:06 left in the second quarter.
The touchdown was set up by a 15-yard halfback pass from Collins to Lavan Sawyer off a pitch from quarterback A.J. DeFillippis.
But Thomson got the ball on its own 48 after a pooch kick by the Cadets on the kickoff and needed only two plays to score. Erwin went 51 yards on second-and-9 for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs ahead 13-7 with 6:13 left.
Hudson, who has gone over 100 yards in every game this season, then scored on a 63-yard run with 2:45 left to give Thomson a 20-7 lead at halftime.
"We had two or three drives," Coach Herndon said. "We moved the ball on them. That's probably more than a lot of people have done."
This Friday, Thomson faces a winless Bulter team in Augusta. Butler failed to score against its first three opponents, Laney, Josey and Burke County. The other black-and-gold Bulldogs then fell by four points to Hephzibah and by 35 to Benedictine.
McDuffie Mirror Staff Writer Kristopher Wells contributed to this article.
Thomson 41, Benedictine 7
Star of the game: Thomson's offensive line led the way to quick and often scores for Bulldog running backs. Enough holes were opened for 377 rushing yards on 32 carries.
Play of the game: Down by one point in the second quarter, Thomson quarterback Anthony "Pooh" Erwin found a seam for a 51-yard touchdown run.
Up next: Thomson (5-0) travels to Butler (0-5). Game time is 7:30 p.m.