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TMS Bulldogs roll to region playoffs

The Louisville Middle School Eagles flew into The Brickyard last Thursday afternoon with the high hopes of shocking the Thomson Middle Bulldogs with their first loss of the year.


Thomson Middle's Marquis McGahee gets hit by Louisville defenders.

They almost got the job done, but in the end, it was Thomson Middle that grabbed the crucial win with a 24-14 score. This victory preserved Thomson's undefeated regular season record at 6-0.

Coming into this game, the Bulldogs had held each of their five previous opponents scoreless, but the Eagles proved to be the greatest test yet for TMS on its trek to the 2004 Region Championship.

"I can tell you the truth, our players do not feel good about this win," said Thomson Middle Head Coach Nick Brinson. "We have got to concentrate better in practice in our preparation for the upcoming playoffs."

The Bulldogs hosted the Wilkinson County Warriors, this past Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the region playoffs. Louisville Middle also hosted the Warren County Screaming Devils in a region playoff game. The winners of these two games will face each other on Wednesday, October 20 for the Super 10 Region Championship.

"This week has been the start of a new season for our players," said Coach Brinson. "It's no tomorrow now. If you lose, you're out. If you win, you're still in."

The offense for the Eagles was definitely a one-man show. Antwon McGruder rushed 27 times for 133 yards and scored one touchdown, as Louisville Middle became the first team this year to score on the Bulldogs.


Thomson Middle's Jeremy McGahee hauls in a touchdown pass.

Offensively for the Bulldogs, the team rushed for 235 yards on the ground and passed for 50 yards in the air. James Bonner was Thomson's leading rusher with 91 yards on 10 carries. He was followed by Lonnie Harris with 80 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns, Jeremy McGahee with 49 yards on four carries, and Marquis McGahee with 24 yards on seven carries.

The first quarter was scoreless for both teams, as Louisville took the opening kickoff and used up most of the clock with a nine-play drive that stalled on the Thomson nine yard line on fourth down and three.

At the 7:05 mark of the second quarter, McGruder and his flock of Eagles finally found the endzone against the Bulldogs, the first time Thomson has allowed points all season. Louisville's scoring drive started on the Thomson 31 yard line. On the third play of the drive, McGruder used his balance to stay on his feet and to break the plane of the goal line in the corner of the end zone. The attempt for two points failed, thus the score became 6-0.

After unsuccessfully executing a fake punt deep in their own territory, the Eagles gave up the football to Thomson on the Louisville 15 yard line with only 43 seconds left to play in the first half. On the third play following the exchange, Harris scored from the four yard line with 22 seconds remaining to tie the score at 6-6. Harris successfully made the two-point conversion to give Thomson an 8-6 lead at halftime.

At the 7:26 mark of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs scored another touchdown to make the score 16-6 and to give them a little cushion. On the sixth play of a drive that started late in the third quarter, Bulldog quarterback Brandon Turman connected with J. McGahee on a 41 yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-6. Harris's run for two points made the score 16-6.


Thomson's Marquis McGahee stiff-arms a Louisville player.

With 1:56 remaining in the game, Louisville made the contest very interesting. On the third play of a drive that started on the Thomson 33 yard line, Eagle Barry Bostick hit Dale Williams on a 25 yard pass play for a touchdown. McGruder's run for two points was good, thus the score became 16-14 in Thomson's favor.

The Eagles then attempted an on-side kick, but the Bulldogs successfully fielded the pigskin to begin another drive on the Louisville 49 yard line. On the third play following the kick, Harris scooted 28 yards for another score with 1:21 left to play in the game to give Thomson another big lead. Harris' two-point conversion made the final score 24-14.

The Bulldogs end the regular season with an unblemished 6-0 mark, while the Eagles finish with a 5-1 record. Both of these schools are the No. 1 seeds in the region playoffs from their respective sides of the region standings.

"The intensity was not there from the get-go against Louisville," said Bulldog Defensive Coordinator Aaron Hall. "We must do a much better job of executing plays to get prepared for the playoffs."

Web posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004

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Temperature:53° F
Wind:from the W at 5 MPH
Visibility:10 miles
Dew Point:53° F
Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01


Warren County

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