After Thomson's 35-7 win over Harlem, Bulldog Defensive End Rico Murray guaranteed a shutout against Hephzibah. He knew his defensive unit could pull it out.
Thomson earned the season's first shutout against the Rebels in Hephzibah two weeks ago. But little did Rico know his prediction would last longer than four quarters of football.
Thomson Quarterback Dan Ivey runs around an ARC defender.
The Bulldogs steamrolled a struggling Richmond Academy last Friday in the Brickyard. The scoreboard read the same as it did in Hephzibah a week earlier, 35-0.
"Our kids are doing pretty good, but we have some breakdowns because we have some kids playing in some positions they're not quite ready to play as a starter," Head Coach Luther Welsh said in reference to injuries at key positions for the Bulldogs.
The missed blocks and tackles Coach Welsh was worried about didn't seem to hurt the Bulldogs against ARC (1-6, 1-2). Thomson (7-1, 4-0) dominated the game, especially the first half when they rushed for 218 yards on 20 carries while holding the Musketeers to minus 6 yards on 15 carries.
With 4:27 to go in the first quarter, Running Back Clifton Belton found the end zone from the 14 yard line just after Quarterback Dan Ivey broke free for a 24-yard run. Then with 1:35 left in the first, Belton decided to take a trot by himself, and 70 yards later, the score was 14-0.
"My offensive line gave me a hole, and I just took it," he said.
Belton ended the night at the top of a long list of ball carriers for Thomson. Of the 11 Bulldog rushers in the game, he topped them with 89 yards on four carries.
Tim McCord ran in from the 13 yard line with 5:37 to go in the second quarter, and LaBrandon Hudson scored from 4 yards out with 1:28 left before halftime. Those touchdowns sent the Bulldogs into the locker room with a 28-0 lead.
Thomson's Orlando Johnson levels an ARC runner.
Ivey scored the final touchdown on a 5-yard run, capping a 60-yard drive that devoured much of the third quarter. Thomson's junior varsity team got valuable Friday night experience through much of the fourth.
This Friday night will be a much-needed respite for the Bulldogs. With no game on the schedule, Coach Welsh said the timing for an off week was just right.
"We hope in two weeks we can have everybody well," he said. "It's a blessing to come this time of the year."
Sophomore Running Back Anthony Erwin said he should be ready to play against Glenn Hills in two weeks. Erwin suffered an ankle injury against Harlem.
The Spartans (7-1, 4-0) are tied with the Bulldogs for the Region 3N-AAA lead. They have outscored their sub region opponents 89-53 this year with a nine-point average margin of victory.
Meanwhile, Thomson has posted a 33-point average margin of victory against sub region opponents while outscoring them 147-15.