The last two weeks for the Thomson High School JV Dogs have seen both sides of the ball step up when needed.
First, it was the offense keeping the Dogs out in front of Burke County to preserve a 30-27 win on October 11. Then, the Bulldog defense dominated the JV Tigers of Washington-Wilkes in a 14-0 win in which the offense struggled. Regardless, the team found a way to get the victories, bringing the season record to 3-2. They will play at Lincoln County this Thursday at 5:30 in a makeup of the game postponed earlier this year.
On the road in Waynesboro, the Dogs found themselves against an athletic bunch of Bears who spread the field and took advantage of an outstanding young quarterback. Their passing game would give the Thomson defense fits throughout the game, but the Bulldog D would get the first and last laughs. After Thomson's offense moved the ball on its first drive, mostly on a 22-yard run by Jarcques Kendrick and a 48-yard pass completion from Will Tankersley to Nick Rau, the offense stalled and turned the ball over on downs deep in Bear territory. Two plays later Abram Cartledge caught a Burke County fumble out of midair and raced 20 yards to the endzone for the first score. The conversion attempt failed and the Dogs led 6-0.
Burke wasted no time, however, completing a 26-yard pass followed by a touchdown toss of 39 yards. The kick was good and Thomson trailed 7-6. The Bulldog offense would respond with a 53-yard drive capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Rau and a two-point conversion by Tankersley, regaining the lead 14-7. The next series saw the Bulldogs block a punt only to have it caught and advanced by a Burke player 25 yards for a first down well into Thomson territory. The defense held them for three plays then hunkered down to stuff a quarterback sneak on fourth and one. On the second play of offense, Anthony Moss plowed his way through the middle of the Bear defense and raced 63 yards to paydirt. His two-point run was successful and the Dogs held a 22-7 lead with 3:00 to go in the half. Burke County quickly moved down the field and, on third and 12, completed a pass in heavy coverage to the two yard line. The subsequent score and PAT brought the score to 22-14.
On Burke's first possession of the second half, their QB dropped back and completed a 54-yard pass to the 1 yard line, which was followed by a TD run and PAT cutting the Dogs' lead to one. The Thomson offense would answer with a big dose of Kendrick and Moss, with Moss scoring another TD and two-point conversion to lead 30-21. Burke would never say die and drove down again, scoring on a 20 yard pass. This time, Cartledge blocked the kick and the score remained 30-27. The Dogs would hang on to the lead by taking a knee on the Burke five yard line to run out the clock.
This past Thursday, the Dogs traveled to Washington to take on the Tigers in a game played with eight-minute quarters and an apparent running clock. Thomson only had seven offensive series the entire game and found it hard to get anything going. Jarcques Kendrick carried the Dogs with TD runs of 14 and 20 yards, plus a two-point conversion, resulting in the 14-0 margin of victory.
The story in this game was defense. Washington-Wilkes was held to minus-52 yards of offense.