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Sports Talk: If Thomson wins, it'll be tailgating for breakfast

There are lots of thoughts out there on Thomson's exciting 28-21 playoff win over Washington County. Here's my list.

All of the teeth gnashing over a close loss to a good team and close wins over competitive teams in August and September didn't mean a hill of beans last Friday night.

Thomson fans often have a tough time accepting that close wins are OK, until last week.

You would have to search the world over to find two positive things about the disaster that was Hurricane Katrina. One of those is right here on the Thomson High football team. His name is Kyle Franklin. Kyle is number one in your program and in your heart. I have no idea where the other positive from Katrina might be.

Kyle made three huge plays against Washington County. I think his touchdown catch just before halftime was the play of the game. It effectively buried the Hawks and showed that Thomson could play a little pitch and catch if need be. The ball was also perfectly thrown by Jerrell McNair.

Franklin also kept a clock burning drive alive late in the game with a very determined, twisting run on third down and six and recovered an onsides kick. This kid's a playmaker.

The offensive woes the Bulldogs experienced early in the season may have been a blessing in disguise. It showed Coach Welsh what he had to do fundamentally and what lineup adjustments he might need. It also shows the importance of having a determined coach that won't throw in the towel.

No matter how wily the coyote is, if he has to chase a rabbit through the briar patch for too long he will get tired. WACO had great quickness at the quarterback and tailback; positions that somewhat gassed the Bulldog defense in the fourth quarter. Giving the ball back to an opponent in the playoffs with turnovers will always make you sweat and sometimes bleed.

It was also a pleasure to watch a football game where the officials knew what they were doing. The crew controlled the flow of the game and their mechanics were great. Obviously, they were not from the Augusta Association, but one of the many Atlanta area crews.

Other than gaining some confidence for the football team, this win now means nothing. You can't rest on your laurels in the playoffs, especially in this state. Good luck to the Bulldogs as they travel to Albany to take on Dougherty.

The Thomson-Dougherty winner will face the winner of the Central of Carroll County vs. Flowery Branch game. Central comes into that game with a record of 7-4 while Flowery Branch, from Hall County, is 10-1. Flowery Branch opened the playoffs with a 10-9 victory over Elbert County.

If I read the brackets correctly, since they are a four seed if Central wins, they would travel to Thomson or Dougherty. As predetermined by the GHSA brackets, Thomson, a two seed, would have to travel to "metro" Hall County to take on Flowery Branch, also a two seed.

Not taking anything for granted by any means, but the team that advances from Thomson's bracket to the state semi-finals will play in the Georgia Dome on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 9 a.m. That's right, nine o'clock in the morning. Ever had a pre-game meal or tailgate spread of grits and eggs?



Web posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005











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