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Thomson's season ends on the road against Dougherty

After last year's first round playoff loss to Westover, Thomson Coach Luther Welsh said it was the worst he had felt after a loss in his half century of coaching. Friday night's 28-7 second round departure against Dougherty one-upped that loss.


Thomson's Anthony "Pooh" Erwin falls in behind his blockers during the first quarter against Dougherty.

Coach Welsh headed up the football efforts for the Trojans for 14 years, and falling to his old school added an extra sting to the loss.

"It was a tough game and a tough loss, especially when you go back to, I guess you'd say, my second coaching home after being there that many years," Coach Welsh said. "We wanted to win, and it just didn't happen. It was very disappointing."

Coaches and fans alike commented that the players seemed much less fired up for this game they were against opponents like Washington County and Glenn Hills.

"I thought that coming off of a big win from Washington County our kids would be sky high and really excited, and they just weren't," Coach Welsh said. "They just played flat. They didn't seem like they had any life in them."

The defense had trouble stopping the athleticism of Trojans quarterback Ronnye Nelson, and running back Xavier Cheevers. Nelson threw for 121 yards on 8-13 passing. He added 76 yards on the ground, and Cheevers put up 144 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries.

"We seemed flat in practice all week and played the same way Friday night. I don't have an answer that doesn't sound like an alibi, so I won't give one," said Thomson Defensive Coordinator John Barnett.


Thomson's Roderick Roberts tries to tackle Xavier Cheevers.

"The same thing happens at all levels of football. Teams look great one week and terrible the next. Dougherty was a good team and certainly outplayed us in all phases of the game. Our performance was a disappointing end to a season which had many positives."

Thomson (10-2) stalled on its first drive and punted after a delay of game penalty. The Trojans (11-1) then marched down the field and scored on a 9-yard Cheevers run.

Dougherty went up 14-0 on a Nelson 10 yard run with 11:53 left in the second quarter. Late in the third quarter, Nelson connected on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Whitaker.

Thomson finally got on the board with 9:28 left in the game on 1-yard run from LaBrandon Hudson after three tries from the same spot. The Bulldogs recovered the onside kick, but halfback Anthony "Pooh" Erwin threw an interception on the ensuing drive.

With 7:33 left in the game, Cheevers scampered 22 yards for his second touchdown. He then punched in for the two-point conversion to make the score 28-7.


Thomson's Tim McCord sprints ahead for a couple of yards against Dougherty.

Thomson attempted a comeback behind the pass, but the offense left the field after quarterback Jerrell McNair tossed the team's third interception of the game with 5:36 left in the fourth. The Trojans ran the rest of the clock out on the ground.

"I'm responsible for that, and I guess that's what hurts so much more," Coach Welsh said. "You're responsible for it, and you try, and it doesn't happen. I've done what all I can do, and you know, the rest of it is left up to them.

"...I apologize to our faithful fans that made that long trip down there. We had as many as they did, playing at home. You know you have that kind of support, and dadgumit you don't even make a game out of it. That's what bothers me."

Hudson was the lone bright spot for the Bulldogs who struggled to get things moving on offense all night. He notched 122 yards on 22 carries and added 27 yards on one reception. Thomson had 227 total yards of offense while Dougherty posted 366.

The season's early end for Thomson was made even more bitter by the fact that there were 18 seniors on the team.

Both the offensive and defensive lines will be decimated by graduation, but Coach Welsh said he hopes the younger players will work even harder next year.

"It's going to hurt, but we're just going to have to work," he said. "...They're young, and they're going to play like young people. That's how it's going to be, and we're going to have to accept that too."

Web posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005


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

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