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One Man's Opinion

What a game!

I'm speaking, of course, about the football game between the Thomson High Bulldogs and Lakeside Panthers Friday night.

It ended on a dramatic 20-yard field goal by football newcomer Talles Cardoso, of Brazil. He is an exchange student who had never played the American version of football before three weeks ago.

That's right. A winning field goal -- something you'd never have thought longtime Thomson head coach Luther Welsh would ever have gone for so late and close in any ballgame. Throughout his legendary years of coaching, coach Welsh has traditionally gone the route of his offensive teams running with the ball up the gut in hopes of a touchdown.

In his native country, the only football Cardoso had ever played was soccer.

His name already has become familiar among many longtime supporters of the Thomson Bulldogs.

There was even a Brazilian flag that proudly waved in The Brickyard following Thomson's football victory over the Class AAAA Lakeside Panthers from nearby Evans.

Although I wasn't at the game, I was just as excited about it as anyone who was there. The reason I couldn't be there was because I was in Sandersville, covering the Briarwood Academy vs. Brentwood Academy football game.

Towards the end of the Thomson game, I got the opportunity to hear some of the radio play-by-play of Dennis Sanders along with comments by Ralph Starling. It wasn't like being at the game, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.

Again, what a game!

Never in a million years would I have ever thought that Coach Welsh would have gone for a field goal rather than a touchdown attempt.

Never, never, never!

Others were equally as surprised.

Fact is, he's just never been much of a field-goal type coach. In the past, he has gone more often than not for the touchdown in situations like the one Friday night.

Cardoso impressed Coach Welsh and others on his coaching staff in the 35-0 win over the Washington-Wilkes Tigers in the season opener by kicking five extra points and a fine job punting the football, too.

With the game on the line and the Bulldogs trailing at the time, 9-7, with just 16 seconds remaining in the nonregion contest, Cardoso came through for his teammates and the Thomson football fans in a big way.

Aside from coach Welsh and several of his fine assistant coaches being proud of Cardoso's performance, so was my friend, assistant coach Chris Hodges, who oversees the kicking game for the Bulldogs. Just a few weeks ago, coach Hodges had worried about the team's kicking game. I trust he's not nearly as worried as he was now that Cardoso has enrolled and is a member of the football team.

Web posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010

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