LaGrange puts end to run by Thomson

LAGRANGE, Ga. --- Riding high just a week after upsetting Jackson in the first round of the state playoffs, the Thomson Bulldogs hoped to do the same against LaGrange on Saturday night.


There was just one problem: the Grangers weren't standing for it.

The Grangers went on to win 34-7 and eliminated Thomson in the second-round of the Class AAA state playoffs at Callaway Stadium.

"We just didn't play as well as we did last week," lamented Thomson head coach Luther Welsh. "The expectation was to play as well or better against LaGrange. It just didn't happen. We got behind and couldn't catch up."

The Bulldogs finish the season with a 6-6 record.

LaGrange head coach Steve Pardue was jubilant, meanwhile, about his team's performance. "I thought we came out and played pretty well on a cold night," he said. "We now start getting ready for Dunwoody."

Dunwoody upended North Hall on Friday night.

Thomson was kept off the scoreboard until late in the game when Phillip Anderson, a sophomore reserve quarterback, managed to score on a 1-yard run. Jay Bieltz kicked the extra point, which made it a 34-7 game.

The Bulldogs came right back with a successful onsides kick to give themselves another shot at the end zone with just three seconds left. Anderson's pass attempt, however, sailed off the fingertips of Nick Rau as time ran out.

"I'm disappointed all the way around," said Thomson defensive coordinator John Barnett.

Three of his senior defensive players turned in their usual performances. They included Darius Eubanks, Lonnie Harris and Dexter Sneed.

Eubanks intercepted LaGrange senior quarterback Rodney Tolbert twice, but Thomson was unable to capitalize on the turnovers.

Thomson found itself behind 18-0 at halftime and could never able to get back into the game offensively.

The Grangers recorded three safeties against Thomson -- one of which Harris recovered in the end zone in the first half to avoid what would likely have resulted in a LaGrange touchdown.

LaGrange rolled up 405 yards of total offense to Thomson's 212 total yards.


STAR OF THE GAME: LaGrange linebacker Quay Huzzie -- a Kentucky commitment -- was all over the field.

WHY LAGRANGE WON: The Grangers dominated on both sides of the ball.

WHY THOMSON LOST: The Bulldogs never found their rhythm on offense, and the Bulldogs' young offensive line was dominated by the Grangers' experienced defense.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Early in the third quarter, LaGrange's Ocie Salter broke a 54-yard run on a third-and-21 play. On the next snap, Salter ran the same play for a touchdown to put the Grangers up 24-0.

QUOTE OF THE GAME: "I thought we were better prepared." -- Thomson defensive coordinator John Barnett .

UP NEXT: Thomson finishes the season at 6-6.



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