Thomson runs past Laney in season opener

Thomson’s latest run at a state championship began in familiar fashion Friday night.


The Bulldogs raced past Laney 50-0 at Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium, marking their fourth consecutive opening-week victory under coach Rob Ridings and 22nd overall win in their past 24 games dating to 2015.

“I think there are a lot of very positive things that came out of tonight compared to what we did last Friday night,” Ridings said. “We didn’t make near the mistakes we did. I thought we executed. We did our game plan exactly what we wanted. I’m very proud of my kids.”

It’s also their second win in a row over Laney to open a season after routing the Wildcats by 45 last year.

Thomson (1-0) nearly reached that point total in the first half Friday night by pouring on 30 second-quarter points. The Bulldogs rushed for 324 yards, most of it coming in the first half, and limited Laney (0-1) to 52 yards of total offense.

Thomson’s running duo of Bubba Murray and Tyrek Braswell combined for 302 yards on 29 carries. Mills Ridings went 4 for 6 for 108 yards through the air, including 91 to Marcus Cade.

After a punishing first drive for Thomson that resulted in a two-yard Murray touchdown, the junior running back found the end zone more quickly on a second drive by breaking 72 yards for a score and 14-point lead.

The second quarter opened with Murray’s running mate, Braswell, breaking a 15-yard touchdown run. After Jacorey Crawford picked off Laney, Thomson’s first play on the next drive was Christian Tutt’s first touch of the season, resulting in a 30-yard touchdown run with several moves along the way.

Braswell and Murray touchdown runs were bookends to a safety when Laney fumbled a punt snap through the end zone. The Bulldogs led 44-0 at the half.

Laney’s Mario Sumpter was held to five completions for 20 yards and 32 rushing yards. The Wildcats, who are replacing 22 seniors from a year ago, used six running backs as starter Jarvis Washington was held out with injury.

“Our inexperience showed tonight,” Laney coach Rodney McFadden said. “We’re not quite ready. The thing about it is, with it being a non-region game, we can keep fighting the fight.”


Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or

Thomson 50, Laney 0

Play of the game: Thomson’s Bubba Murray broke a 72-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for a 14-0 Bulldogs lead.

Star of the game: Murray and Tyrek Braswell combined for 302 rushing yards on 29 carries for Thomson.

Why Thomson won: The Bulldogs overwhelmed Laney in all phases, including rushing for 324 yards.

Why Laney lost: The Wildcats were unable to keep up with the talented Bulldogs in all aspects.

Next: Thomson at Effingham County, 7:30 p.m., Friday. Laney at Aquinas, 7:30 p.m., Friday.

Thomson 14 30 6 0 – 50
Laney 0 0 0 0 – 0

First Quarter
T–Bubba Murray 2 run (Sam Derry kick), 7:17
T–Murray 72 run (Derry kick), 4:46

Second Quarter
T–Tyrek Braswell 15 run (Derry kick), 10:03
T–Christian Tutt 30 run (Derry kick), 8:21
T–Braswell 18 run (Derry kick), 4:24
T–Safety, 2:58
T–Murray 10 run (Derry kick), 2:38

Third Quarter
T–Mills Ridings 1 run (pass failed), 0:24

First Downs 18 6
Rushes-Yards 36-324 28-32
Passing Yards 108 20
Comp.-Att.-Int. 4-7-0 5-16-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1
Punts-Yards 3-35 6-40
Penalties-Yards 8-70 6-35


RUSHING–Thomson: Tyrek Braswell 17-162, Bubba Murray 12-140, Christian Tutt 1-30, Tyler Crenshaw 1-3, Mills Ridings 4-(-1), Jaheim Heath 1-(-10). Laney: Mario Sumpter 11-32, Dykese King 1-3, Corey Alexander 1-3, Dorian Hazel 2-0, Rashad Williams 8-(-1), Jordan Stringer 4-(-1), Donald Henley 1-(-4).
PASSING–Thomson: Ridings 4-6 108, Heath 0-1. Laney: Sumpter 5-16-1 20.
RECEIVING–Thomson: Marcus Cade 3-91, Adonis Kendrick 1-17. Laney: D’Juan Griffin 3-13, Henley 2-7.