THOMSON — Thomson got to enjoy one more blowout before getting down to the serious business of regional and state title quests.
Thomson scored five touchdowns in the second quarter to romp past Grovetown 55-0 at the Brickyard and clinch the subregional title Friday night.
The undefeated Bulldogs will play host to Burke County (8-1) in a rematch of last year’s Region 3AAA championship game that was won by the Bears 29-7.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge,” said Thomson senior offensive tackle Sebastian Hargrove. “We still have a bad taste in our mouths from last year. This time they have to come to the Brick, though.”
Thomson hasn’t been challenged since beating Washington County on the road in double overtime Sept. 16. The Bulldogs have won the past six games by an average score of 58-4, not allowing any team to score more than one touchdown.
Grovetown showed promise in making a game of it early Friday. After getting through the first quarter relatively unscathed (trailing 7-0), Grovetown found itself underneath the same Thomson offensive wave that has washed over everyone else on the way to the Bulldogs’ 9-0 record.
Thomson scored 34 points in the second quarter to sew up the subregional championship by halftime. Six different Bulldogs scored touchdowns in building up a 41-0 halftime lead.
All eight Bulldog touchdowns were scored by different players, with only quarterback Joshua Jones having a hand in more than one (rushing from 1 yard and passing to Ryan Kelly from the 3). Thomson’s 396 yards were spread out among 17 players – 10 of them combining for 227 rushing yards and seven receivers hauling in 11 receptions for 169 yards.
“It’s been like that all year,” said first-year Thomson coach Milan Turner. “If you look at our numbers, our leading rusher and leading receiver don’t have numbers that high. It’s because there’s so much mixing it up and giving different people touches.”
The Bulldogs know it won’t be that simple next week against Burke County, last year’s state semifinalists. The Bears are ranked No. 4 in Class AAA, while the Bulldogs are ranked No. 5.
Burke County beat Butler 35-0 on Friday.
“We’re going to play, if not the best, one of the top AAA teams in the state, no question,” Turner said. “They’re big, strong and fast. There’s just no weakness in that football team. We’re going to have to have our very best week of practice and play our very best game, but I believe our guys are ready for it.”
Grovetown (6-3) got the No. 3 seed in the north subregion and will have to beat perennially tough Washington County next Friday to secure a place in the Class AAA playoffs. The Warriors – coming off consecutive shutout losses – do get to play at home instead of the House of Pain.
“We’re in the SEC part of our schedule now,” Grovetown coach Rodney Holder said. “But a win next week and we’re in.”