Washington County cruises to region title

Golden Hawks 55, Bulldogs 12



THOMSON — Lineman Britt Helton walked around the field carrying an empty water bucket after the deed had been done.

Washington County’s players doused coach Joel Ingram after the third-ranked Golden Hawks clinched the Region 3-AAA championship with a 55-12 victory over Thomson on Friday night at the Brickyard.

Washington County (8-0, 3-0) claimed the region with one game left in the regular season. The Golden Hawks snapped a two-game losing streak to the Bulldogs to win their first region title since 2006.

“Tremendous effort by our team. We took care of business,” Ingram said. “From start to finish we played hard. We ran the football hard. We played good defense. So I couldn’t be happier to get a win against a quality football team in a special venue like this.”

The Golden Hawks eclipsed the 50-point mark for the fourth time this season and became the second team to score 50 or more on Thomson in the Brickyard this season. Washington County rolled up 451 yards of total offense, dominating from start to finish. Melvin Hill rushed 16 times for 171 yards with two touchdowns, while Danyale Wicker gained 112 yards on 13 carries.

Thomson (3-5, 2-1), which has a bye week before finishing the regular season at Jefferson County, couldn’t slow down the Golden Hawks’ running game and couldn’t muster much offense either. The Bulldogs rushed for just 98 yards, much of that total coming on Jalen McNair’s fourth-quarter effort (six rushes, 77 yards, touchdown).

On its opening drive, Washington County went 42 yards in six plays. Quarterback A.J. Gray rushed up the middle for five yards to open the scoring.

On their next drive, the Golden Hawks started on the Thomson 34. After Gray connected with Josh Burden on a 32-yard pass play, Hill punched it in from the 2 to stake Washington County to a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

“It’s just no huddle, no mercy,” Gray said. “We just started fast and wanted to see if we could finish it.”

Thomson trailed 21-6 when their fortunes turned for the worse. After stopping Washington County and getting the ball at the Bulldogs 7, quarterack Chris Tutt tried to pitch the ball on first down, but the ball hit the turf. Chris Edwards tracked down the loose ball in the end zone to push the Golden Hawks’ lead to 22 midway through the second quarter.

Washington County led 35-6 at intermission.

“When we’re scoring on offense, that’s like putting gas in the tank of our defense. And vice versa,” Ingram said. “People want to talk offense – spread this, points this. Our defense has been the story this year. Our defense has played rock solid all year.”



PLAY OF THE GAME: Washington County’s Chris Edwards tracked down a Thomson fumble in the end zone to push the Golden Hawks’ lead to 22 in the second quarter.

STAR OF THE GAME: Melvin Hill rushed 16 times for 171 yards with two touchdowns.

WHY WASHINGTON COUNTY WON: Golden Hawks dominated in the trenches.

WHY THOMSON LOST: Bulldogs couldn’t get their ground game going and they couldn’t stop Washington County’s rushing attack.

NEXT: Dodge County at Washington County, 7:30 p.m., Friday; Thomson off.


Washington Co. 21 14 13 7 – 55

Thomson 6 0 0 6 – 12

First Quarter

WC–A.J. Gray 4 run (Jed May kick), 10:18

WC–Melvin Hill 2 run (May kick), 7:46

T–Felton Hatcher 71 pass from Chris Tutt (kick failed), 1:30

WC–Melvin Hill 3 run (May kick), 1:01

Second Quarter

WC–Chris Edwards 7 fumble recovery (May kick), 6:01

WC–A.J. Gray 4 run (May kick), 2:17

Third Quarter

WC–Danyale Wicker 7 run (kick failed), 7:35

WC–Wicker 6 run (May kick), 2:52

Fourth Quarter

WC–Wicker 40 run (May kick), 10:35

T–Jalen McNair 11 run (run failed), 5:21

First Downs179
Passing Yards8496


RUSHING–Washington County: Danyale Wicker 13-112, A.J. Gray 10-40, Melvin Hill 16-171, Justin Lawrence 6-40, Mykelvi Ray 1-4. Thomson: Justin Bradshaw 9-11, Chris Tutt 10-(-5), Jake Brooks 2-3, Quay Cummings 5-12, Billy Mance 1-2, Jalen McNair 6-77, Rashad Sturgis 1-(-2).

PASSING–Washington County: A.J. Gray 4-6-0 84. Thomson: Chris Tutt 2-7-0 96.

RECEIVING–Washington County: Josh Burden 3-48, D.J. Sanders 1-36. Thomson: Cummings 1-25, Felton Hatcher 1-71.