JEFFERSON, Ga — Every time Jefferson tried to chip away at Thomson’s lead Friday night, something would set the Dragons back.
A poorly-timed penalty. A missed field goal. A kickoff and an onside kick returned for a touchdown.
The mistakes culminated in a loss a 42-20 loss for the third-ranked Dragons (2-1). Thomson (3-0) entered the game ranked fourth in Class AAAA.
The errors started early for the Dragons.
Jefferson lost a fumble on its first drive and gave up a 6-yard run to Michael Thomas on fourth-and-6. Thomas scored on a 3-yard run – his first of three touchdowns on the night – to cap the drive.
The Dragons blocked a punt in the second quarter, but had to settle for a 20-yard field goal from Hayden Kilgore.
Two plays later, Thomas ripped off a 55-yard run to set up a 12-yard scoring run from Bubba Murray. Jefferson missed another field goal attempt late in the half, and Thomson held a 14-3 lead at the break.
Jefferson’s Colby Clark intercepted a pass from Mills Ridings to set up a short scoring run from Colby Wood with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. Thomas answered with a short scoring run of his own three minutes later.
Kilgore added a 35-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut Jefferson’s deficit to eight points. On the ensuing kickoff, Thomson’s Christian Tutt ripped off a 95-yard return to give the Bulldogs a 28-19 lead.
Zack Boobas scored on a 7-yard run to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to eight. Thomas returned the onside kick attempt for a touchdown.
Thomson’s Zack Johnson returned a fumble 50-yards for a score on the Dragons’ next drive.
Thomson travels to at Pace Academy on Sept. 9. Jefferson will visit Flowery Branch on Sept. 16.