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Welsh's career ends with defeat


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FORT VALLEY, Ga. --- Peach County used a big-play offense and a suffocating defense to power past Thomson, 33-0, in a Class AAA second-round playoff game at Anderson Stadium on Friday night.

Team page: Thomson Bulldogs

The Trojans (12-0) won their 27th consecutive game and now move on to the state quarterfinals where they will play either Grady or White County. Thomson (9-3) was unable to extend the career of its legendary coach, 78-year-old Luther Welsh, who will retire now after winning 333 games as a head coach.

"We didn't play too good," an emotional Welsh said. "I thought (Peach) had better people coming in, but I thought we would have played much better than we did.

"Good teams don't let up," he added. "They just keep on coming."

The Peach County defense recorded its second consecutive shutout in the playoffs and now has five for the season. The Trojans forced four turnovers and held Thomson to 119 yards of total offense. Most of that came on a pair of long pass plays to Bulldogs' tight end Jacoby Crawford, who had two catches for 62 yards.

Peach County quarterback Brett Montgomery finished with 164 yards and two touchdowns.

Welsh ended his career with three state titles won at Thomson. His 520 games as a head coach are second only to Lincoln County's Larry Campbell, and his 333 victories rank third most in Georgia.

A group of former players from Dougherty, where Welsh had his first head coaching job in Georgia, made the trip to see Welsh.

After a disappointing 2009 season, Welsh was glad this year's team bounced back.

"We made a large turnaround, a big turnaround from last season," he said. "I was proud to get back in the playoffs."

He said at this point he needs "a little peace of mind," and he plans on retiring to his hometown of Bishopville, S.C.

"I appreciate all they've done for me," Welsh said of his former players and coaches. "It makes people think I was such a good coach."

Morris News Service writer Billy Hobbs contributed to this article.

Welsh's career coaching timeline

Thomson High School's Luther Welsh compiled a 333-181-6 record as a head coach since 1955.

WarrentonHead coach19557-4
Mayewood (S.C.)Assistant1956-57
Mayewood (S.C.)Head coach1958-6010-19-1
Sumter (S.C.)Assistant1961-64
Crisp CountyAssistant1965
DoughertyHead coach1968-8275-75-2
Warner RobinsAssistant1983
ThomsonHead coach1984-9077-16-1
Camden CountyHead coach1991-9326-10
Greene-TaliaferroHead coach1994-9510-11-1
Screven CountyHead coach1996-9822-12
ThomsonHead coach1999-present106-34-1

Source: Georgia High School Football Historians Association


Thomson 0 0 0 0 - 0
Peach County 0 7 13 13 - 33

Second Quarter
PC-Darion Howard 2 run (Shaun Kelly kick)

Third Quarter
PC-Travis Richmond 40 run (Kelly kick)
PC-Demarcus Robinson 88 pass from Brett Montgomery (pass failed)

Fourth Quarter
PC-Isaiah Miller 32 pass from Montgomery (kick failed)
PC-Richmond 25 run (Luis Lopez kick)

First downs414
Passing yards88164


RUSHING-Thomson: Chris Jordan 9-20; Peach County: Richmond 15-125, Howard 6-36, Robinson 4-69.

PASSING-Thomson: Josh Jones 6-17-3 88; Peach County: Montgomery 8-14-1 164.

RECEIVING-Thomson: Jacoby Crawford 2-62; Peach County: Robinson 2-96, Miller 1-32, Hat Williams 1-34, Richmond 2-16, Debarriaus Miller 2-26.

RECORDS: Thomson 9-3; Peach County 12-0.

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Jane18 11/20/10 - 09:10 am
Luther Welsh, you are still

Luther Welsh, you are still #1 for many of us parents and former players!

Truth Be Told In Bold
Truth Be Told In Bold 11/21/10 - 05:17 am
Three coaches step away from

Three coaches step away from this year's Bulldog team - Welsh, John Barnett, and Curtis Williams. I wish them all happiness, and I thank them for their dedication to making young people better students. Also, thanks to all of the Thomson Bulldog coaches, trainers and players for their heart. It was a great year, but in the end, Peach County had too many weapons. Congrats to them as they advance.

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