WAYNESBORO, Ga. — Thomson was down two scores to Burke County again, but coach Milan Turner knew it wasn’t time to panic. It was time to fight back.
The Bulldogs shut down the Burke County offense for the final three quarters and charged ahead behind tough running back Chris Jordan in a 21-14 victory Friday night at Burke County. The win ended the Bulldogs’ four-game losing streak to the Bears and also ended 2011 Class AAA state champion Burke County’s 12-game win streak.
“I love my kids,” Turner said. “They’re my family. They’re just like my own children. I love them with all my heart. I’ve coached in five state championships and won two, and I’ve never been more proud of a group of kids than this group here tonight.”
Though the 14-0 score hinted at another Thomson defeat in this series – Burke County beat the Bulldogs in the Region 3-AAA championship game in each the previous two seasons – Thomson patiently kept running its offense.
After Bears quarterback Donquell Green found the end zone twice by capitalizing on short fields, Thomson made it a game. Jordan Davis made a great touchdown catch for the Bulldogs.
Chris Jordan, Torrie Battle and Quay Cummings all had at least 30 rushing yards in the first half. Jordan led the way with his 86 yards. He got 62 of those on a perfectly-executed option play when quarterback Chris Tutt gained some yards and pitched to Jordan, who by then was at about full speed. The Bulldogs scored 21 points in a row.
“We got to get better,” Bears coach Eric Parker said. “We got to get that fire in the belly.”
Thomson’s defense held Burke County to fewer than 250 yards in the game. Green ran for 160 yards, but penalties and Thomson’s clutch defense kept the score the same for the final two quarters.
“I told them, ‘You only get so many opportunities in a lifetime for greatness. And a lot of people let those slip by, for whatever reason,’ ” Turner said. “And I said, ‘Tonight is an opportunity for you to do something great, something you’ll talk to each other about 20, 30 years from now.’ I said, ‘Don’t wait on it to come to you, go take it. Go make it happen. And that’s what they did.”