This year’s Bulldogs hope their story has the same ending as that 2002 team.
For the first time since winning the state championship a decade ago, Thomson has won two state playoff games in a single postseason.
But at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 12-0 Thomson visits Cartersville, which is the only other unbeaten team left in Class AAA, in a state quarterfinal game.
“It’s a tall order for us,” Bulldogs coach Milan Turner said. “But it’s what you want.”
In his second season at Thomson, Turner hopes to guide the Bulldogs to their first state crown since coaching legend Luther Welsh won it.
From the other sideline, Cartersville coach Frank Barden hopes his team’s run ends the same way it did for the 1999 team: a state championship.
Though both teams are attempting to add to their championship cases, the Purple Hurricanes and Bulldogs aren’t entirely the same.
Cartersville will pass more than Thomson, which is dealing with an ankle injury to starter Chris Tutt. Turner said he is day-to-day and questionable for Friday’s game. Tutt was injured in the first round against Jackson.
In a second-round win against Johnson-Savannah, Quay Cummings started and completed two of three pass attempts for 28 yards.
Even when Tutt was healthy, the Bulldogs were a bigger threat on the ground. Chris Jordan is just shy of 2,000 rushing yards and Torrie Battle has complemented Jordan with his two 60-yard TD runs in the playoffs.
Slowing Thomson’s rushing attack is just one of Barden’s challenges.
“The first thing you think of is the tradition and history,” Barden said about Thomson. “Then you look at the tape and see all the great players.”