Originally created 10/14/00

Thomson powers way to win



THOMSON -- Thomson's bend-but-don't-break defense waited for the team's wing-T offense to take over. In the second half, it did.

The Bulldogs rolled up 238 of its 381 yards of total offense in the second half for three touchdowns en route to a 28-14 win over Hephzibah at the Brickyard on Friday night

"We don't have the answer to it. Our kids just play better in the second half. I don't know why it takes 'em that long to get it going. Undoubtedly, it does," Thomson coach Luther Welch said.

Thomson (5-2, 4-1 Region 3-AAAA) opened up a seven-point halftime lead by scoring on two of its first three second-half possessions. Danny Warren scored on a 36-yard run to give Thomson a 14-0 lead.

Later in the third quarter, Lejuan Johnson took a handoff from Warren on a reverse at the 15 and split through the middle to give the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead.

"That's probably our best play," Thomson quarterback Kevin Cowart said. "We like to run that play. It keeps the defense off guard. You never know what's coming."

Hephzibah (2-4, 2-2) had a pair of chances to break through against the Bulldog defense in the second quarter. However, on fourth-and-2 from the Thomson 28, Marcus Wynn stuffed Raphael Brooks in the backfield to hold the Rebels and keep the game scoreless.

The Rebels kept the Bulldog offense in check in the first half. But Cowart proved to be the elixir for Thomson's offense. On third-and-2, Cowart took the ball 71 yards on a quarterback keeper to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 3:11 left before halftime.

On its next possession, Hephzibah faced a third-and-28 from its own 10-yard-line. Thomas Payton, though, found a leaping B.J. Gibson on the 38 and Gibson picked up another 28 yards before being pushed out of bounds.

Five plays later, Payton was sacked by Wynn and Chris Atkinson on the Thomson 31. With seven seconds left in the first half, Payton's heave to Gibson in the end zone was picked off by Clifton Winfrey.

The Rebels finally got on the board when a scrambling Payton hit a wide-open Gibson in the end zone for a 16-yard score which brought Hephzibah to within 21-7 early in the fourth quarter.

Thomson, though, responded on its next possession. Johnson scored on a 47-run again on the same reverse play from Warren to give the Bulldogs a 28-7 lead with 9:21 remaining.

Johnson and Warren combined for 160 of Thomson's 330 yards rushing. Payton was 17-of-33 passing for 194 yards.