For the first time since 2012 the Toombs County High Bulldog football team controls their own playoff destiny entering their final three regular season games at Metter, at home against Vidalia and on the road at Swainsboro.
The Bulldogs come into this important stretch of Region 2 AA games with a 5-2 record overall and 3-1 in the region.
Region 2 Standings
Toombs County 3-1
Bryan County 1-3
Jeff Davis 1-3
The top four teams will represent Region 2 in the GHSA State Playoffs. The Bulldogs haven’t been to the post season since 2008.
If the Bulldogs win all three of their remaining games they will head to playoffs as the number two seed and they will earn a home game in the first round of the playoffs against possibly either Josey or Laney. Those two teams play each other, at Laney, in the final game of the season. Josey is 4-3 and 3-1 in Region 4 while Laney is 2-5 and 2-2.
Of course there are many other playoff possibilities for the Bulldogs and also Vidalia and Swainsboro. The Indians final thee games are at home against Swainsboro, at Toombs County and at Bryan County. Swainsboro plays at Vidalia and then finishes with home games against Jeff Davis and Toombs.
“That’s always a situation you like to have if you could write it down,” TCHS head coach Richie Marsh said. “Right now we own that situation and we’ve got to do everything in our power to make sure that we continue to have that situation and we are not wanting other people to have to do something for us to get in. So, Friday night is a big night for us.”
Don’t forget one of the 1-3 teams could finish with a three game winning streak and go 4-3. The only one of those teams that doesn’t play Benedictine in the final three games is Bryan County. However, the Redskins do close the season with a home game against Vidalia.
Near playoff misses for the Bulldogs
In 2012 the Bulldogs controlled their own destiny entering their final three games. TCHS was 4-2 in Region 2. The Bulldogs beat Benedictine 14-12 at home, lost to Vidalia 41-7 at Buck Cravey Field and then whipped ATCO 37-6 at Booster Stadium. TCHS, Benedictine and Bacon County all wound up with 6-3 region records and the three met at Long County on a Monday night for three mini-games. The Bulldogs lost to both teams (6-0 to Benedictine and 7-0 in the first overtime to Bacon) and missed the playoffs.
In 2010 Toombs was 2-2 in Region 2 AA after wins over Appling County in Baxley and Pierce County in the Pit. The Bulldogs lost two out of their final three games (at Tattnall 21-14 and at Brantley 35-20) and finished in a tie with the Pirates and the Herons for the final playoff spot with 3-4 records. Appling won the tie breaker and went to the playoffs.
2008 Bulldogs win out and go to state
In their last state tourney appearance, in 2008, the Bulldogs had to rally from an 0-3 start in Region 3 AA games. After losing to Jefferson County, Screven County and Dublin the Bulldogs changed their offensive scheme, from the spread to the I formation, and they reeled of victories over Laney, Dodge County, Bleckley County, Vidalia and Swainsboro to finish third and grab a playoff berth in a very tough region.
Toombs County at Metter
The Bulldogs begin their final three game set at Metter. The Tigers are coming off a Saturday morning and early afternoon 16-10 home win over Bryan County. The entire TCHS coaching staff watched the game as part of their Saturday staff meeting. Freshman quarterback Lane Young (number 18- 6-0 170 pounds) got some extended playing time in the game. “The thing that impressed me is he has played in enough games that he is not in awe when he gets in the game and he does some things well for them. It looks like he is getting better when watch the film and when the older quarterback is in there he is really special. They also had their tailback back and they haven’t had him for several games and he is special- he can fly,” Marsh said.
TCHS’s last trip to Metter in 2012- Revamped Bulldogs take care of Metter
Coming off a one-point home loss to Bacon County, the Toombs County Bulldogs made some significant changes prior to their road trip to Metter. They broke out of the wishbone and featured sophomore Jamar Smith as the tail of their I-formation and they turned some key Bulldogs into one-way players- offense or defense. The end result was a fresher team in the fourth quarter and a 21-6 Region 2 victory improving the Dawgs to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the region. Y-101 play-by-play highlights Locker Room Show
After yielding a first down to Metter on the opening drive of the game, the Bulldogs drove 63-yards for their first touchdown and Smith was responsible for every yard on the drive. The offensive line opened up a big hole for Smith’s final carry and he darted to the left and down the sideline for a 15-yard TD run. Oswaldo Guzman tacked on the PAT to give TCHS a 7-0 lead with 6:23 to play in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs have only yielded 13 points all season and both touchdowns have come with about a half-a-minute remaining on the clock. Bacon County scored it’s game-winner with 37 seconds left on the Pit clock and Metter touched the end zone with 32 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Tiger quarterback Jacob Wedincamp fired a sideline pass to Malik Kelley and the sophomore receiver turned it into a 32-yard TD play. The Metter extra point was blocked by the center of the Bulldog line.
The Tigers began to clamp down on the Bulldogs running game so quarterback Ben Brantley took to the air and threw a slant in pass to Tomond Hampton. The senior made a nice catch and then broke a tackle and raced into the endzone for a 45-yard touchdown with 1:15 to play before halftime. Guzman nailed the PAT to give the Bulldogs a 14-6 lead at the break.
In their loss to Bacon, the Bulldogs were trying to add to their one-possession lead in the second half. However, they didn’t and they paid the price. Against Metter, Toombs drove 77-yards in the fourth quarter and scored on third and 10 on another big pass play. Anthony Britt, who took over at receiver for Hampton (left game with second half injury), caught a pass from Brantley near the sideline and slipped away and scored on a 46-yard completion with 6:15 to go. For Brantley it was his third TD pass of the season and second of the night. The last time a Bulldog quarterback threw two touchdown passes was the second game of the 2009 season when Berry Aldridge (also a sophomore) threw scoring strikes to Javec King (27-yards) and Kevin Dennard (24-yards) in a 41-0 home win over Southeast Bulloch.on. Smith ran for 215 yards on 35 carries and averaged 6.1 yards per rush.