Back in the late 90’s opponents of the Toombs County Bulldogs had to prepare for a very unique player. Derrick Mincey had lineman size, but enough offensive skill to play fullback and he wasn’t just on the field to block for tailback Thez Robinson. Mincey could also run in a punishing style that intimidated those on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Plus he was almost automatic at converting first downs on third and fourth down. Ironically, at Screven County, in the final regular season game of the 1998 season then coach Mark Stroud let Mincey run the ball on fourth and one inside the Bulldog 20. Of course Big Nasty picked up the first down.
On Friday night, a little less than 18 years later, the Bulldogs will face a Screven County Gamecock, in Sylvania, who will remind all older Toombs County fans of Big Nasty. His name is C.J. Wright. The junior wears number 21 and he is 6 feet and 280 pounds. He benches 480 pounds, squats 685 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.88 and like Mincey he is a wrestler.
“I haven’t seen many fullbacks who move as well as he does,” TCHS head coach Richie Marsh said. “I haven’t seen many fullbacks that size anyway.” Wright has rushed for 693 yards on 89 carries averaging 7.8 yards per carry with 16 touchdowns. His best game was against Laney- 18 carries, 162 yards and three touchdowns. In the Region 4 showdown game last Friday Wright scored three touchdowns against Jefferson County, but only gained 51 yards on 12 carries. On defense C.J. has 14 solo tackles and 42 overall with one sack and 8.5 TFL’s. Screven County Roster
The Gamecocks run the veer and midline on offense with (#5) Armani Brunbury handling the quarterback position.The 6-2, 190 pound junior is a running and throwing threat. He has completed 53-of-115 passes for 979 yards and 13 TD’s and only four picks. His best night was a 10-for-17 performance against Harlem for 248 yards and three touchdowns. He was 0-for-5 against Jefferson County.
“Their quarterback can fly, he is very special,” Marsh said. “When they run that triple option they are very good. They won the region and they beat a very good team on Friday night.”
The Gamecocks beat Jefferson County 49-34 on the road, but the score was 49-13 going to a fourth quarter with a running clock. Screven ran for 304 yards and was led by (#3) Kim Hunter. The 6-0 185 junior running back ran for 103 and he scored one touchdown. This season Hunter has accumulated 670 yards on 76 carries with five touchdowns. He ran for 112 against Statesboro and 130 versus Laney and scored a TD in each of those games.
The Gamecocks are 9-1 and are on a nine game win streak. Screven County opened up the season playing at Georgia Southern in the Erk Russell Classic. The Gamecocks opened up a 25-10 third quarter lead over Bluffton. However, the South Carolina squad rallied and pulled out a 32-25 win. Bunbury threw for 82 yards and ran for 69. Wright lost his helmet and was knocked out of the game. He ran the ball 11 times for 39 yards and scored a touchdown and on defense he had seven total tackles.
Bluffton is 9-0 and playing for a region championship on Friday night.
Dawgs get creative at practice
The best thing about making the playoffs is you get to keep playing. The most challenging thing for a coaching staff is the first week of the post season follows the time change from day light savings time to regular time. Coach Marsh came up with a creative way to handle losing an hour of daylight. The Bulldogs started their practice after reviewing Screven County game video just like they normally do on Monday’s. Once it got too dark to continue practice at their regular unlighted practice field the team boarded two buses and the Dawgs went over to the lighted middle school field to finish their work and by 7 p.m. they were back at the high school to call it a day.
The last Toombs County/Screven County game
2008- Bulldogs battle back only to lose at the end
The Toombs County Bulldogs were two minutes away from winning their first game at Screven County in five tries. However, a third down, halfback pass which was caught by Cameron Abraham for a long touchdown with 1:15 to play lifted the Gamecocks to a 23-20 win thus denying the Bulldogs an amazing second half comeback.
The two teams played a scoreless opening quarter and both teams lost first half fumbles inside their opponent’s five-yard line. Screven blocked a Bulldog punt and scored the first points of the game on a safety after the ball rolled through the end zone with 7:17 to play in the half. The Gamecocks scored two more second quarter touchdowns on a Travis Coles 15-yard run and a touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Michael Johnson. Screven County had a 16-0 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs finally scored with forty-five seconds remaining in the third quarter. Lonzo Skinner blocked a punt and recovered it at the one-yard line. Quarterback C.J. Scott scored on a sneak to cut the Screven lead to 16-6. The Bulldogs two-point conversion failed. Scott scored two more rushing touchdowns which were set up by an A.J. Fletcher to Daniel NeSmith wide receiver pass and a tough, bruising run by Kevin Dennard which was the result of a short pass from Scott. Toombs County scored 20 straight points to take a 20-16 lead with just two minutes remaining in the game.
Y-101 play-by-play highlights
TCHS’s last road playoff game
2008- Bulldogs Make History in Macon
Two fourth quarter TD’s send Dawgs to 2nd round
The Toombs County Bulldogs made school history thanks to two fourth quarter touchdowns and a 13-0 first round state playoff victory over Southwest Macon at Henderson Stadium in Macon. The road playoff victory was the first in Toombs County High School history and the first for a Bulldog team since Lyons Senior High did it back in the 1975 state championship season.
The two running teams played three scoreless quarters prior to the Bulldogs taking a 6-0 lead just four seconds into the fourth quarter on a one-yard TD leap by quarterback C.J. Scott. Demery Hawkins, who ran for 210 yards on 28 carries, broke away on a 68-yard run that set up his five-yard run with 9:18 to play to give the Bulldogs a two-score advantage. The Bulldog defense recorded their third shutout of the season and their second in their last three games by holding 2,000 yard rusher Adrian Alexander to less than 100 yards. Y-101 Game Highlights
Toombs County, now 8-3, has won six straight games and the Bulldogs will play host to their second round game against Cook County. The fourth seeded Hornets upset number one seed Appling County 26-10 in Baxley.
Y-101 play-by-play highlights