D.J. Mincey scored a four-yard rushing touchdown with 7:55 to play in the fourth quarter and the Toombs County Bulldog defense kept Hancock Central out of the end zone the rest off the way as the Dawgs improved to 2-0 with a 14-8 victory over Hancock Central in the Pit in Lyons.
Demetrius Owens scored a defensive touchdown to give TCHS a 7-0 lead with 8:03 to play in the first quarter when the senior returned a Hancock Central fumble 29-yards for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs, who shutout Twiggs County in week one, kept Hancock Central off the scoreboard the third quarter. Jaquan Harden scored on a 1-yard run on a fourth down play. Those Bulldogs always go for two-points after a TD and this time Keveon Robbins ran the ball in to the end zone to give Hancock Central an 8-7 lead with 7:42 to play in the third quarter.
— Toombs Now (@ToombsNow) September 2, 2018
TD 8:03 Toombs County- Demetrius Owens 29-yard run after a fumble recovery (Rafael Perez PAT Good) 7-0 Toombs County
TD 7:42 Hancock Central- Jaquan Harden 1-yard run (Keveon Robbins 2-point conversion run) 8-7 Hancock Central
TD 5:37 Toombs County- D.J. Mincey 4-yard run (Perez PAT Good) 14-8 Toombs County
First Downs- Hancock Central 11, Toombs County 6
TFL’s (tackles for a loss)- Hancock Central 7, Toombs County 5
D.J. Mincey 12 carries for 33-yards (2.8 yards per carry) and 1 TD
Demetrius Owens 4 carries for 22-yards (5.5 yards)
Caleb Hartley 1 carry for 3-yards
Trey Cloud 3 carries for -11-yards
Total 20 carries for 47 yards (2.4 yards) and 1 TD
Trey Cloud 6-for-15 for 23-yards and no touchdowns and no interceptions
Cole Graham 1 catch for 12-yards
Tyquan Toby 1 catch for 8-yards
Chandler Lynn 1 catch for 4-yards
Demetrius Owens 3 catches for -1 yards
Chandler Lynn 5 punts for 167 yards (33.4 yards per punt)
Raphael Perez 2-for-2 on PAT’s and 0-1 on Field Goals (missed 27-yards)
Caleb Hartley 0-1 on Field Goals (missed 43-yards)
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On the Bulldogs’ first possession they picked up three yards and suffered a Hancock Central TFL (tackle for a loss). After Chandler Lynn’s 32-yard punt to the HC 30, the visiting Bulldogs picked up a first down and also were tackled behind the line of scrimmage for a one-yard loss. Back-to-back offensive holding penalties made it first down and 28. Hancock completed a swing pass to Jamarcus Morris. Three Bulldogs reacted to the play and Mincey reached out with his right hand and knocked the ball out. Owens caught it in the air at the HC 29-yard line and he saw nothing but open green space and he ran the ball down the Bulldog sideline for a defensive touchdown. Rafael Perez split the uprights, in the south end zone, and Toombs very quickly had a 7-0 lead with 8:03 to play in the first quarter.
A third holding penalty set back Hancock on it’s second possession and eventual forced a punt. Toombs County picked up a first down on a five-yard run by Owens. However, back-to-back TFL’s by HC for a total of four negative yards plus an incomplete pass forced the Bulldogs to punt on fourth down and 14. Chandler Lynn booted the ball 22-yards down to the 22.
Dawson Malone used his quickness to beat an over 300 pound guard and he made TFL for negative three-yards. Hancock completed a pass for a first down on fourth and five. Caleb Hartley chased down a short pass for a seven-yard loss and on fourth down and nine from the HC 34 those Bulldogs tried a fake punt, but Brannon Usher tackled the punter for a three-yard gain and Toombs took over at the HC 37.
The Dawg possession began with a negative play- a swing pass to Owens for minus six-yards and a two-yard run by Owens and an incomplete pass made it fourth down and 14. Lynn took the snap in punt formation and booted the ball 38-yards down to the HC 3 where the Bulldogs downed it.
A couple of runs by Robbins netted a first down, but then a fourth holding penalty once again forced Hancock to punt. TCHS took over at the HC 37. Trrey Cloud completed a 12-yard pass to Cole Graham for a first down and on the next play Cloud threw an eight-yard completion to Tyquan Toby. An offsides penalty gave the Dawgs a first down at the 13-yard line and a second offsides flag to pushed the ball to the eight. Cloud threw two balls two Lynn- one catchable and one was not and now it was fourth down at the HC 10. Perez attemped his second field goal of the season (he missed a 29-yarder against Twiggs County) and his 27-yard attempt from the right hash had height and distance, but it drifted off to the left. So, Toombs County still had the 7-0 lead.
In a hurry up situation at the end of the first half Hancock Central threw six passes with mixed results. There were two big completions for 27-yards to the HC 49 and 34-yards down to the Dawg 17. Three passes went incomplete including two straight with Hancock in the red zone and then on fourth and 10 Lynn jumped up in the air in the south end zone and intercepted a pass. He ran the ball out to the five-yard line. The Bulldogs picked up a first down on a 17-yard run by Owens and then Cloud took a knee as the Bulldog defense held their first two regular season opponents scoreless for the first six quarters. Toombs County 7, Hancock Central 0.
Hancock has been a team that has been able to sustain drives in it’s preseason scrimmage with Jenkins County and regular season opener against Community Christian School (two-time defending state champions in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association) and those Bulldogs opened up the second half with a 10-play, 61 yard drive that took 4 minutes and 18 seconds off the third quarter clock.
There were no pass attempts on this drive and no big plays. Hancock just grinded out the yardage with run after run in the two to eight-yard range and the Bulldogs helped the visitors out with two penalties- five-yards for offsides early in the drive and a 15-yard personal foul flag three plays later. Hancock eventually scored on a one-yard run by Harden and a two-point conversion carry by Robbins which gave Hancock Central it’s only lead of the game at 8-7 with 7:42 to play in the third quarter.
For the rest of the third period neither team was able to sustain an offensive drive. The Bulldogs first possession was a three and out. HC’s sixth and final TFL plus two incomplete passes led to Lynn’s 36-yard punt down to the Hancock 20-yard line.
A defensive pass interference call gave HC a first down at the 33, but that was it. The Dawgs second possession of the half was another three play effort- a three-yard run by Mincey, a four-yard completion to Lynn and an incomplete pass. Chandler punted the ball 33-yards to the Hancock 30.
Two plays in to the fourth quarter Lynn caught a punt at the HC 49. The speedy sophomore ran to his right and picked up some blocks and then he cut back toward the center of the field and ran the ball in to the north end zone. What appeared to be a 49-yard punt return for a TD was called back because of a penalty flag.
So, the Dawgs started at the HC 41. A pass interference call against Hancock, on a deep pass, moved the ball down to the 26. Two incomplete passes and a completed pass to Owens for no gain forced the Bulldogs in to a long field goal attempt. Hartley tried a 43-yarder from the left hash, but his kick came up nine-yards short of the goal post in the north end zone. So, Hancock still had the 8-7 lead with 10:34 to play in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs set up their game-winning touchdown drive with a fumble recovery at the HC 35. Four plays later they were in the end zone. Mincey took a handoff on first down and broke a tackle four-yards down field then he veered to the Hancock sideline where he was tackled at the seven-yard line for a 28-yard gain and a first down. On the next play D.J. was stopped at the line of scrimmage for no gain. A direct snap to Hartley, the blocking back, gained three and Mincey finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown run. The determined sophomore ran the ball up the middle and crossed the goal line as he was tackled to the ground. Perez kicked the extra point in the middle of the uprights, in the north end zone, to put TCHS up for good at 14-8 with 7:55 to play in the game.
Hancock Central started it’s next drive at it’s 30 and ran 10-plays gaining 34-yards and two first downs. On fourth down and seven at the Bulldog 36 with 2:09 to play in the game quarterback Tiger Jones dropped back to pass and the Bulldogs were coming for the QB. Three Dawgs broke through the offensive line of scrimmage and Toby reached out with his right hand from behind and brought Jones down to the ground for a quarterback sack and a loss of five-yards.
The Bulldogs ran three plays plus a five-yard penalty and they had to punt the ball back to Hancock Central with less than a minute to play. Lynn kicked the ball 33-yards to the HC 30. The visiting Bulldogs threw four incomplete passes to end their offensive night.
The Bulldogs took a knee and the game ended with Toombs County now off to a 2-0 start for the second season in a row.
Pictures by J.D. Rogers