The Toombs County Bulldogs and the Bacon County Raiders both stopped losing streaks in the first week of the Region 2 schedule with wins over undefeated opponents and both teams had to come from behind. The Dawgs, who had lost to Savannah Christian and Claxton prior to an off week, beat Metter 20-17 in overtime on the road and they trailed 7-0 and 14-7. Meanwhile, the circumstances were even more extreme for the Raiders. Not only were they 0-4, but they had been shutout in their last three games- 49-0 at Pierce County, 18-0 at Berrien and 27-0 at Telfair County. The only touchdown the Raiders had scored all season was in their season opening 45-7 home loss to Fitzgerald. That’s right a team that had been outscored 139-7 defeated Jeff Davis 24-17 in Alma and Bacon trailed 7-0, 14-7 and 17-14.
So, in week two of the Region 2 schedule there are three 1-0 teams and two of them will be playing in Booster Stadium on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Pregame coverage begins on Y-101 Radio and streamed on Mixlr at 7 p.m. Last year when the two teams played in the Pit both teams were undefeated. Bacon County was 4-0 and the Bulldogs were 3-0 and Toombs won 2014. Toombs County Football Page
Special teams make the difference in Alma
Bacon County set up Jeff Davis for an easy score to open the game. The Yellow Jackets recovered a Bacon County fumble at the Raider 25 and scored on a three-yard run by Emanuel Rumph. The Jackets tried an onside kick which Bacon scooped up at the Raider 46. Senior quarterback Cooper Brown completed a 26-yard pass to Isaiah Grant (#20 6-1 172 senior) and then Brown finished the drive with a 20-yard TD pass to Jordan Wiley (#4 5-10 160 junior) to make it 7-7.
A high snap to the Bacon punter gave JD the ball at the Raider nine-yard line and one play later the quarterback scored on a nine-yard keeper. 14-7 Jeff Davis in the first quarter.
In the second quarter Bacon County blocked a Yellow Jacket punt and recovered the ball at the Jeff Davis 17. Zavious Bell (5-7 150 senior) scored on a 17-yard run to tied the game at 14-all.
Jeff Davis intercepted a Bacon pass and a potential Pick-6 was brought back by a penalty. The Yellow Jackets completed a pass for 22-yards and kicked a 29-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead at half.
Bacon scored the only touchdown in the second half on defense. Rumph was running the ball and he was hit in the midsection. Bacon scooped up the ball and scored on a 63-yard return to take a 21-17 lead.
Mason Mikell intercepted a JD pass and gave the Raiders the ball at their 40. A 21-yard run by Bell set Ronaldo Juarez up for a long field goal attempt and the senior kicked a school-record 50-yarder and now Bacon had a 24-17 lead late in the third quarter.
Bacon stopped Jeff Davis on a fourth and one play at the Yellow Jacket 28. Then JD intercepted a pass and had a second Pick-6 called back by a penalty. On third and eight the Jackets went with a double handoff back to the quarterback and a sure TD pass was dropped in the end zone. The Yellow Jackets tried a 40-yard field goal which missed the uprights.
Bulldog coach Richie Marsh talks about the big win at Metter and his 3rd match up with Bacon
Metter opened up the game driving 68-yards, in 15 running plays, to score it’s first touchdown. The Tigers rang up six first downs on that drive and then for the rest of the game they could only muster four and one of those came on a Bulldog penalty. “The amount of time of time that our coaches put in preparing, coach (Buddy) Martin and those guys with the X and O schemes and to make sure that it is right. Then you get out there on Monday and test it and get in there Monday night and fix anything that may be wrong, then get in there Tuesday night and make sure it is solidified on Wednesday. A lot of times a team gets out there and does that and it is something simple in the scheme that is not working or somebody is not doing one little thing right a lot of times and you think you got scrap the whole plan and it is something simple. You just got to get in there and find out what that simple thing is and get it fixed. There were a couple of X and O things, but for the most part the defensive coaches- coach Martin and coach (Ike) Ferrell (defensive line coach)- because they were the ones up front having to deal with it and coach (Charlie) Hartley (the outside linebacker coach) when they came back to the sideline they just challenged them with their jobs, with the tasks they were suppose to do. I think a lot of it has to do with their leader Demetrius Owens they were running many of the plays to him and that kid is a competitor and a warrior and he is not going to take too much before some emotion builds up and something is going to happen good or bad. That’s what happened each one of them was personally challenged to do their jobs and Metter was dog gone good at what they do. So, it wasn’t like it was something simple get in there and whoop your guy, it was going to be a battle. It was a 48 minute battle and our kids do so well during the summer of grinding. Many times I know they wonder why are we grinding in the summer the way we do? It is so that they can play for 48 minutes when the season starts and there is so much that goes into playing 48 minutes from a mental aspect. Physically the team was prepared to do what they need to do. We just have to get in there each Friday mentally and make it happen,” coach Marsh said in a Thursday morning interview. Game Story
Sophomore linebacker Caleb Harley led the Bulldogs in total tackles with 24. D.J. Mincey had 14, Chandler Lynn 10, Ashlee Ashley eight and Owens and Tyler Smith seven each. “That is the way that they put it together, so that those edge guys had to be physical and control their gaps and if they did that there was a good chance all those plays were going to cut back to Caleb and that is how that happened. Owens, Mincey, Robert Kent and Brannon Usher they had to hold their gaps and then the edge guys Ashley and Smith were kind of soft on the first drive in the way that they were holding their edge and then they got a little more confident and it started working out. With that offense (wishbone) you have got to be physically prepared to handle it for four quarters and if you are not they will beat your eyes in.”
After going three and out on their first two possessions, the Bulldogs scored on their last possession of the first half and their first of the fourth quarter. Trey Cloud completed 4-of-5 on the first drive and three straight on the second. He threw and eight-yard TD pass to Ashley on the first and the Bulldogs scored on a 21-yard run by Owens on the second. “My hats off to the kids that made that happen. Usually when things like that happen a lot of teams lose confidence and they get frustrated because the offense is three and out and three and out. However, a lot of our kids are playing both sides of the ball so they can’t get mad at anybody else. I guess they can get mad at the coach. Coach (Jared) Hamlin (offensive coordinator) had them well prepared. Obviously, coach (Rodney) Garvin (Metter head coach) does a great job defensively, so it didn’t work out early. It’s a game of stamina when you are running that type of offense. Trey would make a play and we got a little bit of encouragement. Then Trey would make another play and the backs and the offensive line were able to make the plays we needed to make and then you add in the fact there were no sub changes. The punt return (70-yard return which put Metter up 14-7 with 6:51 to play in the third quarter)was big time, it was terrible execution on our part and then the onside kick which they recovered was huge on their part and terrible on our part. Our kids just went back out there and fought and they didn’t lose hope. Football is a game of momentum and when you lose it you got to fight to get it back and that is what they did, they fought to get it back and then when it didn’t go well for them they fought to get it back again. That is what impressed me so much about of kids.”
The game went to overtime with the score tied at 14. Toombs County won the toss and gave Metter the ball first. Each team started from the 15-yard line. The Tigers kicked a 26-yard field goal and the Bulldogs won the game on an eight-yard TD run by Mincey. “I had a really good feeling when I approached the sideline and Demetrius Owens was looking at me excited to hear which side of the ball we were going to play first. We were able to win the toss and play defense and that was huge when I told them they erupted and I had a really good feeling about overtime with the way they responded to the start of it. I even noticed the other team was looking over there to see what they were excited about. My hats off to the resiliency of our kids. The Lord has been good to allow us to get through some bumps and bruises along the way. We were able to get all of our guys out there Friday and that was huge, but it is short lived. Bacon County approaches Friday and they are another region opponent who knocked off an undefeated team and they are riding the same high coming from last Friday like we did. It is going to be another battle. I can guarantee that.”
After losing to now 3-2 Fitzgerald, 5-0 Pierce County, 4-1 Berrien and 2-3 Telfair County, Bacon County is coming off a win over now 4-1 Jeff Davis. “Number one that is a rivalry game and number two those teams that Bacon lost to they weren’t bad football teams. A 5-0 Pierce County team and a Telfair team that is coached up as well as any team in this part of Georgia and a Berrien team that has only lost to Irwin County (41-7). So, they have been playing crazy good opponents. I don’t think people have been taking that into consideration and like we say the real ball starts when region play begins. We knew they returned some guys and everybody kept saying that they lost everybody. Well, I didn’t see it that way because I had already figured it up last year with the guys that they were missing and knew who was coming back. We know what kind of team we have coming in here on Friday night.”
As mentioned earlier special teams, both good and bad, were a big factor for the Raiders in their win over Jeff Davis. “I think special teams are always a key factor when you have two teams that are evenly matched. So many times it is the deciding factor. So, that is why we spend so much time on it and we want to be better than we are on special teams at this moment. We are struggling every week trying to make that happen. Sometimes we make gains and sometimes we make losses. We have a lot of young kids in those positions. We just practice and hope that the way they prepare allows them to go out there and make the plays they need to make in special teams.”
So, has the big win over Metter effected the Bulldogs positively in practice as they prepare for Bacon County? “No, and I say that very confidently. We try so hard everyday to prepare to the best of out abilities and when you do that it is so tough. Everyday is a challenge at practice because we are trying to prepare so well and there are so many frustrations that go into that and we try not to worry about the opponent. It’s just trying to chase greatness and excellence everyday. So, we have struggled at times this week. We struggled Wednesday. Thank God for our kids. I don’t think our kids wear their emotions off Friday night on their sleeves. With that said, coming back after Savannah Christian they were in the same mindset. They wanted to do right and then when you get out there and start trying to prepare the way we prepare, frustration can happen. That is just our kids trying to be the best everyday. That’s what that is about. Some days you hit that mark and some days you don’t. You just got to try again the next day.”
Toombs County Bulldog Official Statistics after 5 games
Demetrius Owens 58 carries, 263 yards (4.9) 4 TD’s Long 21
D.J. Mincey 53 carries, 285 yards (5.4) 5 TD’s Long 31
Silas LeGrant 5 carries, 62 yards (12.2)
Trey Cloud 21 carries, 94 yards (4.5) 1 TD Long 20
Josiah Smith 1 carry, -14 yards
Caleb Harley 1 carry, 2 yards
Octavious Robinson 1 carry, 2 yards
Cole Graham 1 carry for 1-yard
Kodi Cortez 1 carry, -13 yards
Total 143 carries, 678 yards (4.7) 10 TD’s
Trey Cloud 42-for-99 (42.4%) for 569 yards 4 TD’s and 3 interceptions
Chandler Lynn 22 catches for 336 yards (15.3) Long 46 and1 TD
Tyquan Toby 3 catches for 59 yards (19.7) 1 TD
Ashlee Ashley 8 catches for 76 yards (9.5) Long 32 and 1 TD
Tyler Smith 1 catch for 37 yards
Cole Graham 2 catches for 26 yards (13.0)
Raekwon Powell 3 catches for 30 yards (10.0)
J.D. Myers 1 catch for 11 yards and a TD
Demetrius Owens 2 catches for -6 yards
Cole Graham 16 for 575 yards (35.9) Long 47 6 inside the 20
Chandler Lynn 6 punts for 209 yards (34.8) Long 38 1 inside the 20
Rafael Perez 14-for-14 PAT 0-2 FG missed 29 yards, 27 yards
Caleb Hartley 0-for-1 FG missed 43 yards
Defense Total Tackles
|1||C. Hartley (Jr)||5||7||68||13.6|
|2||T. Smith (Jr)||4||2||16||4.0|
|3||C. Lynn (So)||5||1||39||7.8|
|4||M. Merrien (Jr)||1||1||1.0|
|5||D. Owens (Sr)||5||3||28||5.6|
|6||K. Cortez (Fr)||3||4||1.3|
|8||A. Ashley (Sr)||5||18||3.6|
|9||D. Mincey (So)||5||2||40||8.0|
|10||R. Powell (Sr)||5||1||11||2.2|
|11||J. Myers (So)||2||1||0.5|
|15||T. Heath (So)||5||1||10||2.0|
|17||J. Smith (Fr)||2||2||1.0|
|24||O. Robinson (Fr)||2||2||1.0|
|25||S. Gaffney (So)||1||1||1.0|
|30||B. Usher (So)||5||6||27||5.4|
|32||B. Stanley (Fr)||2||2||1.0|
|42||D. Malone (So)||3||11||3.7|
|52||C. Braddock (So)||4||7||1.8|
|57||H. Smith (So)||2||1||0.5|
|64||C. Miller (Jr)||3||2||0.7|
|66||R. Kent (So)||5||15||3.0|
|78||T. Wiggins (Sr)||3||2||0.7|
|79||A. Brown (Jr)||3||2||0.7|
Scoring by quarters
|Toombs County||14||21||42||21||104 (20.8)|
Week 6 Region 2 Results
Toombs County 20, Metter 17 (OT)
Vidalia 54, Bryan County 8
Bacon County 24, Jeff Davis 17
Swainsboro was off
Region 2 Standings
Toombs County 1-0
Bacon County 1-0
Jeff Davis 0-1
Bryan County 0-1
Week 7 Region 2 Games
1-4 Bacon County at 3-2 Toombs County
4-1 Metter at 2-2 Swainsboro
1-3 Bryan County at 4-1 Jeff Davis
5-0 Vidalia is off
Recent Toombs County/Bacon County Games
The Bulldogs have won four of six against the Raiders
2013- Bacon County shuts out the Bulldogs
Coming off their triple over time loss to Bryan County, the Toombs County Bulldogs were shutout 18-0 on the road at Bacon County. The 1-2 Dawgs were shut out in the first quarter for the third straight game and they did not have a first down in either one of the odd periods. The Dawgs totaled six first downs and 143 yards of total offense. However, they remained in the game until the Raiders pushed their lead to three scores with 3:56 to play in the fourth quarter. The Bulldog defense allowed 18 first downs and 267 yards of total offense- 249 on the ground.
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The Raiders scored their first touchdown on an 82-yard punt return by Tron Folsom. He broke away running down the Raider sideline and scored with 7:35 remaining in the first quarter. The PAT was no good. Another 41-yard punt return by D’Vonta O’Neal set up Bacon for a second touchdown. Quarterback Drell Greene, who ran for 92 yards on 12 carries, raced away for a 25-yard score to make it 12-0. Bacon, which picked up a penalty going for two-points, wound up kicking and missing for one.
Nobody scored in the second quarter although the Bulldogs showed some offensive life picking up several first downs. Chris Mobley opened up the second half with a 35-yard kickoff return that advanced the ball into Raider territory. But, the Bulldogs couldn’t put together a drive against a physical Bacon County defense. Meanwhile, the Dawg “D” kept the Raiders from scoring a third touchdown until late in the fourth quarter when Folsom scored his second touchdown on a 14-yard run to the right pylon.
Jamar Smith, who ran for over 200 yards in his first two games and scored seven touchdowns, was held to 87 yards on 20 carries. His longest run was for 18 yards. Javon Edwards had one run that netted 33 yards. The Bulldogs ran for 132 yards and averaged 4.1 yards per carry.
On defense sophomore linebacker Landon Cowart led the way with one tackle and 14 assists. Senior defensive lineman Eric Hester had four tackles and six assists. Mobley, a senior defensive back, had four tackles and two assists and he recorded the Bulldogs first interception of the season.
2012- Late Bacon TD edges Dawgs 7-6
The only touchdown the Toombs County have allowed in 12 quarters of football led to their first loss of the 2012 season. Dajuan Merritt crossed the goal line on a two-yard run with 33 seconds left in the game and then T.J. Wiley kicked the extra point to give the Raiders a 7-6 win in their second trip into the Pit.
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The Bulldog defense, “The Crew”, shut out Montgomery County and Bryan County for four full quarters each and that same “D” kept Bacon out of the end zone for 47 minutes and 27 seconds. In total the Dawgs held their first three opponents scoreless for 143 minutes and 27 seconds. Four fourth down stops- two in each half- kept the Raiders from sustaining a scoring dive until the end of the game.
Toombs County took a 6-0 lead with 4:14 remaining in the second quarter on a one-yard run by quarterback Ben Brantley. The Bulldogs drove 89-yards for their touchdown and big chunk of that yardage (39-yards) came on a long run by Demetrius Taylor. The Bulldog PAT drifted off to the left in the north end zone.
Dawgs season ends with 2 mini losses
he Toombs County Bulldogs 2012 season came to an end at Long County with a pair of frustrating mini-game losses- 6-0 to Benedictine and 7-0 in the first overtime to Bacon County. Benedictine will head to the playoffs as the third season from Region 2 and the Cadets will play at Laney while Bacon goes as the fourth seed and the Raiders will travel to Screven County. The Bulldog season ends with a 7-3 record, their first winning season since their Elite 8 run in 2008.
The Bulldogs took the first half kick in the second mini-game and drove down to the Bacon County five-yard line. Quarterback Ben Brantley threw a first down pass to Mark Terrell and Jamar Smith had several effective runs and nearly turned the corner and made it to the end zone. The possession ended on with Raider interception.
In overtime the Raiders had the ball first. Tomond Hampton made a tackle 10-yards behind the line of scrimmage on the first play. However, Bacon recovered and scored on a high throw from quarterback Matt Thrift to Greg Wright in the end zone. The PAT was good.
Toombs County suffered a negative play on it’s only possession of overtime. The Bulldogs season came to an end on an interception near the goal line on a pass nearly caught by Gary Terrell.