Most of the Toombs County Bulldogs, who had the pads on for an OTA versus Irwin County, weren’t even born the last time the two schools played. It was the 2000 season and the Bulldogs, after their 45-17 first round home playoff victory over Bleckley County, squared off against Irwin County in the Pit in the second round.
The most memorable match up in the game was at the running back positions. Thez Robinson (TCHS) versus Verondre Barnes. In their senior seasons both piled up big rushing totals with Thez 0utrushing Barnes 1,772 to 1,609. In the game both put on a show in what was a close game until the Dawgs pulled away to a 38-24 win.
Both backs played college ball. Thez , who originally signed with the University of South Carolina, wound up playing for Northwestern Oklahoma State where he set a school record by scoring five touchdowns in a game. Barnes went to Liberty University and he wound up playing with a former Dawg, Thomas Smith, who also was a starter in the playoff game in 2000. Smith blocked for Barnes at Liberty and helped him rush for 1,347 yards in his junior season earning him the title of Big South Offensive Player of he Year.
But that was then and this is now and both teams are coming off playoff appearances, The Bulldogs went 6-5 and Irwin 8-5.
Highlights in the OTA for the Dawgs included two Dalton McBride interceptions toward the end of the match up. McBride also completed several passes to Nykwan Coleman including one for a touchdown. Toombs also worked out with Northeast Macon and Statesboro.