The second half has belonged to the Bulldogs.
And even in its season-ending 38-20 defeat Friday by No. 1 Lamar County in the second round of the Class AA playoffs, Thomasville High School once again looked like a different team after halftime.
In the first half, the 12-0 Trojans simply dominated Thomasville. Lamar County outrushed the Bulldogs 278-9 in the first half as it led 24-7 at halftime. The Trojans, who will host defending state champion Jefferson on Friday in a quarterfinal, appeared well on their way to another blowout win — prior to Thomasville, Lamar’s closest game was a 28-7 win against Eagle’s Landing on Sept. 6.
However, as has become the norm, Thomasville’s coaches tinkered with their plan and the Bulldogs responded. Thomasville trailed Cairo and Early County at halftime and were stuck in a scoreless tie with Fitzgerald entering the third quarter before late surges carried the Bulldogs to wins in all three games on the way to an 8-4 season.
“Well, we try to,” THS coach Leroy Ryals said about those outstanding adjustments. “We try to adjust to what they do.”
But part of the Bulldogs’ success at making changes at the intermission comes due to a new GHSA rule. Following the National Federation of State High School Association’s lead, the GHSA allowed teams to use video during games — by using tablets. Ryals said that change certainly helped the Bulldog coaches at the half.
“We take the video, the new GHSA rule allows us to take video and we look at it and see how they line up against things and try to pick up tendencies, and then make our adjustments accordingly,” he said. “The biggest thing is to talk to the quarterback about where we want to run the ball.
“And we try to motivate them. We try to motivate them to play better.
“It’s a process and it’s fast. We really don’t have time to do what we would like to do. You get in there and you have to go.”
See Sunday's edition for more details