After a first half in which pretty much everything that could go wrong did, Thomas County Central did almost everything right in the second half Friday night.
Following an opening half that breakdowns in every phase of the game, the Yellow Jackets played error-free football after intermission to roll past host Bainbridge 50-23 at Centennial Field in the Region 1-AAAAA opener.
“We just talked about playing Yellow Jacket football and playing with some heart and playing with some fire,” Central coach Bill Shaver said. “The first half was about as ugly as you can have.
“If there was something that could go wrong, it did. But we were only down six points. It wasn’t like it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. We just said we were going to line up in two tight ends and pound the football.”
And Yellow Jackets football meant a heavy dose of power football. No. 6 Central, which improved to 5-1 and 1-0, which ran for 225 yards on 30 carries in the first half added another 221 yards rushing in the second half as they ripped through Bainbridge’s normally stiff defense.
That devotion to the ground game started immediately in the third quarter. Trailing just 20-14 at the break despite the comedy of errors in the first half, Central immediately took control in the third. Using six plays — all runs — the Jackets took their first lead when Deondre Cooksey scored from 5 yards out. It was the third touchdown of the night for Cooksey, who rushed for 207 yards on 14 carries.
See Saturday's edition for more details