Thomasville Times Enterprise

Local Sports

November 22, 2013

’Dogs done

BARNESVILLE — Thomasville had its chance at the start the fourth quarter.

Trailing by 11, the Bulldogs had two shots to get the ball back with all the momentum on their side. Thomasville, however, was unable to pounce on a Lamar County fumble deep in its own end and then a questionable pass interference call gave the Trojans new life. And top-ranked Lamar County knew what to do with it, driving the length of the field and eating up nearly half of the fourth quarter Friday at Trojan Field to beat Thomasville 38-20 in the second round of the Class AA playoffs.

“That's the difference between where we're at as a program and they are,” Thomasville coach Leroy Ryals said. “They're in the situation where they can make the plays when needed, and we're not. We had a couple plays there where we thought we had it. The fumble, we have to get that. The penalty, and we have to make those plays in crunch time. Our playmakers have to make those plays.

“That was the difference in the game. Their special guys made those plays.”

After scoring on the last play of the third quarter to pull within 31-20, the Bulldogs thought they had recovered Lamar quarterback Lance Austin's fumble inside the 20. However, Austin was able to somehow come out of the scrum with the ball and two plays later, facing a third-and-10, Austin's long pass to Quay Searcy was overthrown. However, Bulldogs safety Jay Bowdry was flagged for pass interference and Lamar had a first down. Eight plays later, Austin hit twin brother Lawrence for a 24-yard touchdown pass with 6:12 left that put Thomasville away.

The Bulldogs, who ended their season 8-4, didn't go easily despite four turnovers.

“Against a good football team like that, you turn it over four times, I'm surprised it's not 83-20 to be honest with you,” Ryals said. “

Senior running back Mario Cherry had a large hand in keeping the score respectable. After being limited to just 11 yards in the first half when Thomasville managed nine yards rushing on 11 carries, Cherry and the Bulldogs’ ground game got untracked in the second half. Thomasville's first two plays of the second half, both Cherry runs, went for more yards than that — 14 and 12.

See Saturday's edition for more details.

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