THOMASVILLE — The Thomasville Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with three of the best teams in Class 4-A, and won. Now it's time to see how they fare against one of the best in Class 3-A.
The Bulldogs leave Thomasville for the first time this season on Friday when they travel to Watkinsville to play the Oconee County Warriors.
Both teams are undefeated; Thomasville, ranked No. 4 in the state by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is 4-0 while Oconee County, ranked No. 2 in the state by the AJC, is 3-0. Both are expected to vie for state titles in their respective classifications. It should be an exciting and challenging game for the Bulldogs.
“I'd like to play all of our games at home with our unbelievable fanbase. I think we're going to have a pretty decent following making the trip with us,” Bulldogs coach Zach Grage said. “Oconee, I know has a good fanbase. “ou've also got South Carolina in town to play Georgia the next morning. I would assume that anybody that loves football, might have some guys coming off the street wanting to catch a football game, they may be in town in Athens to watch the ‘Dogs the next day. I expect the atmosphere to be electric.
“I think you have two very good programs going against each other; fundamentally sound kids that love to play ball. Just like all five of our games, I think all of them are going to be great preparation for what we're going to see for, hopefully, the next 10 weeks.”
The Warriors thumped the Bulldogs 44-14 last year at Veterans Memorial Stadium en route to the state championship game where they lost 13-7 in overtime to Pierce County. The Warriors forced four turnovers in defeating Clarke Central 21-2 two weeks ago. Quarterback Jacob Wright completed 12 passes for 150 yards in the win. That followed a 153-yard passing performance against Cedar Shoals the prior week.
Tight end Jake Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound senior, had three touchdowns in last year’s victory over Thomasville. The son of former Florida State and NFL quarterback Brad Johnson, he is regarded as the No. 7 prospect in the state by 247sports.com, he has committed to LSU
Grage called the Warriors extremely sound, fundamentally sound, and extremely well-coached.
Thomasville plans to arrive in Watkinsville around 3 p.m. on Friday in preparation for the kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs are off next week before starting Region 1-AA play at Early County on Oct. 1.