NCHSAA Playoffs: Turnovers hurt Bulldogs in third round loss
Thomasville gave the football away six times Friday night at East Lincoln, leading to a disappointing 28-12, season-ending loss in the third round of the NCHSAA 2-A state playoffs.
Gabe Brockett posted 218 yards rushing in his final game as a Bulldog.
Thomasville was mounting a comeback in the early stages of the second half, opening up the passing game for its first score. Down to the 32 of East Lincoln, quarterback Ike Marsh spotted Dezmond Wilson wide open in the flat. The senior turned and shot down the left sideline. He was met around the 12, but a stiff-arm sprang him the rest of the way with 10:26 showing. The PAT was blocked, leaving the Bulldogs eight back of the lead, 14-6.
Garrett Young quickly got the Mustangs in the red zone with a 28-yard connection to Chaz Surratt after a kick return to the 47. Two plays later, Marquis Pharr put the ball on the turf and THS shifted gears to try and tie the game. Instead, the Bulldogs caught fumble fever and pretty much took themselves out of the game.
Thomasville turned the ball over on four of its next five drives — three fumbles from Brockett and another by T.J. Mitchell. East Lincoln managed to score only once off of them, but that was plenty with the Bulldogs giving the ball away frequently.
After the first fumble, the Mustangs took over at midfield and took a minute before going up two possessions. Three costly Thomasville penalties aided the march, as Young found Tyler Brock on their second TD connection of the night with 7:17 to go third quarter.
East Lincoln padded the lead in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter. Marsh was intercepted by Surratt and the freshman raced the other way for a 59-yard touchdown return.
Marsh did find Marvin Johnson moments later for the final Thomasville score of the season.
Neither offense was particularly efficient in the first half. The passing game of the Mustangs was out of sync, while Brockett found the running lanes to be a bit smaller than usual.
East Lincoln (14-0) started putting it all together in the final four minutes of the second quarter.
Surratt rushed the ball in from a yard out to break through for the game’s first score.
After a turnover on downs by the Bulldogs, the Mustangs drove 69 yards, punching the ball in on a quick slant strike from Young to Brock.
Thomasville ended the season at 6-8.
Check out Tuesday’s Times for season recap complete with quotes.