Prep Football: Bulldogs open CCC action with win over West
Thomasville's four-game losing streak is history.
The Bulldogs opened their Central Carolina Conference schedule Friday night at Cushwa Stadium with a much-needed 33-6 victory over the West Davidson Green Dragons. Thomasville started the season losing five of six games, including its last four, but the Bulldogs now are 1-0 in the CCC with plenty of reason for optimism heading down the stretch.
"This was our first conference game and it's a whole new season," Thomasville assistant coach Dickie Cline said. "It was a tough pre-season but it's always nice to start off conference play on a good foot. We've still got a lot of work ahead of us."
Led by the dynamic running back duo of senior Demoris Payne and sophomore D.J. Spann, Thomasville's offense finally gave its defense enough support in a key win to start CCC play. Spann and Payne rushed for 159 and 101 yards, respectively.
West Davidson opened the game with an impressive 12 play, 65-yard drive. Junior running back Kyle Smith, who touched the ball nine times during the drive, capped the march with a short touchdown run from a yard out, sending the Green Dragons to an early 6-0 lead. Thomasville had something going on its first possession, but a holding penalty nullified a nifty 25-yard run from Ike Marsh, leading to a Bulldog punt three plays later.
Thomasville's defense stiffened for the remainder of the first half as the offense slowly found a rhythm. The Bulldogs, relying on the tailback tandem of Payne and Spann, started wearing down the Green Dragons late in the second quarter. Thomasville's ground game grinded out a methodical 12 play, 82-yard drive to close out the first half. Spann's 2-yard touchdown and the ensuing PAT with 23 seconds remaining in the half sent the Bulldogs into the locker room leading 7-6.
Thomasville received the second half kickoff and drove deep into West territory only to stall out on the Green Dragons 15-yard line. The Bulldogs defense, however, held following the failed fourth down attempt, forcing a punt that gave the offense solid field position at the West 44. Spann quickly picked up 35 yards on four carries, setting up Jalen Jenkins' 2-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper for a 13-6 Bulldogs lead.
A lead is all the defense needed.
Spann's 50-yard touchdown run down the near sideline with 10:52 left on the clock put the game out of reach. Spann's third touchdown and a pick-6 from Ja'hare Taylor Thomas blew open a game that was closer than the final score.
"This was my best game by far," Spann said. "I just want to thank my offensive line and my team for believing in me."
Thomasville travels to East Davidson next Friday night for an epic Chair City showdown filled with plenty of post-season implications.