The Addison Bulldogs returned 14 seniors to the 2008 squad, and expectations were set pretty high when fall practice began. After all, the Bulldogs have a very proud tradition of playing winning football. But, three games into the 2008 season the Bulldogs are off to their worst start in years, at 0-3.
It was somewhat surprising to see a Winston County team play the more physical football at A.G Hick Stadium Friday night. On what was a hot and very humid night the Yellow Jackets simply beat Addison at their own game, fundamental football.
The Yellow Jackets got off to a fast start as their defense played lights out all night. They forced the Bulldogs to punt the ball away on the opening possession of the game, and it didn't take long for the Jackets to strike.
Winston County drove the ball 68 yards behind a very strong running game led by Josh Johnson. Johnson ran for 49 yards on the opening drive for the Jackets.
Winston County's Justin South found Tyler Marks in the back of the end zone for a 15 yard touchdown pass to cap the drive. Jordan Courington added the PAT, and the Jackets took an early 7-0 lead.
The Bulldogs tried to answer, as Cole Hayes led them inside the Winston County 30 yard-line, but the Yellow Jacket defense rose up and stopped the Bulldogs on a fourth-and-short to regain possession of the ball.
It didn't take long for the Yellow Jackets to get on the score board again, as they took the ball 71 yards to pay-dirt. Josh Johnson did most of the work as he busted a run off left tackle, bent it to the outside, and went in from 55 yards out.
Johnson left Bulldog defenders behind as he ran over a defensive lineman, and a linebacker at the line of scrimmage. It was the most impressive run of the night for either team.
The remainder of the first half saw both defenses bow their necks and stifle the opposition.
Winston County went for a first down on fourth and short inside their 30 yard-line on their opening possession of the second half. The Bulldog defense stopped South as he tried a quarterback sneak.
ScoutSouth.com asked Coach Dan Hogan about the decision after the game.
"I got talked into that," Coach Hogan stated. "We were pretty fired up on the sideline, and my assistant coaches wanted to go for it, the players wanted to go for it, and I made the call.
"As soon as we snapped the ball I thought to myself, this is a stupid decision. It turned out to be just that," he said.
Bad decision, or not, the Yellow Jacket defense was up for the task as they stopped the Bulldogs cold, and Josh Kelley intercepted a fourth down pass at their goal line. The Bulldog offense would not threaten again the remainder of the night.
Addison's defense scored their only touchdown of the night on a lateral pass. Winston County quarterback, Justin South, threw the ball as he came from under center. The players of either team did not realize the ball was thrown backwards, and it seemed to lay on the grass forever before Addison's Steton Parker finally realized the whistle had not blown. He scooped up the ball and raced 21 yards for the score.
The score was cut to 14-6 after a failed PAT, and the Bulldogs looked to be in business after being physically drained by their opponents. But, it was not meant to be, as the Yellow Jackets started the following drive from their own 20-yard line and went on a 10 play, 80-yard drive to score their final touchdown of the evening.
You could see the Bulldog defense tire as the Jackets kept grinding the ball out on the ground. Winston County got the ball back the final time with 6:01 left in the game. They never relinquished possession as they drove inside the Addison 20-yard line before taking a knee to end the game.
ScoutSouth.com Players of the Game:
Josh Johnson is a 5-11, 205-pound running back for the Winston County Yellow Jackets, and he had his biggest game of his short football career. Johnson rushed 20 times for 205 yards, and one touchdown.
While Justin South made enough plays to keep key Yellow Jacket drives alive, and Tyler Marks caught the only two Winston County passes of the night, it was clearly Johnson who dominated the game for Winston County.
On the defensive side Tyler Marksmade play-after-play for the Yellow Jackets. He seemed to be wherever the ball was at all times.
While Jaice Hampton did not have his best game of the season, he did have a pass break-up which caused fans all around A.G. Hicks stadium to "ooh" and "ahhh." Hampton broke on a button hook pattern and arrived just after the ball. He separated the receiver from the ball with a vicious blow.
I have to give credit to Addison's sophomore quarterback, Cole Hayes. The young man got his first start of the season against the Bulldogs arch rival. That's no easy task for a seasoned quarterback, as this rivalry is always a hard fought and very physical game.
Gauge Brewer also played well for the Bulldogs on both sides of the line-of-scrimmage.
As predicted, this game was the typical Winston County versus Addison football game. The players played their hearts out and the fans cheered, yelled and screamed until many, I'm sure, had no voice left. It was physical, smash-mouth football at it's finest.
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Winston County Takes Addison
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