Yellow Jackets rout Musketeers
By Clint Thompson | Correspondent
Saturday, November 21, 2009

THOMASVILLE, Ga. --- Between Eric Dodson, James Davis and Curtis Brooks, Thomas County Central made Richmond Academy sick of the veer offense.

The Yellow Jackets' starting backfield tallied 285 of the team's 386 rushing yards as they crushed Richmond Academy 56-7 in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs at Thomas County Stadium.

The win put the Yellow Jackets (11-1) in the quarterfinals, where they will play Sandy Creek. A coin toss today will determine who will be the home team.

Thomas County Central's offense scored on eight of 10 possessions, attempted just one pass and never punted.

"We don't play anybody that runs (the veer) and it's tough when you only get three days to prepare for them," Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. "It was tough. Even if we prepared for it and knew what was coming, we weren't going to stop it."

It didn't help the Musketeers' cause that the Yellow Jackets had great field position in a 28-point second half. Three of Thomas County Central's four scoring drives started at Richmond Academy's 13, 35 and 29. The Musketeers (8-4) turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions, including two picks by Reshard Cliett and A.J. Larkins.

"Anytime you get a short field, that's what we work on," Thomas County Central coach Bill Shaver said. "We call it sudden change. Defense, you create a turnover and the offense makes sure you put it in and score. We did that all night. It obviously makes it a lot easier when you get a turnover. Our defense likes to get turnovers. It makes them feel like they're part of the scoring. They've been stellar all year long."

The miscues started on the opening kickoff for the Musketeers, as the Yellow Jackets ripped the ball away from Richmond Academy's return man. Two plays later, sophomore James Davis scampered 19 yards for the game's first score.

"When you play a team this good and with this much tradition, we knew coming into it, we talked about it all week, that they could snowball us," Hughes said. "If they got any momentum, they were going to build on that and snowball us. We were going to try to take any kind of momentum away from them. We gave it to them on the first play of the game and it killed us."

The touchdown was the first of two for Davis, who finished with 104 yards rushing. Brooks led the team with 105 yards and two touchdowns. Dodson also scored twice and added 64 rushing yards.

Thomas County Central's second and third-team quarterbacks added TD runs in the second half. Eric McGraw had a nine-yard run, and Jay Jones finished the scoring with a 27-yard jaunt.

From the Saturday, November 21, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle


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