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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
October 16, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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October 16, 2019

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October '16, 2019 Page 5B Reporter MP FOOTBALL Continued from 1 B Dogs' ensuing drive, junior running back W'tlliam Stewart took a draw to the right and broke free into the open field, outrunning a Knights' defender down the right sideline for a 56-yard touchdown. Julian Riverds extra point with 1 h01 left in the second quarter nar- rowed MP'S deficit to one point at 8-7. MP's defense then made its first of a number of huge -LEE VS. MP TEAM STATS MP UL First Downs 16 ' 13 Rushing yds. 152 114 Passing yds. 231 167 Total yards 383 281 Att-Comp-lnt 21 - 13-0 21 - 11-2 Fumbles-Lost 1 - 1 2-2 Penalties 4-35 3-35 1 2 3 4 T UL 0 15 7 6 28 MP 0 24 6 7 37 BULLDOG SCORING First Quarter Second Quarter William Stewart 56-yard run (Rivera kick) Julian Rivera 33-yard field goal Rico Harden 31-yard reception (Rivera kick) Dennis Swain 20-yard reception (Rivera kick) Third Quarter Malikk Harris 25-yard reception (PAT failed) Fourth Quarter Rico Harden 3-yard run (Rivera kick) INDIVIDUAL MP STATS OFFENSE RUSHING Player Carries Yards William Stewart 8 81 Rico Harden 17 46 Wyatt Currie 3 23 Malikk Harris 4 13 Andre Jackson 1 i1 Tripp Shipman 1 - 1 Logan Hickman 2 -11 PASSING Camp. Att. Yards Logan Hickman 13 21 231 RECEIVING Rec. Yards Malikk Harris 6 ~108 Dennis Swain 2 42 Rico Harden 1 31 Wyatt Currie 1 25 Adrian Hughley 2 23 Andre Jackson 1 2 Pay for year in advance, get one month FREE DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS Tackles Assists Thomas Warren 5 0 Tra Jones 4 0 Andre Jackson 3 2 Jalen Germany 3 1 Lamont Jones 3 0 William Stewart 3 0 Kelvin Harden 3 0 Jemyan Dennis 2 1 Adrian Hughley 2 0 Rico Harden 2 0 FUMBLE RETURNS No. Yards Avg. Thomas Warren 1 0 0.0 Adrian Hughley 1 0 0.0 INTERCEPTION RETURNS No. Yards Avg. Jemyan Dennis I 12 12.0 Kelvin Harden 1 4 4.0 KICKOFF RETURNS No. Yards Avg. Adrian Hughley 2 32 16.0 William Stewart 1 20 20.0 Wyatt Currie 1 0 0.0 PUNT RETURNS No. Yards Avg. None PUNTING No. Yards Avg. Tripp Shipman 3 110 36.7 FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS Made Att. Distance Julian Rivera "1 I 33 plays in the game when defensive end Tra/ones batted a Davis pass into the air. Another Dogs' defensive end, ]emyan Dennis, caught the floating pass for an inter- ception and returned it 12 yards to set up MP's offense at Upson-Lee's 14-yard-line. Although MP'S offense lost ground on the series, Rivera gave the Dogs the lead with 7:51 left in the first half on a 33-yard field goal in which he kicked an almost- sideways ball after an errant snap was ably handled by holder Jimbo Finch, also substituting for Moore. After an Upson-Lee three- and-out, the Bulldogs added to their lead. Hickman moved MP across midfield on a 2S-yard pass down the seam to slot receiver Wyatt Currie. Two plays later, Hickman connected with Harden on a short screen pass. The sleek senior nm- ning back did the rest, dart- ing 31 yards into the open field for an easy walk-in touchdown with 3:07 left in the second quarter. Rivera's extra point gave MP a 17-8 advantage. But MP's nine-point lead was short-lived, very short- lived. The electric Webb caught Rivera's ensuing kickoff at the four-yard-line. He found a hole up the middle and then dashed down the right sideline for a 96-yard touchdown. By the time Upson-Lee kicker Brady Puckett added an extra point, only 14 seconds had elapsed from the dock, and the Knights' deficit was down to two at 17-15. But MP'S offense had just enough time to extend its narrow lead before halftime. On a nine-play, 71-yard drive, it was Curries two third-down conversions on jet sweeps that proved the difference. Both times it seemed the Knights had the elusive senior pinned in to force a punt, and each time he escaped for a first down to keep the drive alive. Then, with just eight seconds left in the first half and MP at Upson-Lee's 20-yard-line, Hickman made his most remarkable play to date of a promising freshman season. Down to his final play of the half, the freshman lofted a sweet fade high into the back right corner of the end zone, hitting Swain in stride for the senior's first career touchdown. Rivera's extra point put MP back in front by nine at 24-15 heading into halftime. The second half started out just as well for MP as Davis fumbled in Bulldogs' territory; and MP linebacker Thomas Warren pounced on it. Hickman then hooked up with Harris on a couple of short tosses for first downs before trying to hit a big one. With Harris blanketed in the back of the end zone by Upson-Lee's Colbert, Hickman forced a pass into coverage. The ball fortuitously bounced off of Colbert's hands and into the bigger Harris' mitts for a most unlikely 25-yard touchdown. Although a bad snap on the PAT try resulted in a failed conversion, MP seized a 30-15 advantage with 6:29 left in the third quarter. Harris said of his circus catch: "Honestly, I really just put trust in Logan. I really treat him like a brother to me. I really was like, 'Logan, just throw it up there. Ifyou throw it up there, I promise you I'm gonna go get it.' So when the ball was in the air, I was just thinking, 'I got to man, Bloodser. However, Bloodser erroneously tried to field the punt, and it glanced off his hands. MP'S Adrian/-Iughley was there to secure the loose football, and the Dogs' took posses- sion with 3:51 left at Upson- Lees three-yard-line. Two runs for no gain set up 3rd- and-goal from the Knights' three. MP head coach Brian Nelson said later he would have opted for a short field goal if the Dogs had gotten Upson-Lee, Davis led the Knights in passing with 167 yards on 11 of 21 attempts, induding a touchdown and two interceptions, while adding 49 rushing yards and a touchdown on four carries. Webb was Davis' favorite target, catching a team-high four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Colbert was the leading rusher for the Knights, gaining 63 yards and a TD on 23 carries. MP running back Rico Harden gets a needed push from his the goal line for the clinching three-yard score in the Dogs' Upson-Lee on Friday. (Photo/Will Davis) offensive linemen as he crosses Homecoming victory over catch it7' However, for the fifth time this season, an MP double- digit lead dwindled down to two or fewer as the Knights mounted a stirring second- half comeback. The Knights' punter, Puckett, pinned the Dogs down at their own two-yard-line. Although MP would avoid catastro- phe, a defenfive stand would enable Upson-Lee to take possession at MP's 45-yard- line. Davis, who had been limited to 62 passing yards at that point, got hot, com- pleting a pair of first-down throws over the middle for a combined 34 yards to Webb and Tre Bloodser, respectivel) The junior QB then fooled MP's defense by keeping it himself on the next play racing 15 yards for a Knights' touchdown on the final play of the third quarter. Puckett's extra point pulled Upson-Lee to within eight at 30-22 entering the final period. After an MP punt, Upson- Lee got the ball back at its own eight-yard-line with 9:11 left. Seven plays later, the Knights made their most explosive offensive play of the game when Davis found Webb on a deep right to left post for a 55-yard touch- down to trim MP's lead to two with 6:43 left in regula- tion. Upson-Lee head coach ]ustinElder elected to go for two and the tie, but Warren batted down a Davis pass at- tempt, enabling MP to keep a tenuous 30-28 advantage. MP's offense crossed mid- field on its ensuing drive, but Upson-Leds defense eventually forced a Ship- man punt. The sophomore boomed a kick inside the 10-yard-line and over the head of the Knights' return stopped on third down, but he never had to make that decision. Harden lined up to receive a direct snap and ran directly up the middle, hitting a wall of Knights' defenders at the goal line. With an assist from some pushing MP offensive line- men, Harden spun free to his left just long enough to cross the goal line plane for a three-yard score. Rivera's, extra point with 2:05 to play put MP comfortably ahead by nine at 37-28. Harden said 6f the jolt he received from his linemen: "I felt that. I wasn't going to get it without them." With Upson-Lee desper- ate for a quick touchdown, Hardens younger brother Kelvin locked up the Dogs' victory when he undercut a Davis pass for his second interception of the season with 1:23 left. Two MP snaps later, and the Bulldogs had escaped with a victory that keeps their hopes alive for a record-breaking fifth straight region crown. In all, the Bulldogs out- gained the Knights 383 to 281 in total yardage, includ- ing a 152 to 114 advantage on the ground. Stewart led MP in rushing with 81 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Swain also had a career night at receiver, catching two passes for 42 yards and a score. For Nelson said he's not sure why MP has struggled to hold big leads this season and said he'll continue to address it with his team with West Laurens coming to Forsyth following a bye week. "We've harped on it a lot ' Nelson said. ' knd teams manifest and get themselves a certain way. That just may be how this team is. Heart- break kids, or heart attack kids, or whatever you want to call it. That's just how this team's done it? 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