Bulldogs victorious over Rattlers 42-6
After a much-needed bye week, the Liberty County High School Bulldogs returned to the gridiron last Friday night to take on the visiting Florida A & M High School Rattlers. The Dawgs must have had some pent up energy to burn from the week off, because #5 Chris Williams took the opening kickoff all the way back for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead. The Rattlers displayed their offensive firepower on their first possession, completing a long bomb for a touchdown, tying the game at 7-7 early in the opening quarter.
Both sides traded the next several possessions until Williams was able to find a seam through the FAMU defense for a 31-yard touchdown run. Following the successful PAT from #22 Calob Hall, the Bulldogs were back up 14-7 midway through the first quarter. On the ensuing FAMU offensive possession, the Bulldog defense managed to hold the Rattlers to a fourth down punt, but were flagged for roughing the kicker. With a fresh set of downs, the visitors had some hopes of putting points on the board, but those hopes were dashed when #4 Javon Pride zeroed in on a Rattler pass attempt and made the interception at the LCHS 36 yard line.
Penalties on both sides slowed the pace of the game, and killed several promising Bulldog drives. However, the Dawgs managed to iron out the wrinkles early in the second quarter, keyed by a series of great blocks that freed Williams, #7 J.J. House, and #44 Blaine Tharpe for several big runs. The drive culminated in a 1-yard quarterback sneak from #16 Alex Gonzalez. Following the extra point, the Dawgs lead was extended to 21-6.
After forcing another Rattler punt, the Bulldogs were looking to add to their lead before halftime. It looked as though the Dawgs had done just that after House made a beautiful 29-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately, that highlight reel play was called back for holding. The Bulldogs refused to be denied by the penalty, as demonstrated on the next play. Williams made a spectacular, one-handed catch on a Gonzalez pass over the middle, somehow maintained his balance, and eluded four Rattler defenders on his way to pay dirt. The play electrified the crowd, and was no doubt the subject of conversation at many breakfast tables on Saturday morning.
After the halftime break, the Dawgs added two more touchdowns, and kept the Rattlers out of the end zone, for a final score of 42-6. Maybe it was the perfect football weather, or maybe it was the realization that this season is nearing its end, but for whatever the reason, the Dawgs seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. Next week, the Bulldogs will host the Chipley High School Tigers, and a spot in the playoffs will be on the line. The forecast calls for a cool night, perfect weather to let the Dawgs run, so make sure to come out and support the team. Besides being the final home game with playoff implications at stake, this week’s game is Old Timers’ Night, and alumni of all ages are welcomed to attend the pre-game meal, reminisce about days gone by, and cheer on the Bulldogs to victory. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.