Bulldogs snap streak with big win vs. Cumby
Bulldogs overcome 43-game drought
The wait is over.
After a slow start, the Quitman Bulldogs erased a 43 game losing streak and four years of misery with a resounding 30-6 romp over the Cumby Trojans. The lights went out on the home side of the field with over four minutes to play, but after huddling with Cumby Coach Tom Dracos and the officials, Coach Bryan Oakes triumphantly raised his fist as he ran to the Quitman sideline proclaiming “We did it.” The score at the time of the final power outage was 30-6.
When asked immediately after the game about his feelings, Oakes responded, “We have work to do to get ready for next week. I am super proud of this team. I told them they did not do anything we have not always believed they could do.”
The game did not start off as the Bulldog’s planned. Quitman received the opening kick-off and promptly fumbled away the ball to the Trojans on the first play from scrimmage. On the Bulldog’s next possession, quarterback Josh Medlin made a great read on the option and raced 86 yards untouched for a score only to have it called back by a holding penalty.
On their next possession Quitman coughed up another fumble. The defense held again and Quitman took over and drove into Cumby territory where Trey Berry raced 36 yards for a score, but again it was called back because of a penalty.
But this team is different from the past. Instead of hanging their heads, these Bulldogs kept their heads up and the defense dominated Cumby getting the ball back. ”I told the kids that in the past if we had lost two fumbles on our first two possessions, we would have folded up our tent. This group is different. They are beginning to understand why we do things the way we do and they are responding to that,” Oakes said. “Coach Wade has done a great job with our offensive line and we are able to see the improvements.”
A great call from the coaches led to Quitman’s first score. With just over one minute to play in the first quarter, Berry took a pitch to the left from Medlin and he then handed off to Ty Holland who reversed to the right and raced 32 yards on a third down and 12 play for the score. The Bulldogs added a two-point conversion and the first quarter ended with Quitman leading 8-0.
Berry would get the Bulldogs second score with 5:49 left in the first half on a 10-yard run. Medlin ran in the conversion and Quitman was up 16-0. Cumby came back to score on their only real drive of the game on a pass play with 1:11 to go in the half. The PAT was unsuccessful and the score remained 16-6 at the half.
The Bulldog defense led by Alex Wilson, David Tarno, Hunter Gilbreath, Bryan Morris and Justin Blalock came up with big play after big play in the second half to totally frustrate the Trojan offense. The Bulldog defense came up big on Cumby’s first second half possession. The Trojans decided to go for it on a fourth and seven from their own 46 yard line and the Quitman secondary batted away a pass. Cumby did not get their initial first down until just over the four minute mark of the second quarter.
Quitman took over and Berry ran twice for 11 yards and first down at the Cumby 35. Wilson rambled over and through the Cumby defense for nine yards and again to the 22 yard line. After a penalty on Cumby put the ball on the 17 yard line, Medlin took it in on another option play to make it a 22-6 game with 7:45 left in the quarter.
Cumby threatened again late in the quarter but back to back stops for losses by Tarno and Wilson stuffed the Trojan chances. On a third and seven situation at the Cumby 45, Medlin made another scoring jaunt and Berry added the two-point conversion to give Quitman the 30-6 lead.
Medlin ended the night as the leading rusher with 161 yards on 19 carries and had one completion to Berry for 13 yards. The Bulldog ground game was so dominant Quitman only passed two times. Berry had 76 rushing yards on 16 totes and had the 36 yard TD called back.
Quitman had 327 yards rushing on offense and added 13 passing yards for a total of 340 yards. “In the past that’s what we would give up and now it is us with the yardage,” Oakes added. “I can’t say enough about the effort as a team. These kids deserve this win. I’m happy for the whole community. Our fans were out in force tonight and the win sure was great for them too.”
Cumby was able to hold the Bulldogs on a fourth quarter possession, but Medlin responded with a booming 52-yard punt. Not long after the big kick, the lights went out at the 4:38 mark and the Bulldog losing streak was over.
The Bulldogs returned home to a police and fire department escort to Quitman where an impromptu victory rally drew hundreds of fans to the downtown square that went on to midnight.