Quitman lead disappears after the half


Was it the full moon, or the specter of Friday the 13th looming over Bud Moody Stadium? For the second week in a row, the Quitman Bulldogs dominated their opponents in the first half only to fall victim in the second half in their 33-20 loss to Union Grove Friday night.

The Bulldogs took the opening  kick-off and stormed down the field 58 yards in eight plays to take a 6-0 lead on a 12-yard run by Try Berry with 9:18 left in the first quarter.

Union Grove kept the ball most of the rest of the quarter, scoring on a run by the quarterback. With a successful point after kick, the Lions led 7-6 going into the second quarter.

Quitman came back on a Berry to Ben Burroughs pass play covering 36 yards, giving Quitman a 12-7 advantage. The lead was increased when Berry found wide receiver Cody Hawley wide open in the end zone, completing a 23 yard pass play. River Chaney blasted through the Lion defense for the two point conversion and Quitman led 20-7 at intermission. 

Burroughs continues to be a bright spot this season for the Bulldogs. He had over 100 yards receiving in the game.

“Ben has really been a great surprise for us this year,” Coach Bryan Oakes noted. “He really works hard and has caught on fast to his position. Cody Hawley looked good catching the ball on his touchdown and also does a good job for us on defense.”

The Bulldog defense played a tough first half. With time winding down and Union Grove threatening, Quitman’s Wyatt McLanahan delivered two great back to back hits, jarring runners and receivers and halting a Lion drive as the second quarter ended.

“Brian Morris and River Chaney also both played really well on defense for us,” Oakes added. “Chaney also ran for close to 40 yards on the ground.”

The fatal second half began with disaster for Quitman. Union Grove took the kick-off and returned it right up the middle 70 yards to pay dirt and made the score 20-13 just 12 seconds into the third quarter. Union Grove went ahead for good at 21-20 on a 35 yard run midway through the third quarter. The Lions added a 47 yard touchdown pass at the end of the quarter to make it 27-20 going into the final quarter. 

Union Grove passed for their final points with 6:42 to go in the game making it the final tally of 33-20. Quitman drove deep into Lion territory late in the game but a Union Grove interception ended the scoring threat and the game.

“We did a great job in the first half on both sides of the ball and did a good job against the run. They made some adjustments at the half and we did not react very well to them,” Oakes said. “If you would have told me before the game they would beat us passing the football I would not had believed it.”

The Bulldogs, along with the rest of District 10-3A D2, take this Friday off and begin seven consecutive weeks of district play Sept. 27.

Quitman will open against Arp, also 0-3, and it is Homecoming 2019 for the Bulldogs.

Arp has lost to West Rusk 35-6, Hughes Springs 38-8 and Jefferson 30-8.  Arp was 3-7 last year for the season and 3-4 in district play. So far in preseason for the district, Winona and Grand Saline are at the top with 2-1 records while Frankston is at 1-1, Troup and Alba-Golden each 1-2, with Arp, Quitman and Harmony all 0-3.

Arp returns six offensive and seven defensive starters lead by quarterback Tren Jones who rushed for 500 yards and 600 passing last year. The Tigers are having some growing pains while starting up to five sophomores this season.