Toombs County’s Late-Game Effort Falls Short in Class AA Top 5 Showdown Against Pierce County

Lyons, GA – October 15, 2023 | Head Coach Buddy Martin | Article by Matt Lynn


On Friday, the #3 ranked Toombs County Bulldogs hosted the #5 ranked Pierce County Bears in a matchup with region championship implications.

The PIT was at capacity for the kickoff, and the Dogs would kick off to the Bears. It didn’t take long for Pierce’s high-scoring offense to drive deep into Bulldog territory, but the “Red Bullet” Defense forced a fumble and recovered at the 10-yard line to stop the threat. On the Bears’ second drive, they went 8 plays for 48 yards and scored the game’s first points on a 1-yard run with 1:19 remaining in the first quarter. The Bears led 7-0.

The Bears got the ball back early in the second quarter and drove again deep into Bulldog territory. But a Bear pass was intercepted by Mike Polke, giving the Dogs the ball back with 8:38 remaining in the half. Two plays later, the junior QB hit sophomore WR Gavin Fletcher on an 81-yard scoring strike. Braylen Dietrich added the point after, tying the game at 7. Pierce responded on their next possession, going 62 yards on 7 plays, scoring a 16-yard touchdown. This put the Bears up 14-7. The teams exchanged possessions on their next drives, and Pierce County kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the half, to take a 17-7 halftime lead.

The second half looked to mirror a heavyweight boxing match. Late in the 3rd quarter, Pierce found themselves deep in Bulldog territory when Junior LaGonza Heyward jumped and picked off a Bear’s screen pass and sprinted 80 yards for another Bulldog touchdown, slimming the Bear lead down to 17-14. With 6:06 remaining in the game, the Dogs put together their best drive of the evening and drove 72 yards on 10 plays to put themselves at the Bear 14-yard line with less than a minute to go. The Bears would force a Bulldog turnover on the next play to secure the region win against the Dogs.

Toombs drops to 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in Region 3AA. The Dogs have a bye this week and prepare for Windsor Forest in two weeks at the PIT.

For the complete stat line, click here.

Passing: 8/18 for 159 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: 12 carries for 13 yards, 0 TDs
Total Offense: 172 yards
Penalties: 5 for 22 yards
Turnovers: 1
1st Downs: 5
3rd Down Conversions: 1/7
4th Down Conversions:
Time of Possession: 17:14

Passing: 8/19 for 161 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs
Rushing: 39 carries for 218 yards, 2 TDs
Total Offense: 379 yards
Penalties: 7 for 50 yards
Turnovers: 3
1st Downs: 17
3rd Down Conversions: 4/9
4th Down Conversions: 0/2
Time of Possession: 30:46