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Bulldogs mercy rule their way to the Sweet Sixteen

April 30, 2021 - 00:00
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    Nathan Camacho (no. 11) crosses a defender vs. Appling County on April 21 at Bill Corry Stadium. PHILLIP B. HUBBARD/Staff
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Trace Blanton (no. 10) scores hat trick on a penalty kick vs. Appling County on April 21 at Bill Corry Stadium. PHILLIP B. HUBBARD/Staff

In its first round matchup with Appling County, the Morgan County Bulldogs cruised to a 10-0 victory to advance in the state playoffs.

As the reigning Region 4-AAA champions, the Bulldogs came out of the gate a little sluggish.

There seemed to have been in a lid on the goal that Morgan County just couldn’t push through.

While their head coach highlighted that his team could’ve executed better in certain situations, he didn’t ignore the stellar play of the opposing goalkeeper during that opening stretch of the match.

“Their goalkeeper is really good,” head coach Aaron Paul said. “He had some impressive saves out there. But our team just settled down and saw each possession through. I think that was the difference.”

And settled down it did.

Once the second half commenced, the front of the net seemed to open like the Red Sea for the Bulldogs.

Within the first six minutes of the closing half, Morgan County scored three goals to extend their lead 7-0.

Three more goals were scored to close out the game and send the Bulldogs on to the next round.

The win was a team effort, too.

Trace Blanton completed his hat trick with 21 minutes remaining in the match off a penalty kick.

Nathan Camacho, Grayson Jarman and Luis Tenorio Perez each scored two goals. Fritz Williams got his name on the scorecard, too, with a goal of his own.

Following the match, Paul explained how relieving it was to see his team score at such a high rate. He commended his team for advancing to the second round.

But there’s always room for improvement. And, according to Paul, the biggest area for improvement is one of the basics.

“We need to learn to pass more,” Paul said. “If we can learn to pass, then that’ll open the field up a lot more for our offense. And, if we do that, it’ll give us better chances to score earlier in matches.”

Up next for Morgan County is the second round of the state playoffs. It faced Peach County at Bill Corry Stadium this past Tuesday to continue its playoff run.

Find out who won in next week’s edition of The Lake Oconee News.