Quitman made it look easy, scoring six touchdowns in 10 snaps while clobbering Cutter Morning Star's Junior Eagles 42-6 on Thursday night in 5-2A Conference play at Bulldog Stadium.
“Cutter Morning Star actually had a few players suspended,” said Quitman Coach Fritz Heidenreich. “They didn't have a ninth-grader on the field so they were kinda under the gun but our guys competed hard and played well so we are proud of what they did.”
The Junior Bulldogs, who improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in league play, scored on their first offensive play following an interception by linebacker Kyler Kindle.
Dynamic quarterback Trey McGhee dropped back and found receiver Dyllan Locke sprinting down the left sideline for a 35-yard touchdown with 4:17 left in the opening quarter. McGhee tricked the entire defense and the officials on the two-point conversion, faking a handoff and cruising into the end zone as the Junior Bulldogs pushed their lead to 8-0.
The Jr. Eagles (1-4, 1-1) countered with an 11-play, 51-yard scoring drive. CMS benefited from a fourth and long pass-interference penalty, then facing fourth and 14, quarterback Steven Atlas found receiver Jason Lepitre open down the right sideline for a 22-yard touchdown with 7:30 left in the second quarter. Garrett Kennedy intercepted Atlas' conversion pass, preserving Quitman's 8-6 lead.
Quitman scored on its next play when McGhee kept on an option read around left end and raced untouched down the sideline for a 62-yard touchdown. McGhee kept over left tackle for two more on the conversion, boosting Quitman's lead to 16-6 with 7:13 remaining in the second quarter.
Locke picked off a pass to set up the Jr. Bulldogs' next score. Following a tough 30-yard run by McGhee, who spun out of the grasp of one defender before dragging another five yards down field, running back Michael Lewis took a handoff over left tackle, burst through the secondary and sprinted to pay dirt for a 40-yard touchdown run. The two-point attempt failed, leaving Quitman's lead at 22-6 with 4:34 left in the second quarter.
After forcing a three and out, Quitman only needed one play to score on its next offensive series as McGhee heaved a pass deep down the right hash, where Kennedy ran under the ball at the Cutter 40 on his way to a 70-yard touchdown reception. McGhee kept unabated around left end for two more points on the conversion, giving the Jr. Bulldogs a 30-6 lead with 2:07 left until halftime.
Quitman received the opening kickoff of the second half and scored on its first play when running back Eli Peck broke a tackle around left end and darted to the end zone for a 46-yard touchdown, but the play was called back on a holding penalty.
Two plays later Quitman scored on a 58-yard run by McGhee, who used a stiff-arm to shed a tackle at the line of scrimmage and raced down the right sideline before cutting back to the middle while eluding a defender as he cruised into the end zone. McGhee's conversion pass fell incomplete, leaving the Jr. Bulldogs with a 36-6 lead only 34 seconds into the second half.
Page 2 of 2 - After the Jr. Bulldogs forced a three and out, defensive end Logan Lowe sacked Atlas, who was attempting a punt, setting up another quick score. On second and 10, running back Nathan Henderson barreled over a defender and sprinted around left end for a 30-yard touchdown with 4:27 left in the third quarter, placing the AAA's mercy-rule into effect.
Leading 42-6 with the clock running non-stop, Quitman killed a promising drive by the Jr. Eagles when Henderson recovered a mishandled Shotgun snap and the Jr. Bulldogs used their second team offense to run out the clock.
Quitman amassed 336 yards of total offense in only 17 plays led by McGhee, who carried three times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. McGhee also completed 3 of 5 passes for 105 yards and two scores.
“Trey McGhee is a special athlete,” said Heidenreich. “He threw the ball well tonight, he ran the ball … He is just a competitor. The sky is the limit for him.”
The Jr. Bulldogs' defense stifled CMS, limiting the Jr. Eagles to 91 yards in 40 plays. Hunter Moorleand, a seventh-grade defensive tackle, paced Quitman with nine tackles while freshman defensive tackle Abisai Quoris collected eight tackles. Kindle and Lowe each finished with seven tackles for the Jr. Bulldogs, who travel to Magnet Cove today.
“Magnet Cove is always tough in Jr. High,” said Heidenreich. “We've beat them before but they are tough and that's who we are focused on next. Magnet Cove and Mount Ida will be the ones we've really got to watch out for.”
(Editor's note: Stats courtesy of Quitman Football Foundation's Dan Lichoff.)