The Quitman Bulldogs kept their winning ways going on a night that saw the school celebrate Homecoming and the tenth anniversary of the program, demolishing conference foe Cutter Morning Star 37-8 at Bulldog Stadium, moving to 5-0 and 2-0 in league play in the process.
The home team opened the first quarter of play with a score that came on a loose ball picked up by sophomore quarterback Holden Martin and sent in the direction of senior wide receiver Isaac Clemmons, who was wide open in the end zone. Later on in the frame Martin would connect on another TD bullet pass to senior Seth Haynes to bring the score to 14-0 through 12 minutes.
Cutter Morning Star got on the board in the second quarter after sophomore quarterback Sam Moore aired out an 11-yard pass to classmate Landon Watson for a touchdown, however Quitman was able to strike once more to give themselves a cushion headed into the halftime break, as Martin used his speed on a quarterback keep to shake the Eagle defenders and find the end zone for a 21-8 advantage.
Junior Spencer Sipes, who has been dominating the run attack for the Bulldogs all season long, added another touchdown to his total after muscling his way in from six yards out, getting support from Seth Haynes once again after being found by Martin on a fake hand off and strike from the right side. Sophomore kicker and safety Erin Mathes, who caught the game-sealing interception on the road last week at Bigelow, knocked in a field goal from 25 yards out to provide the final points for the victors.
Sipes earned the Farm Bureau Player of the Week award, racking up 141 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Martin added to the cause with 106 passing yards on 12 completions with three touchdowns, adding another 92 yards in rushing with a touchdown. Clemmons led the receiving game with 43 yards and a touchdown, while Haynes hauled in two touchdown passes on 31 yards. Lovelady led the defense once again with 12 tackles. Lovelady, Seth Haynes and Austin Haynes each contributed a sack apiece, with each Haynes coming up with an interception.
"I though we made a lot of mistakes," said head football coach DJ Marrs. "We executed well at times, but we also made some mistakes, especially on offense, that I though shouldn't have been made at this point in the season. The defense played well again, we missed tackles early on, but hustle and effort made up for it and we had a lot of guys around the ball all night."
Homecoming festivities and the celebration of the football program's tenth year anniversary also played into what was a big night for the Bulldog faithful. "I think the win was a great finish to a really special night. It meant a lot to guys on the team to win that game for the community, school and all of the former players who came back.
The 5-0 start for the Bulldogs is the second best for the program, who saw the 2016 squad start 6-0. That team clinched a spot in the Class 2A state playoffs. Coach Marrs credited everyone involved with the team on helping make the season an early success. "I believe the players are really starting to understand how everything we've changed in the program is paying off. The coaching staff has been great. The defense speaks for itself, and Coach Wood has done a really great job changing the whole identity of our defense and mindset that those guys play with. Coach Corley has our outside backers and wide receivers playing very well, and our offensive line play has probably been one of the biggest changes to our offense this year and Coach Johnson has done a fantastic job with them. It's a completely different atmosphere, from film sessions, to practice, to coaches meetings. Event the way the player's grades and behavior has been in the school is completely different, and I couldn't be more proud of these guys."
Quitman will be back on the road this Friday at Magnet Cove, who is coming off a 35-6 triumph over Poyen. "They are going to be the most physical team we have played thus far. They have a really good pair of running backs that are bigger than any backs we've played this year. We have to match that physicality on both sides of the ball to be able to get our defense off the field and keep the chains moving on offense."