Bulldogs Blank Mustangs; North Moore Remains in Playoff Hunt
North Moore ended its regular season Thursday with an overwhelming 49-0 loss to visiting Thomasville.
Although the Mustangs (1-9, 1-6) lost the Yadkin Valley Conference clash to Thomasville, one of the top-ranked teams in the 1-A classification, they are still in the hunt for a berth in the state playoffs.
Sixty-four teams will advance to the state playoffs, and right now the Mustangs have a good possibility of being one of those 64 teams.
"The positive for us is that we get another week or two for practice," North Moore head coach Butch Cleaveland said after the game.
Cleaveland and his staff will use the extra practice time to evaluate talent, and prepare the team's younger players on for next season.
After Thursday's game, Cleaveland challenged his underclassmen to come to practice this week ready to compete and work hard, and he encouraged the seniors to be team leaders and help their teammates.
Thursday in Robbins they met a team that is definitely going to be in the playoffs in the form of the Bulldogs (10-0, 6-0).
After stumbling on its first possession when it fumbled on the Mustangs' 13-yard line, Thomasville ripped off scores on its next three possessions.
Using quick strikes, the Bulldogs took a 22-0 lead with 1:13 left in the first quarter. The first Bulldog scoring drive covered 67 yards in two plays, with a 16-yard Chris Brooks toss to D.J. McLendon providing the score. The Mustangs' Tim Threadgill, who also recorded a quarterback sack in the game, blocked the extra-point attempt.
The Bulldogs needed only two plays to score on their next possession. Brad Wilkes capped the 55-yard drive with a 15-yard run. The extra point was good.
Then the Thomasville defense got into the act, with Dujuan Ingram sacking Mustang quarterback Lyle Barnett in the end zone for a safety, putting the Bulldogs in front 15-0. On the ensuing free kick, Wilkes ripped off a 65-yard return down to the Mustangs 3.
On the first play, Jonathan Hinson-Brady swept left and scored. The extra point gave the Bulldogs a 22-0 lead with 1:13 left in the first quarter. It was the first of four touchdowns on the night for Hinson-Brady.
He scored on runs of 12 and 41 yards to give the Bulldogs a 35-0 lead at halftime, and added his fourth score -- an 11-yard run -- late in the third quarter to give the Bulldogs a 42-0 lead.
Thomasville's final score came on a 33-yard interception return by De'arius Dow.
The Bulldogs' offense was stymied by a big, aggressive Bulldog defense that crowded the line of scrimmage and stuffed many of the Mustang run plays at or behind the line of scrimmage.
Cleaveland said he was pleased with the way his team attempted to execute the game plan.
"I saw some good things out of our offensive line," Cleaveland said. "But they definitely had a tough task against a great football team."
Prior to the game seniors on the football, boy's soccer and boys' and girls' cross country teams were honored.
North Moore, which has finished its season, must wait until the completion of play next Friday before knowing whether it has made the state playoffs.
Contact Tom Embrey at 693-2477 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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