Christopher L. Carter
The Valdosta Daily Times
The Lanier County Bulldogs defeated the Wilcox County Patriots 26-15 Friday in Lakeland. The Bulldogs’ special teams unit showed up big throughout the entire game, including a blocked punt attempt that was returned for a touchdown on the opening drive. This set the tone for the entire game for the Bulldogs as they had a spectacular showing on homecoming night.
The Bulldogs had their best offensive showing of the season, putting up more than 140 yards in both halves. The game remained close through the first half with the Patriots recovering an onside kick attempt by the Bulldogs shortly after Lanier scored off a blocked punt return. This set up the Patriots’ only score of the night, coming on a 65-yard touchdown run by Maurice Edwards. The extra point attempt was no good.
Lanier’s running back, J.T. Williams, had a big first half with four gashing runs for 16, 17, 18, and 27 yards. He accounted for almost 80 percent of the Bulldogs’ first half rushing yards.
Marcillo Brockington had just as equally an impressive game, catching four passes for 127 yards, including a game-changing 71 yard touchdown pass from James Jenrette in the third quarter. Brockington made a great adjustment to an underthrown ball to make the play and take it to the house.
James Jenrette has slowly improved as a passer through these first six games of the season with his best performance Friday. He completed five of eight for 130 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Austin Davis also had one pass that was completed for a 20-yard touchdown to Demetrius Williams.
The play of the game came with just over three minutes left in the game. It was 26-13 with the Patriots driving down the field. On a second and ten they try to throw to an outside curl route, but Zares Kimbrough jumped the route and picked it off to ice the game. This was Zares’ second interception of the game. The first came during the third quarter off a tipped pass. Zares Kimbrough had a big showing on the night he was crowned homecoming king.
The Patriots struggled all night, but especially on special teams. Their first drive ended with a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. They also had a field goal attempt that was blocked and recovered by the Bulldogs, and a muffed kickoff that left them on their own four-yard line. The Patriots couldn’t get anything going on offense despite a huge size advantage and what seemed like a speed advantage. Their receivers had multiple drops, with two of them coming in the end zone.
The Lanier County Bulldogs improve to 2-4 on the season.