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Aberdeen explodes past Nettleton


By Don Rowe, Special to the Dispatch



ABERDEEN --┬áThe Aberdeen High School football team planned Friday night against Nettleton to enjoy its Homecoming.  


The evening also was a homecoming of sorts for Nettleton coach Mike Scott. 


Unfortunately for Scott, who taught at Shivers Junior High in the late 1970s, his homecoming wasn't as successful as Aberdeen's, as the Bulldogs rolled to a 52-6 victory. 


"Sure I'm disappointed," said Scott who, after leaving Aberdeen, made a name for himself as a head football and basketball coach at Shannon High before becoming Lee County School Superintendent. "It was the same old, same old. We got whipped at the line of scrimmage." 


Aberdeen coach Mark Bray had very little to complain about as his Bulldogs racked up 398 yards in the first two quarters and held the Tigers to -13 yards on 17 attempts the first half. 


"It was total domination," said Bray, whose Bulldogs improved to 6-2 and 2-0 in Class 3A, Region 2. "The offense was clicking on all cylinders, and it was another good effort from (quarterback) Josh Williams." 


Williams was the trigger for the offense. He completed his first five passes for 158 yards and a touchdowns and then, after a pair of incompletions, hit three straight for 90 more yards and a score. He went to the bench with eight completions in 10 attempts (one of which was dropped) for 248 yards and two touchdowns. 


Williams was equally as potent on the ground, as he rushed for 89 yards on his first four carries, and finished with 90 yards rushing on six attempts (two touchdowns). 


Aberdeen was just as overwhelming on defense, as Nettleton finished with -23 yards on 23 carries. Only eight of the 23 rushing plays netted positive yards, and just one rush was for more than 3 yards, and that covered 8 yards. 


Nettleton was 10 of 25 for 161 yards in the passing game, but two interceptions that covered 193 yards kept it out of the end zone on two scoring opportunities in the first half.  


Scott's offense had five first downs, all of which came on the Tigers' first two possessions. 


"Defensively, we had some shaky moments early on but we tightened it up and pitched a shutout until we cleared the bench at halftime," Bray said. 


Bray did have one concern. 


"I guess the only gripe I have is with our defensive front," Bray said. "But once we got them doing what we wanted them to do instead of what they wanted to do, everything came together." 


Aberdeen scored all the points it needed on its first play when Williams found wide receiver Sammie Burroughs open over the middle on an 85-yard pass-run combo. Demarea Dobbins added the extra point. 


Nettleton answered with a five-play march to the Aberdeen 12, but Kenric McCoy stepped in front of a receiver and raced 92 yards to make it 13-0 less than three minutes into the game. 


The Tigers answered with a 10-play drive and had a fourth-and-goal at the 3-yard line, but Trey Mims, Zay Forshee, and Brandon Hodges stopped quarterback Dakota Cruber for no gain. 


Aberdeen then marched to the Tigers' 15, but fumbled the ball away for its only turnover. 


A three-and-out gave the Bulldogs the ball back at their 43. Justin Lucas scored from 1 yard four plays later, as Dobbins added the extra point for a 20-0 lead 36 seconds into the second quarter. 


A 24-yard middle screen to Lucas and a 22-yard completion to Aaron McMillian set up a 20-yard keeper by Williams for the Bulldogs' fourth score and a 26-0 lead. 


A blocked punt coupled with a face-mask penalty on Aberdeen's next possession gave Nettleton a first down at the Bulldogs' 3, but Burroughs intercepted Cruber a yard deep in the end zone and raced 101 yards for the touchdown. Dobbins added the point after for a 33-0 advantage midway through the second quarter. 


Aberdeen padded its lead moments later when Williams bolted 6 yards to cap a three-play, 44-yard march. Dobbins' point after pushed the score to 40-0 with a little less than three minutes remaining in the half. 


Eighty seconds later Williams hooked up with McMillian on a 52-yard touchdown pass to make it 46-0. Lucas scored his second touchdown with 18 seconds left in the half after a G.G. Blanchard fumble recovery gave Aberdeen the ball at the Tiger 22. 


Nettleton scored on its second possession of the third quarter on a 67-yard pass from Cruber to Levert Jernigan. 




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