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Big plays help Lamar County move on


Lamar County’s Dallas Cockerham (10) runs around G.W. Long defenders Shan Rowe (52) and Stetson Payne (5) during the first half Friday night. Cockerham ran for 134 yards on 29 carries and accounted for five touchdowns. (Photo by Max Oden | The Dothan Eagle)


 

SKIPPERVILLE | G.W. Long coach Scott Horne put his team’s 41-19 second-round Class 2A playoff loss to Lamar County in simple terms.

“We couldn’t get anything going on offense, and we couldn’t get off the field on defense,” Horne said. “When you can’t move the ball and you can’t stop them like that, it doesn’t add up to a very good night for you.”

Lamar County (9-3), which advanced to a quarterfinal next week at fifth-ranked Sweet Water, outgained the sixth-ranked Rebels 398 to 188 in total yards.

The Bulldogs had four touchdowns of 35 or more yards, three of them passes, and also dominated with a grind-it-out attack. Defensively, they shut down Long’s running game and star running back Zach Walker.

While Lamar County’s offense did a lot of damage, it was the Bulldogs’ containment of the Rebel offense that was one of the biggest keys. The Rebels came in averaging 376 yards per game, including 302.5 rushing, but the Bulldogs held them 104 on the ground.

Walker, who entered averaging 161.5 yards per game and has 30 touchdowns, was limited to 32 yards on just 11 carries and didn’t have a rushing score.

Lamar County pulled away in the second half, scoring on its first three second-half possessions to turn a 14-7 halftime lead to a commanding 35-13 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs, thanks in part to a fumble recovery on a kickoff, ran 26 plays to Long’s five during the stretch, which covered 16:38.

After Long gained a first down on the opening series of the second half, the Bulldogs, behind workhorse quarterback Dallas Cockerham, delivered a masterful eight-play, 89-yard scoring drive.

Cockerham, who finished with 134 yards rushing on 29 carries, ran on five of the plays for 35 yards. However, it was Landon Williams, lining up at quarterback in the shotgun, who scored, taking the snap and racing to the right side and down the sideline on a 36-yard touchdown run. Eriberto Casas’ extra point made it 21-7 with 5:03 left in the quarter.

Lamar County then kicked off, slicing the kick to the right sideline beyond the Rebels’ first line and found an open hole. The Bulldogs recovered the loose ball at the Long 34. Seven plays later, Cockerham sneaked off the left side on fourth-and-1 at the 2 for another touchdown.

After an offsides violation on Long, the Bulldogs went for two and were successful with Ty Waldon taking a pitch into the end zone, making it 29-7 with 1:45 left in the third.

Walker took the ensuing kickoff 83 yards to the end zone. A try for two failed, leaving it 29-13.

After a failed onsides kick by Long, Lamar County delivered a time-consuming knockout drive. Covering just 43 yards in 11 plays, the Bulldogs ate up 6:13 off the clock, capping the series with a 2-yard Cockerham TD with 7:22 left.

Cockerham hit Timothy Hartonor a 35-yard pass for the final Lamar County score.

Following an offsides on Long, a try for two was batted away by the Rebels’ Kennon Casey, but it was 35-13 Lamar County.

It didn’t stay that way long, though, as the Rebels struck quickly. Quarterback Stetson Payne fired a perfect 63-yard bomb to his cousin, Chase Payne, on the Rebels’ first play after the Bulldog score. A try for two failed, leaving it 35-19 with 7:08 left.

After Lamar County burned a couple of minutes off the block, the Rebels got it back, but Ryan Barham intercepted a pass on Long’s first play.

Three plays later, the Bulldogs faced 4th-and-17 at the Long 35 and decided to go for it. After running 31 straight rushing plays, Lamar County fooled the Rebel defense, going to the air and

Williams intercepted a Rebel pass on the ensuing series to put a capper to the Bulldog win. It was Lamar County’s third interception of the game.

The Bulldogs completed only three passes all night, but all three went as touchdown passes from Cockerham to Harton. The two hooked up for 49-yard and 39-yard touchdown strikes in the first half with both short passes that Harton took the distance for the scores.

Long scored in between the two TD passes, taking advantage of a short field of 30 yards. Bo Walding capped the short nine-play drive with a 1-yard score off right end. Zach Pierce’s point after was good.