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Dooly moves into second round with win over Hancock Central

Staff Reports 

VIENNA— The Dooly County Bobcats are into the second round of the GHSA class A state football tournament after defeating Hancock Central 28-14 on Friday night in a home playoff game.

The Bobcats overcame six turnovers on the night to win the game, as they had four fumbles and two interceptions thrown in the first round contest.

On Dooly County’s stat sheet for the night, senior Reggie Smith was credited with two touchdown passes totaling 57 yards on just three pass attempts. Malik Burns caught a six-yard score from Smith, while Brandon Holmes was on the receiving end of a 57-yard score. Smith also ran the football 15 times for a total of 103 yards and caught three passes for 38 yards. Burns added two carries for 29 yards to go with his receiving score.

The other two touchdowns came on the ground for the Bobcats on a 38-yard run from quarterback Bo Lawson and a score by Zepha Hill. Lawson finished the game with five completions for 56 yards and two interceptions on 11 pass attempts and he ran 10 times for 112 yards, while Hill had five carries for 27 yards and two conversions. Emaje Son and Shamon Zanders also had a catch apiece to round out the offensive stats.

The Dooly defense played a crucial role in the win holding the Hancock Central Bulldogs (7-5) to just 14 points and forcing several turnovers.

Ra’qavious Billings had a big night on the defensive side of the ball finishing the contest with 10 total tackles and a forced fumble. Hill also contributed on defense with 10 total stops of his own.

Other contributors in the game on Dooly County’s defense were: Javarese Black- seven tackles, two for a loss including a sack, Rashad Lucas, Burns and Son- five tackles apiece, David Grant and Jeff Felton- four tackles each, Holmes and Jaboris Hicks- three tackles each, Justin Johnson and Smith each had two tackles and an interception, and Fred Perry- two tackles and a fumble recovery.

Up next for the Bobcats is a trip to Carrollton on Friday night to face the number three-seeded team in the bracket, Mount Zion (9-1).

The Mount Zion Eagles earned a bye week for the first round of state after winning their region championship. The Eagles’ only loss this season came on the road at the hands of Christian Heritage by a score of 30-22.

Mount Zion boasts a tough defense that averaged only giving up 10.7 points per game this season, with a good portion of that coming in their lone loss to Christian Heritage. They had three shutout victories on the season, those coming in wins against Lamar County, Trion and Bowdon.

The Eagles also had no problem scoring points in the regular season. They averaged 30.7 per game and scored 20 or more points in every game so far on the year.

For comparison, the Bobcats put up an average of 31.8 points per contest and conceded an average of 26.6 points per game to opponents on the season.

The turnover battle will likely play an important role in which team wins the ballgame, as this second round matchup looks like it could end up being a high scoring shootout.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night in Carrollton