GMC Prep vs. Central-Talbotton

Senior running back Jackson Miller (3) makes his way through some would-be Central tacklers in the Bulldogs’ dominant win Friday.

The GMC Prep Bulldogs (1-1) made light work of their home opener with a dominant 34-0 victory over non-region opponent Central High School of Talbotton (0-2) Friday.

Despite losing 51-0 at Creekside a week ago, the Bulldogs bounced back strong as they destroyed the Central defense.

GMC Prep head coach Lee Coleman was understandably pleased with his team’s performance.

“I think it’s a great win,” Coleman said. “Monday and Tuesday, they didn’t feel great about the last loss, but I think they responded. I told them the hardest thing to do would be just getting that victory, and they got it. It was perfect for us.”

The first quarter began favorably for the Bulldogs as they scored their first touchdown on just their second drive. GMC senior Jackson Miller ran for 34 yards before junior Travion Woods caught the scoring pass. Kicker Levi Ward converted the extra point to put his team ahead 7-0. From there, it was one-way traffic for the ‘Dogs.

On the very next drive, Miller ran in an incredible pick-six for 80 yards to finish the first period in style. The slotback-cornerback hybrid turned in an explosive performance, finding the end zone on both sides of the ball.

Central-Talbotton couldn’t get anything going on offense or defense. Early tackles from GMC freshmen Isaiah Womble and Jessie Washington landed clear dents in the confidence of the away team. Central’s lack of offensive production became a consistent theme throughout the night as they failed to score a single touchdown.

The second quarter saw the Bulldogs blitz ahead even further. They forced an early fumble to put themselves on the 5-yard line, notching their third touchdown subsequently. Despite their first extra-point miss, GMC still led by 20 as they approached halftime. The fun didn’t end there for the home team, though.

Continuing his fantastic night, Miller returned a punt for 32 yards on a drive that ended in a missed field goal attempt. Still, the Bulldogs wouldn’t wait much longer to score again. After their defense finished sacking the opposing quarterback for a total loss of 8 yards, GMC extended their massive lead with another fruitful drive.

Putting on a show for an ecstatic home crowd, the on-fire Miller completed two separate runs for a first down. He then ran the ball in for another touchdown, making one of his many huge plays on the evening.

Unsurprisingly, things got even uglier for the struggling Central offense as a fumble was recovered by Womble on the very next drive. The Bulldog rookie had himself a huge night on the defensive side of the ball.

After scoring 27 points in the first half, the Bulldogs immediately picked up where they left off with a touchdown on the first drive thanks to a catch by GMC senior MJ Ingram. It marked GMC quarterback Tyler Saunders’ second touchdown pass of the night.

After Ward converted his fourth extra point of the night, the Bulldogs continued their aggressive defense for the rest of the contest.

A slower second half saw several scoreless possessions from both teams as many of the GMC starters were rested for the majority of the final quarter. GMC junior Yasir Saleem tallied up several rushing yards in the fourth as took over at running back. The game concluded with a 15-yard rush for Saleem.

Despite the dominant decision, Coleman isn’t letting the winning feeling get to his head.

“We’ve got a tough one coming up against Cherokee Bluff,” Coleman said. “They’ve got some great athletes, and they’re gonna be very tough.”

GMC Prep is off Sept. 18, but will look to pick up another non-region win against Cherokee Bluff Sept. 25 at home.

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