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LEXINGTON — Bad weather forced GMC Prep’s season opener to go final in just two quarters last week. This week, nearly every second of all four quarters was needed to decide the Bulldogs’ (1-1) second matchup.

First-year GMC Prep head coach Lee Coleman’s team fell 14-7 to the Oglethorpe County Patriots (1-1) on the road after the host team extended its 8-7 lead very late. Coleman told The Union-Recorder over the phone Friday that his own team’s penalties went a long way in deciding the game in Lexington. 

“There’s no doubt penalties were the difference in the ballgame,” said Coleman. “We were beating ourselves and showing some immaturity. We’ve got to grow up. We just couldn’t ever get anything going.”

Oglethorpe struck first in the first and added a two-point conversion to go up 8-0, but the Bulldogs answered back on a Jackson Miller touchdown run to make the score 8-7 still in the opening period. That’s where the score would stand almost until the very end as mistakes — both through penalties and missed field goals — kept GMC Prep from taking the lead. Coleman commended his defense’s effort, saying that unit played “lights out” Friday, but multiple holding and personal foul penalties were too much for his offense to overcome. 

The host Patriots scored from in close with less than half a minute left in the fourth to bring the contest to its final tally. The win over GMC Prep brings Oglethorpe’s record to just 3-39 since the 2015 season, but they currently stand at .500 on the 2019 campaign. 

Penalties stopped productive drives in GMC Prep’s season opener against Glascock too, so the flags have now become a recurring theme. It’s something the Bulldogs will need to fix if they want this season to be any different from other recent ones. During the preseason Coach Coleman he quipped that his squad was going to look like a track team with all the conditioning the players did this summer. He referenced that when asked how he was going to approach cleaning up his team’s play.

“We’re going to end up being that track team I talked about,” Coleman said, meaning his players are in for a great deal of running when they next take the practice field. 

The Bulldogs have an open week to try and get things back in order. They will return to play Sept. 13 at home against ACE Charter.

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